My Washing Machine Flooded the House! What Should I Do?

By: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Updated on: February 3, 2021

Just ask anyone who’s had to live the coin-op laundry life, having a washing machine in your home is wonderful — that is, until it breaks.

If your washing machine flooded, it’s not just inconvenient but it can cause extensive water damage, too. Fortunately, there are things you can do to stop your washing machine from flooding and help prevent lasting water damage.

In the midst of washing machine overflow, be sure to follow these steps to stop the flooding and fix the water damage.

How to Clean Up Washing Machine Water Damage

1. Stop the Water

First things first, turn off the water. You’ll want to stop the flooding at its source, which is the washing machine’s water supply. Once you ensure the water is turned off, unplug your washing machine.

If there is standing water around the electrical plug, you may want to take an extra precautionary step and turn off the power before unplugging your washer to prevent electrical shock. 

2. Clean Up What You Can

Next, you’ll want to clean up as much water as you can. Depending on how much your washer flooded this may take a lot of towels, but it is very important in ensuring you don’t have lasting washing machine water damage. For a large amount of water, using a wet vacuum and large fans for drying will be most effective.

professional drying equipment
Professional water damage restoration technicians use commercial grade equipment to tackle water damage caused by faulty washers.

If you are able to clean up the majority of the flood but notice there are still soaked areas that just won’t seem to dry, you’ll want to call a professional service like ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba. These types of professional services have the tools needed to properly dry water-soaked areas and prevent lasting washing machine water damage that will necessitate mold remediation.

3. Empty the Machine

Once you’ve cleaned up the majority of the water from the overflow, you’ll want to remove any items from your washer, along with any leftover water that is still in your machine. This will give a you or a repairman the ability to analyze your machine and determine the cause of the washing machine overflow.

4. Call in the Experts

Depending on how washing machine-savvy you are, you may be able to determine the cause of the overflow yourself—maybe you notice a faulty hose, like we discussed earlier. But if you aren’t able to determine why your washing machine flooded, you’ll want to get someone in there who can.

5. Fix Any Water Damage

Effects of water damage after a washing machine flood may include damage to surrounding areas, such as your floors, walls, or other close-by machines. And while visual damages might be the most noticeable, you’ll want to pay attention to smell as well. A “wet-dog” type of smell is normal at first and can usually be remedied by opening nearby windows to air-out the area.

However, if the smell lingers for more than three days, that’s an indication there is still water somewhere. Even after thoroughly drying the impacted area, water may be hiding in your floors or in the sheetrock in your walls, which can indicate mold. Call in a mold remediation professional to inspect your property for hidden moisture.

What Causes Washing Machines to Flood?

If you’re dealing with a current washing machine overflow—or are hoping to prevent a future one—you’re probably wondering, what causes a washing machine to flood?

While there are many probable causes for a washing machine flood, here’s some of the most common:

overflowing washer
Always use the recommended amount of laundry soap to prevent washer overflow.
  • Too much laundry soap. When it comes to how much soap you use, be sure to not exceed the recommended amount. Using too much soap can cause build up and clog your washing machine leading to overflow.
  • Too many clothes. If you overload your washer with too many clothes, you may notice your washing machine becoming unbalanced—and making awful noises, like a spaceship getting ready to take off. This is an indication that your washer is out of alignment which can lead to a flood.
  • Too weak or old of a hose—or other faulty washing machine parts. Washing machines rely on hoses to transport water to and from the washing machine. If one of the hoses becomes weak, faulty, or develops a crack, say hello to a flood. You’ll want to ensure your hoses are in good shape and properly connected so no water can leak out. It’s also important to check the washing machine draining mechanisms, as well as the door latches and seals. Making sure everything is in tip-top shape and proper working order will help keep your washer from flooding.  

Just as there are many causes for washing machine overflow, there are also many ways prevent water from leaking from your washing machine to help you avoid a flood.

Will My Washing Machine Work After a Flood?

Every washing machine is different, and some may still work after a flood. While there’s a chance you simply put too many clothes in at one time or need to give your washing machine some TLC and clean out the drains a bit, it’s important to find the reason for the washing machine overflow, so it doesn’t happen again.

There may be repairs that need done or it may be time for a new washer all together. However, the most important thing to do after your washer flooded, is to take the necessary steps to clean up the mess and prevent any lasting water damage.

Dealing with Flood Damage due to a Faulty Washer? We Can Help!

The best way to ensure you don’t have lasting water damage after a washing machine overflow is to thoroughly clean and dry the impacted area.

If your house flooded due to a faulty washer, we are available to help. We have helped thousands of Chicago property owners recover from home water damage—and we can do the same for you.  

When your washing machine decides to soak the floor instead of wash your clothes, call 773-647-1985.