Kitchen Floor Damage from Water Leak

motherof3sonsFebruary 13, 2014

We had a slow leak in May 2013 from our laundry hoses that resulted in damage to our hardwood floor in the kitchen, plus destroyed a bedroom/bath in the lower level. The laundry room is adjacent to the kitchen and it dripped down the wall and wicked into the insulation. Our insurance adjuster was great and wrote us a check on the spot. He told us there would be add-ons and to call him after we open the walls, etc. Well, almost a year later we decided to move forward giving the hardwood time to dry out.

Our dilemma. Our main living area is one large room - kitchen, dining and living rooms. Insurance estimated to pay for only the kitchen area. The floor dried out and the wood is still warped. We went to the flooring store and we can get the flooring, however; the company will not guarantee that it will match. There is not a stopping point as the floor flows throughout the area.

What would you do? Should we ask the insurance company to pay for the entire floor? If they refuse, try to negotiate for shared cost? Do you have any recommendations for working with the insurance company?

Our insurer is a great company and we have a fantastic agent. I want to be fair and not ruin a great relationship.

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schicksal

From what I've seen, it'll be an uphill battle to get them to replace flooring in the other area. They like to stick to purely what was damaged, regardless of whether it matches the adjacent rooms and this applies to walls, ceilings and floors.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 8:13PM
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jakuvall

I've had installers patch into many types of existing wood floors, matching well to perfect. It all depends on the mechanic and his selection of materials. The exception would be p refinished floor. To do that we'll the entire floor may need to be sanded.
So it is doable, in which case you might not be able to get the entire floor from the insurance. May want to look into a different source for the floor.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 8:16PM
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lcskaisgir

We had a leak from the water line to our refrigerator a few years ago which warped a small section of our wood floors. The insurance company (State Farm) paid to have the wood replaced where it was ruined AND to have the entire first floor refinished so that it would match.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 8:37PM
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motherof3sons

Thanks much for the responses. Refinishing the remaining floor is probably the answer.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 11:00PM
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jerzeegirl

You should ask the insurance company to pay for the whole floor. This same thing happened to friends of ours (but with the travertine in their kitchen which flowed into the living room and dining room). The agent told them to just go ahead and get the whole floor replaced since they wanted all the parts to match so they did so that all the flooring would match.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 11:16PM
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snookums2

My insurance co did same.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 12:15AM
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oldbat2be

I'd forgotten about this - sorry to hear!!! First thoughts, if you don't ask, you don't get. Have the conversation with your insurance agent.

Oh the other hand...with our renovation, we bumped out the front of the house 5 feet, and I struggled with how we were going to match the existing flooring. This turned out to be a non-issue. Our flooring guy did a great job and now it's something we proudly point out to other people vs. them pointing out to us:)

I'll see if I can track down a picture.

Edited to include:

This post was edited by oldbat2be on Fri, Feb 14, 14 at 6:53

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 6:29AM
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CEFreeman

Go big or go home.
Or whatever the saying is.

I'd ask for a new floor, since he's seen it.
If you can't get a new floor, "settle" for having the bad part replaced and the whole floor refinished to match.

Sorry that happened to you.
What about replacing the ruined insulation?
Did they check wiring?
Did you get checked/treated for termites? They looooooovvveeee wet wood...

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 9:54AM
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jerzeegirl

I'd ask for a new floor, since he's seen it.
If you can't get a new floor, "settle" for having the bad part replaced and the whole floor refinished to match.

That's a great solution.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 11:22AM
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may_flowers

Our upstairs washer overflowed and dripped down through our kitchen ceiling lights and onto a 4 foot long area of our hallway hardwoods. They were going to sand and refinish the entire hardwood area, including the powder room. We didn't have major cupping, so we just left it until the floors need refinishing (but they paid for the refinishing anyway). The upstairs is carpeted, and the water went a foot into two of the bedrooms. Their policy was to make everything look uniform, so they replaced all our carpeting.

Are you just now opening the walls? We had a restoration company in here immediately because of the potential for mold. Sheetrock and insulation was torn out wherever their moisture meter showed moisture. We endured several days of noisy fans and dehumidifiers.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 11:25AM
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motherof3sons

Thanks for all the suggestions. The damaged areas were demo'd some time ago so everything could dry out. All the insulation was pulled out and it was nasty! Carpet up and pad too. Wish the floor would go back to normal, but it is permanently damaged.

Again, thanks to everyone for comments/solutions and sharing your experiences.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 8:37PM
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