Did You Know Your Dishwasher Is One of the Biggest Culprits of Water Damage?
How to Avoid a Water Damage Disaster with Your Dishwasher
While we often associate water damage with floods or storms, home appliances can also be the cause of serious water issues in your home. One of the biggest culprits is your dishwasher.
Dishwashers are one of the most used appliances in any household. However, after so much use, normal wear and tear can start to wear it down, which can lead to a variety of plumbing issues. Worn pipes, internal corrosion and age can be just a few of the causes of a leaky dishwasher. So, how do you stop it from turning on you and flooding your home?
One thing to keep in mind is that even if you experience a small leak from your dishwasher, it could be caused by larger problems. In most cases it won’t be something that you can clean up with a few paper towels; the problem may be more serious and can even cause major water damage in your home.
Here are just a few ways that your dishwasher can cause problems:
Check your Dishwasher Door
If your dishwasher has a few years on it, you‘ll want to check the condition of its door. Check for any leaks or defects; and especially make sure that it properly closes. In some cases the door might need to be replaced, as it’s not creating a tight seal to prevent water from getting out. If your door is loose, then try tightening any screws or bolts on your own. If the problem persists and you experience any leaks or floods, then you’ll need to contact a professional.
Gaskets are the silicone or rubber seals found inside the dishwasher door or the tub, that help create a watertight seal while the dishwasher runs. However, many uses over the years can cause the gaskets to loosen, crack, or simply deteriorate, which can cause leaks while running. Always check your gaskets to make sure that they’re in good shape. If not, then you should have them repaired or replaced.
Most dishwashers have connection hoses: one brings in clean water, while the other releases dirty water. Over time, these hoses can loosen or become disconnected. You should always check these connections to make sure that no leaking is taking place. If the hoses break, then you’ll have water all over the floor. If this happens, shut off your main water valve and call a water removal specialist.
The main center of your dishwasher is often called the tub. This is where your dishes are stacked and it features the spray arm that washes everything. Unfortunately, while your dishes wind up clean, there’s often residue, such as assorted minerals and left over detergent that can play a part in corroding the tub. Any type of corrosion can cause major problems, so it’s best to check this regularly.
The Proper Detergent
You should always use detergent specifically designed for dishwashers. Regular dishwashing soap will quickly foam, causing bubbles to leak through the dishwasher’s gaskets and door, creating a major mess. Another tip: if you soak your dishes in regular dish soap before you put them in the dishwasher, rinse them off beforehand, to remove any traces of the regular soap.
Issues With the Drain
As your dishwasher works to remove dirt and grime, it also collects those aforementioned particles in the drain. Chunks of food, minerals and other items can get stuck in your dishwasher’s drain, preventing the wastewater from flowing through, and can potentially cause flooding or any other type of water damage. Make sure the drain is cleaned regularly to prevent any type of blockage.
Read Your Manual
Of course with every new appliance that uses water, it’s important to read your manual so that you know how it fully operates and how to prevent any unforeseen problems.
- Performing regular maintenance will not only help keep your dishwasher in top working condition.
- Check your supply line and drain hoses to ensure that they’re in good working shape.
- Never overload your dishwasher; too many dishes and glasses can make the dishwasher work harder and can strain the machine causing leaks, flooding, and potential mold issues.
- Always run your dishwasher when you’re at home, so you can turn off the water should there be a leak and help stop the flow of water from getting all over your floors.
When Your Dishwasher Springs a Leak
Even if you take care of your dishwasher, you may come across a leak at some point. Here are a few things you can do should you find yourself in that situation:
1. Turn Off The Water
If there’s any kind of leak coming from your dishwasher, turn off the water in your house. This will stop the water and help you identify where the leak may be coming from.
2. Turn Off Your Electricity
You may run the risk of having water get into your outlets, which can short out your electricity and possibly cause electrocution. If this happens, shut off your electricity immediately and call a professional for assistance.
3. Water Cleanup
If you’ve managed to shut off your water and electricity, you can try to clean up as much water as possible. This should be taken care of right away instead of letting it sit. Mold and water damage can occur if pools of water are left and neglected. If the water volume is extreme, clean up as much as you can, but if you have water damage, you should reach out to a water damage and mold removal and remediation specialist like SERVPRO who can help extract the water and help stop possible mold and damage to your home.
4. Clean Up the Immediate Area
If you have flooding from your dishwasher, then there’s a likelihood that the water has gotten into your kitchen cabinets and other places. Check your cabinets for any signs of water; if the water has made contact with any food, then it should be discarded. Canned foods are usually okay in this type of situation, but other perishable items should go. Clean any pots, pans, glass and metal items that may have come in contact with the water. If you have any furniture or other appliances in the immediate area, it’s best to remove them to prevent them from getting waterlogged.
You can use towels and rags to clean up the remaining water, but in some cases you may need to use a wet-dry vac to remove water that’s in hard to reach places. Check if your walls and floors are wet: vacuuming can help remove some, but not all, water that has made contact with porous materials such as drywall, carpeting and some types of wood.
5. Airing out the Kitchen
While you may have picked up all the water and run a wet/dry vac, that doesn’t mean that you’re out of the woods. The next step is air-drying the kitchen. Open your windows for better circulation and run fans and dehumidifiers to help get rid of any excess moisture. It’s also during this time that you have to assess how much damage has actually taken place. If your walls aren’t completely dry, you may to have them removed and replaced to prevent mold. The same goes for cabinets and floorboards, if they’ve been too seeped with water; if you come across any part of your house that looks okay, but you’re not sure if it is, then reach out to a water damage removal and restoration specialist who can assess the situation.
6. The Status of the Dishwasher
Once the water damage has been addressed, you’ll have to inspect your dishwasher and investigate the cause of the problem. Things such as a clogged drain, a leaky door and a worn hose can usually be repaired. If the damage is more extreme, such as corrosion or a damaged tub, then you may have to get a new dishwasher entirely.
How and When an Austin Water Damage Professional Can Help
There’s no question that having a dishwasher is a convenience. It makes cleaning plates, glasses, and utensils ten times easier than doing it by hand, and it also saves water by doing so. But, over time, dishwashers break down and cause leaks that can create massive problems, which you may or may not be able to tackle on your own.
If your dishwasher springs a leak, and the damage is severe, give SERVPRO of East Central Austin a call.
We’ll thoroughly examine the extent of your water damage and work diligently to restore your Austin TX home after it has occurred. Our SERVPRO team consists of trained & certified professionals in water damage restoration, mold removal and mold remediation Austin. If your dishwasher has caused major flooding we’ll properly restore your home by using state of the art extraction equipment and scientific drying principles to ensure a smooth water restoration process.