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Water Damaged Wood Floor Repairs and The Open Window

Water Damaged Wood Floor Repairs and The Open Window

June 12, 2015 by in Case Studies Comments (1)

Forever Restorations took on a new water damage restoration job today in Mchenry, Il.

I am constantly being surprised at the source of water that causes water damage in a building or home. As soon as you think you’ve seen everything a new problem or water damaging cause is revealed.

It’s the end of spring and start of summer so we’ve seen some flooding from thunderstorms with the source being basements, roofs, walls, chimneys, flashing, siding just to name a few. Its been a little more busy than normal due to the water damaging thunderstorms.

We received a call from a homeowner in Mchenry with a water damage problem, they had water damaged floors, water damaged hardwood flooring, water damaged oak flooring, water damaged carpet and water damaged laminate flooring. They had a couple water damage restoration contractors take a look and no one could locate the source of the water leaking damage.

Since the insurance company would not pay until a source of the damage causing water was found, I was called. Now this is going to sound a little weird but I looked over the house, looked for flashing leaks on windows and windows that weren’t caulked thinking perhaps a driving rain was the cause of the leak. We did have a Northwest to Northeast wind driven rain which is a little unusual for us and just might have been the culprit.

Well, to make a long story short. Someone in the family confessed to leaving a window open during the last thunderstorm. Rain poured in the window and across the flooring causing all three types of flooring to be water damaged and in need of repair and replacement. Unfortunately it was too soaked for too long and we could not dry the damaged flooring materials.

Water damage repairs are needed when windows leak water even when closed.

A window doesn’t have to be left open to experience water damage and the need for water damage restoration.

However, windows can leak even when they are closed causing unseen damage until it is too late and the project becomes a major undertaking. For instance, wind driven rain can get between the window trim and siding, leak down the wall sheathing, framing, insulation and drywall …eventually running across the floor. It pays to take a look at your siding or brick, is the window caulked, is there flashing around the window, is there J-channel around the window or door. Water damage repair from leaking windows or doors can become costly and often times is not paid for by your insurance company. If you want that kind of water damage repair covered by your insurance, make sure you talk it over with your agent and have him add it to your policy…. then make your agent show you where it is mentioned in the policy!

Laminate flooring is made of material that usually soaks up water like a sponge, once that happens the pressed wood and glue are destroyed and no amount of drying or dryout will bring it back to original condition. The damaged oak flooring had already soaked up enough water to get extremely distorted, twisted and finish destroyed ….again, too much water for too long a period of time will require water damaged oak flooring to be replaced.

The water damaged carpeting could be dried, however, the padding was destroyed and mold was starting to grow so it would complicate matters, making it safer, cost effective and easier to dryout the subfloor and install new carpet.

The area affected by the rain was around 250 square feet, however, the total amount of flooring that would have to be replaced was around 700 square feet. The reason why 700 square feet of flooring will be replaced is because it is impossible to remove only the water damaged flooring and tie in new flooring. It would be very noticeable and insurance companies are usually very understanding about making the replacement job look as good as possible, replacing instead of matching and tying in flooring.

This job is a prime example of the need to quickly call a water restoration contractor when water damage occurs. Although the flooring was water soaked for a substantial period of time, even if the insurance company or home owner acted more quickly, I still think things would have ended as they did with complete replacement.

What I found rather unusual is that an open window could cause so much damage! Sure, they were big windows but it must have been one of those rains that dropped 2 inches an hour. Let the lesson be learned, if you don’t want a big mess ….close your windows when it rains 🙂

When it comes to water damage, every moment is important. Removing water promptly protects your home from structural damage, mold and mildew infestation, and pests.

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