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Laundry tub overflow flood damage

Laundry Tub Overflow Flood Damage

Laundry tub overflow flood damage


Laundry Tub Overflow and Flood Damage Prevention

It was in 1782 when the first recognized washing machine was first introduced using a crank to assist in cleaning. Since then incremental improvements and electricity have gotten us where we are presently. The amount of water used by washing machines is actually more than any appliance in a home. Enough to cause laundry tub overflow flood damage when malfunctions happen. 

The Multiple Uses of a Laundry Room Tub

Today there are options to a laundry tub such as a system that allows all water hookups and drain assembly to be installed in a wall. These options are usually in homes where there is a first floor laundry and the placement of a laundry tub was deemed redundant. Laundry tubs are used for much more than just draining the water from a washer, as they can be used for many purposes. These purposes while adding benefits are the very reasons that laundry tub overflow flood damage can occur. Laundry rooms along with kitchens and baths that also have plumbing, are responsible for many residential water damage scenarios.

Tips on Preventing Laundry Tub Overflow Flood Damage

Always Have Someone Present When Doing Laundry

Even the fire department recommends doing laundry only when someone is present, in case of fire. Bearings can overheat from friction and other components can malfunction leading to a laundry room fire. The same is true for preventing water damage that can come from a laundry tub overflow.

If someone is home, the sound of water splashing over the tub and hitting the floor can bring an emanate flood catastrophe to a halt. If the sound doesn’t catch  the attention of an occupant the water migrating from the laundry room may show up in a hall or adjoining room and alert someone to act accordingly.

Annually Inspect the Washer Drain Line

Inspecting the drain hose for defects, tears, small holes and blisters can identify a potential problem before it manifest itself in the form of laundry tub overflow flood damage. These drains are made of rubber or plastic and susceptible to damage and defect. New one’s can be purchased affordably and are easy to change out with minimal effort.

Make Sure the Drain is Fastened Securely to the Tub

Washing machines create a lot of vibration that only increase during the drain cycle. This trembling affect along with water flow pressure can over time compromise the security of the drains attachment to the tub. There are multiple options to firmly attaching the washing machines drain hose to the laundry tub. Below are just a few options, easily purchased at a local hardware store.

  • Radiator clamp
  • Zip-tie
  • Plastic assembly hanger
  • Wire
  • Duct tape
  • Screws and anchors

By making sure the drain is securely fastened to the laundry tub you are eliminating the potential for laundry tub overflow flood damage. The old adage that, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” applies here.

Routinely Check the Attachment of the Laundry Tubs Legs

The laundry tub legs are not secured with screws or any hardware, only a small slot that they are press-fitted into. If one or more legs becomes compromised from a blunt force you may have the entire tub capsize and spill water throughout your basement or main floor. There are multiple reasons a leg may become jolted out of place and make a water damage disaster likely. If you have children playing near the laundry tub any energetic direct contact can be all it takes. If the tub looks crooked or something no longer looks level, grab each leg one at a time and with upward pressure lift the leg into place if it has become jostled out.  

Make Sure the Tub is Empty

Believe it or not there are insurance claims made each year from preventable laundry tub overflow flood damage. All it takes is a quick glance in the tub making sure nothing is crowding the drain. Anytime a drains function is threatened by an obstruction, there is a likelihood of reduced water flow or complete blockage. Common items that are known to be responsible for laundry tub overflow flood damage are listed below.

  • Wet clothing, socks etc.
  • Empty laundry bottles
  • Lint and other debris
  • Dust pans
  • Paper products
  • Acoustic ceiling tiles
  • Insulation

This short list identifies items that are easily discovered with the naked eye if one makes it a habit to observe for tub crowding.

Install a Water Alarm Beneath Laundry Tub

When water from a laundry tub splashes to the floor beneath, having a water alarm will identify the problem immediately with a loud alarm sound. Even if the tub doesn’t have a catastrophic spill, any small leak is sufficient to set off the alarm. Inform all in the home that should the alarm go off to immediately shut off the washing machine and make the necessary repair before turning it back on. The reason should be self evident, but going through this check-list should identify the problem.

Keep a Sufficient Space Between the Washer and Laundry Tub

The drain hose from a washing machine comes out from the back and is secured over the tubs top edge. Making sure there is enough space between the two will keep the drain from being kicked or pinched, allowing the discharge water to freely flow at the optimal flow. Making sure the legs of the washing machine are utilized to correctly level the appliance will keep it from violently vibrating from a secured position. Also making sure you place the clothes in spaced out correctly will also help reduce vibration.

Place a Tub Drain Filter over the Tubs Drain

These useful filters will keep larger obstructions, dirt, lint, wet debris and more from collecting in the tubs p-trap assembly beneath the drain. Over time these become clogged with unmitigated obstructions that will reduce the flow of discharged water or completely clog the drain. Either way a laundry tub overflow will occur because water will fill the tub quicker than can be drained. 

Place a Nylon Filter Over the Discharge Drain

No need to acquire a specialty nylon filter if you have a pair of woman’s nylons available. By placing one over the end of the discharge line, debris, lint, small collectables will be removed before coming into contact with the laundry tub drain. This do-it-yourself technique takes little time but the return of investment can be incalculable, especially if it prevents laundry tub overflow flood damage.

Purchase an Electronic Laundry Tub Overflow Protector

This overflow protector is a newer device that has a sensor that once detects water will turn off power to the washing machine.  The product is designed to prevent your laundry tub from overflowing due to a plugged or slow drain. The installation is simple requiring a strap and the same electrical outlet presently used for the washing machine. If for any reason the water rises in the tub from slow or no drain assistance the water will eventually get to the device which immediately shuts the power off to the washing machine. The system also has a loud alarm that will notify you of the problem to figure out. 

Typically the issues that cause laundry tub overflow flood damage are conspicuous to the naked eye. If however, you don’t readily discern the cause for an overflow, our list could  help you uncover the cause.

What to do if you Have a Laundry Tub Overflow?

This is when the worst case scenario happens. Water is all around your washing machine, the floor has pooling water and the environment is wet everywhere. Or worse! You have a first floor laundry and the laundry tub overflow has affected multiple rooms. Water has migrated into drywall, cabinets, flooring and ultimately deluged down to the basement beneath. Not only do you have flood water damage on one level of the home but the basement has flooded too. Basements may need structural drying to restore wet paneling, dry wall and other materials if a lot of water has spilled from the laundry tub.

Here is what we suggest in the order specified.

TURN THE POWER OFF TO THE LAUNDRY ROOM: This is done by going directly to the power circuit box and shutting the breaker off. Water and electricity are a hazardous mixture and precaution must be taken to prevent electrocution. Contacting an electrician after flood damage is recommended if water has reached the circuit box. Water coming into direct contact with the main system is highly dangerous. The electricity will need to be shut down from the outside electrical meter, by an experienced electrician.

REMOVE THE WATER WITH SHOP-VAC, MOP OR TOWELS: Water is a slipping hazard and no corrections to what ails the laundry room should be addressed before making sure water is off the floor. 

REMOVE WET RUGS, TOWELS AND MISCELANEOUS: After water splashes down in a laundry tub overflow many items can become affected. Absorbent items will continue to reintroduce water making the floor wet oince again. Removing and/or disposing of these small items helps secure the environment for the necessary repairs and flood cleanup.

GO THROUGH OUR PREVENTION TIPS ABOVE TO DETERMINE THE CAUSE: Often the cause is obvious with a cursory look at the laundry tub. If that doesn’t reveal the cause our list can be instrumental in enlightening you of the causes. If the reason for the laundry tub overflow flood damage is a DIY fix then once you’ve completed the repair, go over our list to make sure nothing is overlooked. 

If for any reason you have laundry room water damage and need water damage restoration professionals to evaluate the damages, than give Action Extraction a call. We offer free damage inspections and have earned the highest ratings available for customer satisfaction in all Southeast Michigan on multiple social media platforms. We are available for water removal, sanitizing, restoration and structural drying. All our technicians are IICRC certified and all services come with a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. 

Laundry tub overflow flood damage can be serious effecting structures as well as electrical switches and components. Be careful not to get in over your head when we offer free inspections and affordable property restoration. Call today and speak LIVE with the owner, who can answer questions or dispatch a team of experts to your home or business.

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