How to Repair a Water Damaged Wood Floor

Even if the insurance company wants to remove all the damaged floor you will still have to monitor the subfloor until the EMC gets back to normal. Only time and ventilation will do this. It may take as much as a month or more for this to resolve itself.

If you find that the damage is minimal, because the water drained out well, and you have dried the floor quickly, you still should wait about 4-6 months before sanding the hardwood floor flat again. If you sand the floor before it’s had a chance to fully dry, the cupping (concave) you see now, will straighten itself out after the sanding, and create a crowned (convex) floor instead. Then you will be forced to sand the whole floor yet again. So don’t be rushed by the insurance company or a flooring contractor into sanding the floor too soon. Understand that sanding a severely cupped floor will remove as much as a third of the total life of the floor. There is just so much wear layer on the top of the groove. You might ask the insurance company to compensate you for this also if the damage has gone into another room, and that room has to be fully sanded and finished.

So in conclusion, dry the floor quickly above and below. Check and recheck EMC of wood and subfloor. Remove a few boards to relieve stress. Start repairs after heating season has begun and you are positive it all dried out. Watch for signs of black mold forming. If insurance is covering the cost of the damage, keep good records. The job will consist of a combination of repair and replacement. Read my free article in this site about how to hire a flooring contractor. You can also read the free repair article, to get an idea of how this task is done. The insurance companies don’t always provide the best of floor guys.