What to do if Your Dishwasher Floods your home.

Kitchens can experience water damage from various sources as there exist multiple water using options for unwanted water to appear. There is the plumbing fixture to the sink, the water supply line to the refrigerator and a dishwasher. Most flood damage in the home is from plumbing related systems that fail or malfunction. The dishwasher is no exception as they too can become faulty and deluge water forcing frenzied homeowners to type into a search engine, “my dishwasher flooded the kitchen”. The hope is they will find a qualified restoration contractor to clean the mess.

Having a dishwasher flood the kitchen is an alarming thing as materials such as flooring; walls, cabinets and even the basement beneath can be at risk. Water on a hard wood floor can permanently ruin it in as little as several hours. Water that absorbs into dry wall and wood cabinetry likewise can permanently destroy materials and even produce mold over time. To make matters worse is to have a dishwasher flood the kitchen while you are away for hours. Coming home to a water damaged kitchen is a nightmare one would eagerly want to avoid.

Cost for restoration when a dishwasher floods a kitchen.

If you are a homeowner or rent a home there is considerable cost to clean up if you have a dishwasher flooded the kitchen. If the amount of spillage from the dishwasher is small only affecting several square foot of flooring the cost may be minimal. However, if the water spreads throughout the kitchen getting to walls, cabinetry, electrical and ultimately deluging to a basement, cost for repairs can be exorbitant.

Action Extraction restoration professionals recommend to only run the dishwasher when you are home so if there is a watery malfunction, someone is there to find it quickly. The ability to immediately shut the dishwasher off at the first signs of trouble cannot be overstated.  Turning it on while departing the home for the day could potentially have you coming home to a water damage nightmare that will keep you up all night. The advice to only run the dishwasher when you are home is not one many take heed to as many have shared the tail of the day when their dishwasher flooded the kitchen.

Why do dishwashers leak or flood?

There are several reasons a dishwasher that has proven itself faithful for many years, may unexpectedly one day flood the kitchen. 1) First of all the water supply line is always under pressure allowing water to freely flow when the dishwasher demands water for the cleaning cycle. Many of these lines are made of vinyl, a material that is not the best for plumbing, yet still commonly used. If it cracks, breaks or gets a hole in it water will freely flow all over the floor.

2) Another way a dishwasher may malfunction and flood the kitchen is when the electrical components that shut the water off at a certain point still allow water to run. This too will end up flooding the kitchen until it is caught and the water turned off.

3) The dishwasher also has a gasket or rubber seal around the opening that keeps water from dripping onto the floor when in use. Over time they can distort and acquire small tears allowing them to fail at keeping water from dripping out when in use. They may also get food and debris buildup on the seal allowing the seal to fail and water leak out of the bottom of the unit when in use.

4) Dishwashers have a hose that allow the discharge water to be channeled to the garbage disposal during the discharge cycle. Sometimes they can get a pinhole leak or be lose requiring tightening. If the hose is faulty or lose it will leak and potentially flood the kitchen.

Preventing dishwasher from leaking / flooding

There are several recommended things you can easily do to provide needed maintenance reducing the risk of dishwasher flooding the kitchen. One maintenance tip is to clean the dishwasher seal regularly to keep it from food and debris buildup. Another tip is to change the water supply line to a steel braided one that is much more durable and last many years and is less likely to break or kink. Ignoring any of these tips for regular maintenance will greatly increase the chances of the dishwasher flooding the kitchen.

A clogged drain can also cause a dishwasher to flood the kitchen. Over time the drain can become clogged by food or mineral deposit buildup too. Drains should be inspected every 3 months and any food or buildup cleaned out to prevent a dishwasher leaking on the kitchen floor.

Another less likely problem that can cause the dishwasher to flood the kitchen is when the float bulb malfunctions and does not stop the water from overfilling the dishwasher. Similar to the float on a toilet that is necessary to prevent the toilet from running over, so too is the float on the dishwasher required to stop it from overflowing. The float may wear out, burn out or food deposits can prevent it from functioning correctly. In any case when they fail to engage properly the dishwasher will flood the kitchen.

Remember too that making it a habit to use the dishwasher only when someone is home to catch any problem, can prevent a water damage nightmare in your kitchen.

How to clean up after a dishwasher floods the kitchen

If your unit floods and your kitchen becomes soaked, try not to panic. Instead, try these steps.

1. Turn off the Water and Electricity

The first step to clean up the mess after a dishwasher floods the kitchen is to turn off the water and electricity. Shutting the water off will stop the dishwasher from continuing to leak or overflow. Shutting off your electricity will prevent electrocution, especially if the water has come into contact with any electrical systems.

2. Vacuum up as Much Water as Possible

If you have standing water be careful not to slip and fall injuring yourself. If you have a shop-vac vacuum up as much water as possible. If the amount is not too great you may be able to use a mop or several towels to remove the water. If the dishwasher continues to leak after shutting the water off be sure to keep it from spreading and affecting other areas or cabinets.

3. Dry Your Flooded Kitchen

In cases where the water has not totally flooded the kitchen you may be able to use a fan to dry the flooring. However, if it is hardwood and you notice damage, contact a water restoration company as soon as possible as they possess specialty floor drying equipment. If your flooding has migrated to other rooms or deluged to the basement below, you will definitely need a professional restoration company.

4. Disinfect and Deodorize Your Kitchen

Anytime water intrudes onto your floors you should follow up with disinfecting the floor surface. Disinfecting your kitchen will help to prevent mold and bacteria spread. Mixing one cup of household bleach in a gallon of water and wiping down all affected surfaces will sanitize the environment. If you are not fond of bleach there are many disinfectants that can be purchased at the local hardware store that will work.

5. Repair or Replace Your Dishwasher

In some case you can have the dishwasher repaired by a dependable appliance repair service company. In other cases replacing the dishwasher is the better option. If the reason was simply a clogged drain or a dirty seal you may be able to try the DIY method.

When dishwasher Malfunctions require professional restoration

When water completely floods a kitchen affecting dry wall, base moldings, cabinets and even the basement beneath, you need a professional restoration company. Materials such as comprise a kitchen such as dry wall and wood act as a food source for mold and need to be quickly dried if mold and germ spread are to be avoided. Additionally flooring will need to be professionally evaluated with moisture detection instruments to locate and dry hidden moisture. In many case the water damage is on a scale where cabinets, walls and flooring will need to be replaced.

Does insurance cover the cost when dishwashers flood the kitchen?

Most homeowner insurance policies cover damage caused by a leaking dishwasher if it was a sudden malfunction. Typically any appliance that uses water that damages your property will allow for insurance coverage for the restoration and repairs. While they do not actually pay for the repair of the appliance, they will cover the service for the resulting damages to be restored.

When dishwashers flood a kitchen it is important to take pictures and document the damages for your insurance carrier. With a severe kitchen flood, call a water cleanup specialist first and then follow up with your insurance agent. They will be able to determine the scope of damage and craft the appropriate protocol for restoration and cleanup.

Call The Professionals at Action Extraction when a Dishwasher Floods the Kitchen

If you have a dishwasher that has leaked, overflowed or flooded your kitchen consider the professionals at Action Extraction immediately to evaluate the damages.

We offer a free inspection of the damages and will assist with your insurance claim. Call today at (586) 949-4448. We offer 24/7 emergency service and will provide free estimates for all our water damage restoration services.