Flooring - Can It be Saved After Water Damage?
Unfortunately, water damage happens more often than we would like. 1 out of every 20 homeowners makes an insurance claim each year with around a fourth being from water damage/freezing. When a water damage event occurs, it can create a lot of havoc for the property owner.
On the front side of things, there are typically 3-5 days of drying out the structure. During this time, it will be determined what part of the structure is salvageable and what may just need to be removed to gain access to further wet areas and materials like insulation inside walls.
On the back side of things, there is the reconstruction of the structure. This may require packing out rooms or an entire house and moving offsite before construction can begin. This can take quite some time to schedule and complete. A lot of this decision rests upon flooring. Does the flooring need to be removed? If so, what type of flooring is it? Carpet, tile, laminate, hardwood, engineered hardwood? Each of these takes a different amount of time depending on the available material and process.
The type of flooring will determine if there is any hope of salvaging it. Often you will find tile in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms…and for very good reason. Tile is usually salvageable. If tile is showing some give, or cracks have appeared since the event, the tile may need to be replaced. If not replaced, tile should be monitored over the next 12 months.
A general rule of thumb is laminate or engineered hardwood will usually need to come up. Engineered hardwoods look great these days but they are made out of layers of wood that can swell and degrade when wet. Glued down engineered hardwood can be the most challenging to remove and thus can increase the length of the process.
Carpet often can be saved but the carpet pad underneath needs to be replaced. The pad is like a sponge and retains moisture and odor. Fortunately, most carpet pad is pretty cheap and easy to replace. One of the tell tale signs that a carpet needs to be replaced is delamination. Delamination is when the backing to a carpet comes apart from the fibers.
Last but not least are hardwood floors. Different types of wood will be affected in different ways. Usually, if cupping or buckling is going to occur it will happen in 7-14 days. Sometimes the floor can settle back down, and sand and seal may be all that is needed. However, the key is bringing the moisture level back to par which is typically around 16. Every house and type of wood can have their own "standard". If wood cannot be brought back to the benchmark, it is usually recommended to replace the floor.
If you have a water damage event and have questions about your flooring, don't hesitate to give SERVPRO of Dallas Central a call at 214-664-9522!