< Back to Blog

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage to Hardwood Floors?


Water sustains life. Water nourishes and cleanses the earth. Water provides power. But water can also wreak damage to cities and towns if it comes in excessive amounts or is not contained. Water problems in a home or apartment can be troublesome or even frightening, especially if the damage is caused to the property’s flooring. And here’s the thing: According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage is a major reason for home insurance claims.

After the initial “Oh, no!” moments, a homeowner or renter will likely ask themselves, “Is this nasty damage covered by my homeowners insurance?” The answer depends on the source/cause of damage. 

Standard homeowners insurance generally covers types of water damage that are considered “sudden and accidental.” Damage is typically covered when it occurs from burst pipes, accidental leaks (from appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators or leaking plumbing), or water damage after a fire caused by water extinguishing actions.

It also covers the cost of water damage from a roof leak, such as when a storm or fallen tree damages a roof, water damage from storms, and water damage from ice dams in the property’s roof gutters. 

Homeowners insurance coverage does not cover flood damage, including floodwater from hurricanes or tornadoes. Those causes require a separate flood insurance policy. Damage caused due to negligence, or lack of maintenance is not covered. Water damage from intentional acts or earth movements like earthquakes, mudslides, or landslides is not covered.  

How to Prevent Water Damage 

Here are some ways to prevent water damage: 

  • Be alert to problems and fix them as quickly as possible to prevent damage to the flooring or other parts of a home or apartment, such as repairing a leaky faucet or resolving the evidence of a leaky toilet. 
  • Drain a water heater at least annually to prevent sediment buildup; twice yearly is even better. 
  • Install a smart water leak detector. 
  • Inspect the washing machine hoses, the hose that goes to a refrigerator icemaker, and the hose to the dishwasher. 
  • Install metal waterline hoses on the toilets instead of the cheap plastic ones and screw them on firmly. 
  • Prevent frozen pipes by keeping them warm. 
  • Remove accumulated snow on a roof to prevent ice dams. 
  • Remove leaves and other materials from roof gutters and clear the downspouts so that water flows unimpeded to the ground and away from the foundation. 
  • Ensure that water flows away from the foundation and does not pool near the foundation. 

How to Repair a Damaged Wood Floor 

Here are the actions it takes to repair a damaged wood floor. First, stop the cause of the water damage. Then the repair work starts by removing the surface water as soon as possible after the water leak has been detected. That can be accomplished by using a squeegee and shop vac to suction the water.

Next, mix a disinfectant like Lysol or Mr. Clean with clean water and a mild detergent, scrub the floor and close-by woodwork, and rinse off the scrubbing brush or cloths frequently. But don’t pour more water on the floor. Then, dry the floor slowly and naturally, starting with dry mopping. Drying the wood too rapidly will cause the wood to crack. Open doors and windows and allow cross-ventilation. Use large fans to get plenty of air flowing through the space. 

A professional flooring contractor may need to remove all the flooring if the flooring material is a composite laminate material that absorbs water and swells. If the flooring has sat in water for a while, water may have seeped into the subfloor, so all the wood may need to be removed.

Damaged wood may be repaired by sanding the surface to remove any cupping and leveling out the wood. Then the wood will need to be refinished and sealed. If the wood or subfloor is too damaged, the entire flooring area may need to be replaced. Sometimes, new planking can be woven in with existing planking. 

How to Choose a Hardwood Flooring Contractor 

First, don’t just grab any neighborhood handyman. Hardwood flooring can be a significant investment in a home, so you don’t want the work to be done poorly. Choose a repair and replacement contractor carefully to get quality work done. That includes choosing a flooring contractor that: 

  • Is licensed and insured.  
  • Offers worker’s compensation to all employees if some unforeseen accident happens while the repair work is being done. That protects the homeowner from liability. 
  • Has accreditation from the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA). Accreditation demonstrates that the contractor has mastered the installation process and that they have continued ongoing flooring education to be up-to-date with industry standards and innovations. 
  • Will measure and record the moisture content of the hardwood flooring and the humidity of the home environment to protect and preserve the flooring warranty. 
  • Will offer a solid warranty on the flooring and their installation work. 
  • Offers excellent references. 
  • Will perform good dust control and clean-up work. 
  • Will perform the work in a defined and acceptable manner and timeframe, including timely delivery of materials and timely installation of the flooring and/or repair work. 
  • Will properly acclimate repair work and new flooring installation to prevent warping and buckling of the wood. 
  • Will accept full payment only when all the contracted work has been completed. 

SVB Wood Floors Provides Expert Flooring Services 

SVB Wood Floors delivers quality flooring results with attention to every detail. We offer comprehensive flooring services, including water damage repairs, restoration and repair work, hardwood floor cleaning, dustless refinishing, recoating, and refinishing. In the case of water damage, our experts will work with you throughout the entire process and help you determine whether or not it is worth it to file an insurance claim.

Will will tell you if a complete tear-out or only a partial replacement is needed and can save money by replacing only the area required and seamlessly weaving in new planks to match the existing undamaged wood, where appropriate. 

The great thing about hardwood floors is that they can last for decades with proper care. And depending on the level of damage, hardwood floors can often be repaired and refinished to restore them to their natural beauty. 

In addition to outstanding residential wood flooring services, we also provide professional commercial hardwood flooring, gym, and sport court flooring services. Hardwood floors are both beautiful and durable; that is why they are now more frequently chosen for homes and are chosen for many businesses like retail stores, banks, restaurants, and bars. 

Choose SVB Wood Floors for Your Professional Hardwood Flooring Services 

SVB Wood Flooring, based in Grandview, MO, offers expert residential, commercial, and gym flooring services throughout the greater Kansas City area. We are the Kansas City area’s wood floor installation, refinishing, and restoration experts, with services provided in this area for over 15 years. No matter the level of flooring services needed, from simple to extravagant, we’ll provide finished work that will delight you.