Water damage will not only affect your possessions, it can have dire consequences for your hardwood flooring as well.  If you’ve suffered a flood or a heavy flow of water you will have to find out whether your hardwood flooring can be salvaged or if it needs to be ripped out and replaced completely.  In this article, we’ll go over some of the factors that will determine if your hardwood flooring is able to survive water damage.


The longer the response time between the occurrence of the water damage and the implementation of restorative action plays a significant role in whether you’ll be able to salvage your hardwood floors.  Black mold can grow on water soaked hardwood floors within 48 hours of a flood or significant water damage. Depending on the extent of the moisture levels, the ambient temperature and the layers underneath a hardwood floor, harmful molds can present themselves quite quickly.  Implementing drying techniques within 24 hours of a flood will increase your chances of saving your floor from severe damage. The faster you can act, the better your chances of saving the floor will be.

Wood Type

The type of wood your floor is composed of will make a difference as to whether it’s salvageable in the event of a flood or other serious water damage.  Although wood flooring isn’t ideal in humid or wet conditions, engineered wood typically has a better chance of surviving water damage than solid hardwood planks.  This is due to engineered wood floors having a base composed of compressed plywood which are more resistant to short exposures to dampness and humidity. Solid hardwoods have a tendency to absorb water more quickly which increases the chances of warping or cupping.  Solid hardwood floors that are finished on site may have an advantage when it comes to wet conditions due to the sealant which may prevent water from getting into the seams. Solid hardwood floors that are finished in the factory typically lack the overall protective seal found in on site finished floors and therefore tend to allow water to seep into the seams causing greater damage.