Water damage

Asked by Babuyer, San Jose, CA Tue Jan 18, 2011

My tenant said that they started to use refrigerate on 10/15/2010. We went to there on 10/17/2010 and she showed us that some of the hardwood floor discolored.
She said it's like natural color since they were there when she moved in. My husband said it might be natural color if they were there when she moved in. My husband asked her to keep monitoring the floor. On 11/30/2010, she informed us that there was water leak from the refrigerator. The hardwood floor was damaged around 100SF in the area including kitchen, hallway and family room. Till now, it's still discolored. My questions are:
Do we need to replace the hardwood floor? I worry about mold issue
Can we charge the tenant?

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Edward Mendelson’s answer
Edward Mende…, , Elmwood Park, IL
Tue Jan 18, 2011
If you are the property owner and the refrigerator was supplied by you as part of the rental, then why charge the tenant anything. It sounds like an appliance failed and now you are going to have to fix the damage it caused. Depending on how bad the damage is the floor may be able to be repaired.
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lynnnchase9, , Omaha, NE
Tue May 12, 2015
I agree that your water damage needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. Water damage is something you never just want to leave unresolved. If I were you, I would find a water damage restoration company in your area to help you figure out everything you need. They should be able to get your home back to its original form. I would try finding one as soon as you can! http://www.wetheringtonrestoration.com/insurance.html
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Arpad Racz, Agent, San Jose, CA
Tue Apr 28, 2015

I would have it inspected by a professional.

Kind regards,

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Caleb Hart, Renter, Orem, UT
Mon Apr 27, 2015
I would make some calls to a contractor who specializes in this. They have seen a lot of stuff in their line of work, and can tell when things need to be replaced. Hopefully, you can find a contractor in your area. There are a lot of things that you need to figure out before you pull the trigger though. http://www.flooddoctorva.com/home.html
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djennifer009, , Salt Lake City, UT
Fri Apr 17, 2015
You might not need to replace the hardwood floor-- it depends on how bad the damage is. Have a professional company come out and look at the water damage to determine if there's mold. The discoloration is a completely different problem. If you decide to replace for that, I think you're within your rights to charge the tenant. http://www.servicemasterlethbridge.com/disaster_restoration.html
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mattdalek47, , Columbus, OH
Mon Mar 23, 2015
You can call a water damage restoration company to look at the issue for you. You may not have to replace the floor if you get it cleaned up fast enough. Just don't put it off, otherwise the damage can spread and you won't have a choice. The company can also check for mold, since you said you were worried about that. As far as charging the tenant, that isn't as easy. On the one hand, if the fridge was in the space when they moved in, and wasn't inspected or used for a while, you are liable. On the other hand, if she noticed a problem, she should have stopped using the fridge and called someone to fix it. This is best worked out between the three of you. What you need to focus on now is finding the right restoration company.

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Gary Birtles, , Scottsdale, AZ
Tue Feb 24, 2015
I'd probably suggest doing some repairs. It is always better safe than sorry in these situations. As far as charging your tenant or not though, it depends on what is stated in the contract. I suggest looking over the contract and seeing if there is anything in there about damage caused to property as a result of negligence. Good luck. http://longislandrestorationnow.com
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Kelsey Compa…, Home Buyer, Provo, UT
Wed Jan 28, 2015
My neighbors have some water damage in their home. I don't know how it happened but I know it was pretty recent. I wonder If they have taken care of it yet. http://restorteam.com/residential-construction-restoration/r…
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Nora Moore, Home Buyer, American Fork, UT
Wed Jan 28, 2015
That's good that they tried to keep you informed. If the flooring is noticeably discolored, it would be a good idea to make sure that it's still structurally sound. I would definitely get a professional to check under the flooring for mold. You do not want to mess with those issues if you can help it. http://www.jimdavisrestoration.com/terre-haute-in-fire-and-f…
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Jackson Will…, Home Buyer, Provo, UT
Tue Jan 6, 2015
The important thing is to get the water damage repaired as quickly as possible. Mold is a concern, you also have to worry about deteriorating sturdiness of the existing floor. If you can prove that the tenant caused the water damage, then you can charge the tenant, as long as those were the agreed rules in the lease. If you cant prove that, you will have to take care of the problem yourself.
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Mark Leach, Home Buyer, Pine Bluff, AR
Wed Dec 10, 2014
Water damage can be more extensive then what is visible on the surface. I agree with Vilma, you should have a contractor come and take a look. If more water leaked than you originally thought, it can cause molding under the floors, erosion, and even foundation damage.
Mark Leach | http://www.sparkleanrestoration.ca/flood_and_fire_restoration.html
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Vilma Teodoro, , Provo, UT
Mon Dec 8, 2014
You should have a contractor look at the floor and let you know what you need to do. Much of the time, water damage means that you need to replace things in your home since there is no way to reverse it. We had a lot of water damage in the wood in our home. So, we replaced a lot of the moldy wood. It helped a lot with the smell and air quality in our home.
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Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Tue Oct 21, 2014
Natural color meaning without any stain or varnish? Is that the way the property was when it was leased?
You might have to replace the floor and it might also include the walls and the sub floor. Mold is a possibility as well. Only a good contractor can investigate and let you know what needs to be done. Homeowner insurance may cover the expense.
Please take a look online at landlord and tenant laws.
If you provided the leaky refrigerator, and the tenant informed you of the issue, you may be responsible for the damage and costs of repairs.
0 votes
How long was the leak left unattended? You might have to replace the floor, but mold shouldn't be an issue if you caught it quickly. Have a professional repair the water damage first, then worry about the cost. Waiting until there's mold will be more expensive in the long run. | http://www.fdrestoration.com/
Flag Sat Dec 20, 2014
Kara Blader, Home Owner, Salt Lake City, UT
Thu Apr 17, 2014
These types of things can become very complicated. I would say you need to check on how back the damage is before doing anything. If it's very bad and you will need to replace it then I would consider working out a deal with the tenant.
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Get-smart, , Durham, NC
Thu Mar 24, 2011
if there is a crawl space on basement in the house you can look underneath the house to check for mold. if water didn't sit on the floor for an extended period then the floors should be fine.
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Daniel Camara, , Sacramento, CA
Thu Mar 24, 2011
I'm not sure about charging the tenant, but regarding the hardwood floor, mold is a definate concern. I would call a mold tester and have them take an air sample and send it to a lab for analisys (they compare it to a sample taken outdoors). If here are elevated mold spore levels, concider calling a mold remediation company like PuroClean.
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Babuyer, Home Buyer, San Jose, CA
Tue Jan 18, 2011
Thank you for your answer. The problem is valve.

The discolored areas she showed us in the first time are far away from the fridge. And she said they were there when she moved in. It seems that she tried to mislead us. After 45 days, she informed us water leak.

There is no crown space. It's a slab foundation.
If the tenant want to make easy money from us, how to avoid it?
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Dante, , Albuquerque, NM
Tue Jan 18, 2011
Removing a water stain that old from hardwood floors is difficult but sometimes not impossible. Using denatured alcohol apply around the stained area and let it air dry.. Go to your Home Depot/Lowe's ect.. and rent a vibratiing sander(not orbital) about $70-$80 an hour. Use some 150-180 grit sandpaper (also for sale at the hardrware store) and sand the damaged surface finish it off with 220 or so grit paper. Apply a few coats of sealer every 2 hours apart up to 3 coats let dry for 24 hrs. using a sponge type applicator. next apply a poly coat again 2-3 coats every two hours apart with a new applicator. As far as Mold issues most wood floors have a crawl space and should allow enough air to pass to keep it from happening. If the refrigerator was there before your tenants moved in its pretty much up to you to keep an eye on the situation in keeping your appliances mechanically sound. Most water leaks in refrigerators are in the back side which make it hard to see.
0 votes
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