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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Dishwasher Leaking

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

For some people, dishwasher leaks start as a slow drip that may not be immediately noticed. Others discover dishwasher leaks as soap suds bubble their way across the kitchen floor.

Dishwasher leaks and floor damage repair often go hand in hand. Stopping leaks before they cause damage is ideal, but depending on the situation, is not always possible.

Dishwasher Leaks and Floor Damage Repair

My dishwasher is leaking! What do I do now?

Time is critical when it comes to a water leak of any type. The faster you respond and take action to stop water from spilling onto your kitchen floor, the less damage that will be done – and that means less costly repairs!

What to do When Your Dishwasher Leaks

  1. If your dishwasher is leaking a significant amount of water, first turn off the dish washing cycle. For small leaks, it may be possible to capture the water with a towel or bowl and let the cycle finish first, but this is generally not recommended.
  2. Try to keep water from pooling on the floor. It’s easy for water to travel downwards and cause damage to your home’s structure out of sight. Use bowls, plates, and towels to capture and control the water flow.
  3. Clean up as much water as you can to minimize damage. If your water damage is severe, call Tidal Wave Response to assess the damage and begin the cleanup and restoration process.
  4. Determine the cause of the leak. Every leak has its own particular cause, and your course of action may take a bit of detective work. There are many possible causes of dishwasher leaks, and not all of them require a technician to repair. Depending on the cause of the leak, you may have to adjust the door, replace the gasket (seal) on the dishwasher, or even replace the dishwasher altogether.
  5. Repair your dishwasher leak before it ruins your kitchen floor. Some flooring is more susceptible to water damage than others, such as wood or bamboo. However, leaks need to be addressed for even the most water-resistant flooring, as water travels downwards and can damage substrate, ceilings, and lead to mold and mildew problems.

Common Causes of Dishwasher Leaks

Some dishwasher leaks can be repaired by your home handyman. Others may need to be repaired by a professional technician. The cause and severity of the leak will determine whether you need professional repairs.

  • Dishwasher installed unevenly: A dishwasher that is not level will leak water onto the floor instead of draining properly. Leveling the dishwasher usually solves this problem.
  • Loose connections (AKA clamps): One of the easiest problems to fix, loose connections or clamps usually require a tightening. In other cases, you may need to replace a clamp that is too large or faulty.
  • Wrong dish washing soap: While it might seem like soap is just soap, this is not the case with dishwashers. Dish washing soap is specifically formulated for your dishwasher’s cycle. Hand dish washing soap will cause excessive suds, which then leak onto your kitchen floor!
  • Faulty door: One of the most common causes of dishwasher leaks, faulty doors may be installed improperly so that they are too loose and do not create a proper seal, or misaligned and allow water out during the wash cycle.
  • Worn gasket: The gasket, or door seal, is critical in keeping water inside your dishwasher! It’s common for gaskets to simply wear out in older dishwashers, and a replacement gasket is an effective solution.
  • Defective Tub: The bowl-like bottom area of your dishwasher is called the ‘tub’, which gathers both water and food particles. In some cases, the tub is defective, allowing water out or not draining properly.

Floor Damage Repair

The type of repairs for your floor will depend on the severity and location of the damage. Some of the most common types of floor damage repairs include:

  • Wood floors can warp and buckle if not properly dried, which may lead to replacing not just the wood panels, but the substrate below as well.
  • While stone and tile can look nearly indestructible, water damage can stain, discolor, and damage these types of flooring. Water damage on these types of surfaces often do not appear immediately, but show up months after the initial damage.
  • Linoleum and other synthetic flooring may require being pulled up and replaced, especially if the substrate below becomes damaged.
  • Water damage which seeps into the ceiling of the floor below may lead to the need for ceiling repairs and replacement, including the insulation and wiring between floors.

If your dishwasher has leaked a significant amount of water into your home – especially if it’s bled into a downstairs ceiling – then call SERVPRO of Matteson Homewood at (708) 747-9925. We are experienced in assessing, cleaning, and repairing all types of water damage in the home.

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