October 21, 2019
Water Damaged Floors: When To Repair And When To Replace

Water Damaged Floors: When To Repair And When To Replace

Water damage on flooring is nothing to take lightly. Deciding when to repair versus when to replace flooring is a task no homeowner wants to be given. The first step in knowing the best course of action is to identify that water is truly the cause of your flooring damage.


Identifying water damages varies based on the type of flooring you are concerned about. The basic signs of water damage in flooring are described below. Then, look at your specific flooring type to know what sign is applicable to you.

  • Water Accumulation – Inspect your flooring for areas of standing or pooling water, dampness or dripping.
  • Discoloration – Look for areas that are discolored from the rest of the flooring, typically yellow, brown or copper.
  • Changes In Texture – Warping, cupping, cracking, bubbling, sagging, sinking, expanding, buckling or peeling are all texture changes that can be associated with water damaged flooring.
  • Odor- Even when not visible, mold and mildew can be detected by the pungent smell it produces. Mold grows quickly when water is present. Flooring with water damage is no exception to mold growth.



Cupping (damaged wood planks dip downward/sinking) or the opposite with bulging planks. Discoloration, mold and mildew presence visible or in odor.



Loose tiling, staining/ discoloration. Difficult to identify- try tapping on the tile with a screwdriver, a hollow noise could mean a loosening tile due to water damage.



Warping, cupping, or bulging. Discoloration can occur. Laminate planks can push against each other.



Staining and discoloration are the biggest markers of concern.  Linoleum changes color faster than most water damaged surfaces.



Odor is the typical first sign to water damage. Mildew smell will be present first. If a wet texture, or staining has appeared the damage is getting worse.


Repair or Replace

For most flooring materials you can examine the floor visibly and know if it is worth the hassle of repairing. If carpeting is stained, that is a good sign mildew is present underneath and, in the subflooring, and replacement is necessary.

Hardwood, laminate, and linoleum, all can be examined topically for texture changes and discoloration as shown above in the table. Should these identifying marks be present, having a professional inspect your flooring and subflooring for mold and permanent damage is best. If the damage has not gone through to the subflooring, or is not permanent, repairing may be a more financially suitable option. If the subflooring has been affected or mold is present, total mold and water remediation will be required, followed by replaced flooring.

Tile flooring is the most difficult to identify water damage. The likelihood of water damage depends on the material and density of the tile. Unsealed grout, the adhesive between the tiles and subflooring, can become penetrated by water and damage the subflooring, as well as promote mold growth. This is especially true in cases of bathroom tile where the humidity increases during hot baths and showers. Hiring a professional to inspect your floors for possible water damage is always best practice, to ensure a comprehensive examination has taken place.


The good news is most homeowners insurance covers water damaged flooring. At iMold, we not only provide our expertise in water damage remediation, but we assist our customers with their insurance claims as well. Let us do the hard work for you, on your floors and with your insurance company, we will do all the dirty work.  We also provide discounts for our customers in the military or government, educators, as well as medical employees and first responders. Call our customer service line to set up your water damage appointment today!

Published: October 21, 2019
Author: iMold Author
Categories : Water Damage