After a quiet dinner at home, everyone helps clear the table. You clean counters, put things away and turn on the dishwasher. It’s time to relax with a favorite book or TV show.
You walk back into the kitchen a little later, and your pleasant evening is suddenly a soggy disaster. You wonder out loud, “How can water damage from the dishwasher spread so quickly?”
The last thing you want to do is spend the night mopping floors and drying out cabinets. Still, a dishwasher causes water damage that you have to take care of right away.
5 Steps for Dealing With Dishwasher Water Damage
Dealing with a flooded kitchen is never easy. Add a broken dishwasher to the scenario, and you’re facing multiple problems that need immediate solutions. We handle all types of cleaning and restoration in Chicago, Illinois homes, so we’ve put together this 5-step guide for handling water damage from the dishwasher.
1. Take a Good Look Around
Before you start cleaning up, take a good look around the room. Make sure water hasn’t affected electrical appliances or outlets. If you have any doubts about your safety, turn off power to the kitchen at your home’s breaker box.
Give the entire area a close inspection. Water damage from a leaking dishwasher soaks the floor under the unit as well as surrounding drywall.
A dishwasher leak under cabinets can wick up into areas that are impossible to reach with DIY techniques, so be prepared to call in a restoration contractor.
2. Keep Inspecting as You Clean
Don’t assume you only need to mop up standing water. For example, if you overlook water damage under the dishwasher, you risk damage to the subfloor that can spread and ruin the entire kitchen floor.
• Unplug all appliances before you start cleaning.
• If possible, pull out the dishwasher and inspect the floor beneath it for damages.
• Mop up water on the floor checking areas under appliances.
• Closely examine baseboards, drywall and lower cabinets for water damage.
• Speed up the drying process by positioning several large fans in the room to create cross-ventilation.
• For the next few weeks, periodically check all affected areas for signs of mold.
3. Know Your Insurance Coverage
When we clean up a badly flooded kitchen after a dishwasher disaster, we’re often asked, “Does homeowners insurance cover water damage from my dishwasher?” In most cases, it does, but check your policy. You don’t want to be caught off guard by any details in your coverage.
As long as the adjuster determines damage from the dishwasher was the result of mechanical or plumbing problems, you should be covered. However, if the appliance shows signs of poor maintenance, your claim could be denied.
4. When in Doubt, Call in Professionals
While you can tackle most dishwasher mishaps with mops and fans, its best to leave extensive kitchen flood cleanup to professionals. Certified technicians quickly repair water damage from a leaking dishwasher, and they also:
• Repair plumbing leaks and burst pipes.
• Address damage from a dishwasher leaking into your subfloor.
• Take care of water damage behind walls and cabinets.
• Dry or tear out and restore soaked sheetrock.
• Include mold remediation services as needed.
• Help you file your insurance claim for water damages.
5. Understand How It Can Happen
A little preventative maintenance can save your kitchen from a dishwasher leaking under the floor. It can also keep you in good standing with the insurance adjuster if you have to file a claim.
Dig out the owners manual, or download a copy from your dishwasher manufacturer’s website. Give that faithful appliance an inspection several times a year.
• Check the dishwasher tub for cracks or corrosion.
• Make sure connections, clamps and hoses are secure and in good shape.
• Replace rubber door gaskets at the first sign of wear.
• If the dishwasher becomes unlevel over time, use shims to readjust its position.
• Keep kitchen drains clog-free for maximum dishwasher performance.
Let the Pros Handle the Big Jobs
When the dishwasher floods the kitchen, it throws off everyone’s routine. You can’t get anything done until you clean up the mess and take care of repairs. It’s a big job, and we’re always here to help.
Our water damage cleanup and restoration services include plumbing leak repair, and we handle mold removal and remediation too. If you have second thoughts about doing it yourself, just give us a call here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba.