Because our winters generally bring wet conditions which can lead to water damage to carpets and floors, and because there are other factors, like burst geysers or piping that could cause this type of damage at any time, we thought it prudent to offer some advice on this. This article is the second in our series that begs the question, ‘’Are you prepared for water damage to carpets and floors?’’ If you are not sure, then read on…

There are a few important points regarding insurance protocol and we covered a lot of this in part 1, which spoke mostly about damage to carpets (see part 1) – but in essence, these are the important criteria…

Insurance protocol

Firstly, right now before any damage is done, make sure that your wood floors are insured and know to what extent. This type of damage is usually covered in your homeowner’s contract but it should be specifically the right cover for the type of flooring/s that you have and cover all water damage.

When the damage is done, always take pictures immediately and take whatever precautions you can to minimise the damage like drying, covering and avoiding walking over the area. Also, do make the claim quickly. In the case of damage to both carpets and floors, time is of the essence in preventing more extensive damage. Let’s look at a few specifics around water damage to a few of the more common types of flooring…

Hardwood floors

Removing water damage from hardwood floors is a lengthy process and in all likelihood, the floors will need to be replaced. It is essential that you immediately contact experts in water damage restoration as they can prevent more extensive repairs and advise on the insurance process.

A point to remember is that insurers will usually only cover water damage but not long-term damage like mould, so ensure that this is always treated regularly too!

Engineered Wood Floors

Because the flooring is often glued down, water damage below Engineered wood floors is different. It can cause buckling, discolouration, and delamination and the floors may need to be removed and replaced.

Because the subfloor needs to dry properly after removal, however, use only a professional installer that will ensure proper removal, drying, and reinstallation of the floors.

Laminate and Vinyl Flooring

Some people tend to think that because these floors are more hardwearing and require less maintenance that they may not need to be ensured. This is not so. Laminate flooring is definitely not waterproof and although Vinyl flooring is essentially waterproof it is still potentially susceptible to extensive water damage. You should, therefore, ensure you are covered for water damage if you have either of these types of floors.

Subfloor Water Damage

As previously mentioned the subfloor needs to dry before a replacement floor is installed, but if the water damage is extensive drying the subfloor after flooding can be problematic. If the whole subfloor needs replacing, homeowners’ insurance should cover it, but be sure to check with the contractor and the insurers to establish your insurance coverage of subfloor replacement and if it’s really necessary.

Consult the professionals 

Libra Flooring in Montague Gardens Cape Town is expert in the replacement of all water-damaged flooring and has an excellent track record with the premier insurers throughout South Africa.

Talk to us immediately if you have any water damage and we will act fast to ensure it is minimalised and advise you on the necessary steps to be taken with your insurers too. We have been serving the public, through good times and difficult ones since 1999 and because we uphold our motto of ‘A balance of quality and price’ insurers are more than happy to entrust the resolution of damage claims to us.

If you are not sure if you are prepared for water damage to carpets and floors – talk to the experts – We’re here for you.