With such large quantities of water surging through your kitchen every day, this is one area of your house that is at the most risk for water damage. Burst pipes, malfunctioning machines, and broken water supply lines can all create serious issues for your entire home if you don’t respond quickly.
Let’s discuss the most common causes of water damage so that you know exactly what might be causing your soggy kitchen and call TN Flood Kings fast when damage does occur.
The Most Common Causes of Water Damage in the Kitchen
Every water source in your kitchen has the potential to cause water damage: a clogged drain or faulty water lines can spell big trouble.
A little dribble isn’t a big deal when cleaned up right away, but accidentally leaving the kitchen sink running can lead to enormous quantities of water flooding the floor, causing water damage.
Burst or Leaky Pipes
The most serious issue with water lines is a burst pipe, which will flood your home in no time at all. This often happens due to gasket failure, which is when the connections between two pipes wear away or are damaged. The explosive power of a broken pipe will cause a major leak to flow through your walls and into the floor, which encourages mold development.
However, don’t discount the dangers of a leaky pipe. Even if it’s not a massive leak, a slow drip can cause severe damage over time; worse, your insurance company will likely not cover the water damage caused by a long-term leak, as they expect you to inspect your pipes regularly and address these issues.
If you notice your water billing going up or a moldy smell in your kitchen, call TN Flood Kings for a free estimate! We’ll make sure that any applicable damage is covered by insurance and guide you every step of the way.
Broken Kitchen Appliances
Washing machines, dishwashers, and even refrigerators with a water cooler can all leak if their water lines are damaged. These leaks may be obvious and dramatic, leading to huge amounts of excess water pouring through the room, or they may be insidious and slow.
If the drinks in your kitchen sink or garbage disposal are clogged with food or debris, they can back up and lead to serious flooding. If the clog has been there for a while, it might lead to gasket failure as the water tries to force its way through the debris.
With the garbage disposal, this often happens if you frequently put large quantities of very small materials down it, like scraping a bowl of rice down the drain. Leave your garbage disposal for minor amounts of materials, like carrot tops or the ends of celery – or, better yet, compost them instead!
More Uncommon Causes of Water Damage in the Kitchen
Just like the rest of your home, unexpected events that originate from outside of the pipes or appliances can also have a major effect.
In a commercial kitchen, the sprinkler system is supposed to help prevent major structural damage, but if the flooded area isn’t quickly dried and remediated, you risk major water damage that can lead to serious loss of income.
With residential properties, water damage related to fires usually is due to the large quantities of water that are pumped in to stop the fire. While this protects your home from total loss, it can lead to water damage if not fixed right away.
When your gutters are clogged, they allow water to drip into the walls of your home, which can lead to mold development and even problems with your home’s foundation.
Heavy rainfall can overload your home’s drainage systems and allow water to pour through the structure This doesn’t just contaminate all your food and require extensive remediation, but it can also encourage mold growth.
Hurricanes allow enormous amounts of water to pour through the whole building, while tornadoes can damage utilities and cause pipe failures throughout the area. TN Flood Kings has helped thousands of Tennesseans with flood damage and has the knowledge to rectify the issue safely.
Dangers of Kitchen Water Damage
A leak isn’t just annoying: it can spell big problems for your home and family. Some of the most serious consequences of kitchen water damage include mold, electrical fires, flooring problems, and even foundation damage.
Mold loves moisture, and it can imperil human health with respiratory infections and asthma. If you notice mold damage, you need to have experienced technicians handle the issue.
Wet electrical cables have the potential to spark, causing electrical fires. While all fires are dangerous, those caused by electricity are particularly deadly: in 2021, over 20,000 people died in the US due to electrical fires.
Wiring and cables affected by water damage generally need to be thrown away and replaced by a professional electrician. TN Flood Kings works with certified electricians to handle all wiring issues.
Cracked tiles, warped laminate, or swollen and buckling hardwood floors are all signs that you have flooring damage. Worse, the moisture can precipitate down to the subfloor, necessitating extensive repairs.
If you have a long-term leak, this can go all the way down to the foundation and lead to destabilization of the whole structure. This is part of the reason why it’s so important to get a licensed plumber in to resolve any leaks as soon as possible, then clean up the damage and prevent it from happening again.
Signs of Water Damage to Look For
While some signs of water damage are very obvious, such as surging water from a clogged sink, other symptoms can be more subtle. You should make it a habit to investigate for water damage every time you clean your kitchen so that you can call TN Flood Kings for help as soon as possible.
Drips and Puddles
Check under your appliances. Do you see a light sheen of water? Can you hear a troublesome drip even when the faucet is off? This tells you that something’s leaking.
Wet Walls or Floors
Look at and touch every surface. Does the wall or floor feel moist even when you haven’t been cleaning or mopping lately? This can indicate several different type of water damage: on the floor, it could mean that an appliance or water line is leaking. On the wall, it likely means there’s a leak either inside the wall or trickling down from the ceiling.
Does your kitchen suddenly smell like a mildewy old barn? This tells you that you’ve got mold brewing, and that means only one thing: water damage. Mold loves moisture, and it will quickly colonize any area with high humidity.
Sagging Walls and Ceilings
This is a sign of severe water damage and tells you that you need to call a water damage restoration company as soon as possible, as it indicates structural damage.
No matter the cause of the water damage, TN Flood Kings will stop the leak and prevent extensive damage before it can occur. When your sink backs up or a pipe leaks, call us right away for fast and friendly service!
Our experienced technicians can help restore your home to its pre-loss condition quickly and safely. We’re IICRC-certified and use the most advanced equipment to identify and address leaks, prevent mold, and repair water damage.
We’re available 24/7 and offer free estimates so you know what you’re getting into before you sign anything; we also bill directly to your insurance for covered damage.
Clean Water Versus Gray Water
Before we get into how to fix your water damage problems, let’s discuss the kinds of water you might encounter in your kitchen.
There are two categories of water most often found here: Category 1 water (clean water) and Category 2 water (gray water).
Clean water comes from the supply lines: it has been treated to remove contaminants and is generally safe to work on without major precautions. A leak from a pipe or an overflowing sink poses little danger to your health.
Gray water is water that might be contaminated with detergents or biological material, and it can pose a risk to your health. In the kitchen, common sources for Category 2 water are leaks from washing machines and dishwashers.
When determining whether it’s safe to deal with the water on your own, consider the source of the leak. If it’s from your dishwasher or washing machine, it’s best to call a water damage restoration company like TN Flood Kings for help. You can contact us 24/7; we’ll come quickly and assess the damage, offer you an estimate, and work with your insurance agency so you don’t have to worry about the claims process.
What To Do if You Discover a Leak
Disconnect Power to the Affected Area
Before you do anything else, flip the circuit breaker at the main switch and shut off power to the whole kitchen. Electricity and water is a deadly combination, and even a thin film of standing water can become electrified, potentially killing you. Even when you’re entirely sure that there’s no electricity, wear rubber-soled shoes and rubber gloves just in case.
Disconnect Water to the Leak
You can usually find the water shut off valves in your basement; they should be labeled. Find the one labeled “kitchen” and shut it off. If you know it’s a single appliance or sink, there should be a shut off valve directly on the appliance.
Call a Water Damage Restoration Company
While there are some elements of water damage restoration that you can tackle on your own, the kitchen is a tricky area, because there are numerous electrical appliances, which can cause extensive damage to the wiring. It’s best to get professional assistance with kitchen water damage.
Once you’ve secured the area, you can go ahead and call a water damage company like TN Flood Kings. We can help ensure everything’s entirely dry, sanitize to prevent mold, and renovate everything so that it’s safe again.
Remove Standing Water
Use buckets, towels, or a wet/dry vac to suck out and soak up the water.
Ventilate and Dry the Area
To start the drying process, you need to get cross ventilation going. This will help evaporate the moisture and inhibit mold growth. Open windows and set up fans. If there’s a lot of water, you can rent an air mover from a home improvement store by the day or week.
Clean Location to Prevent Mold Growth
Even if you don’t actually see any mold, this troublesome fungus can begin to grow very quickly: in less than two days, you can have a mold colony sprouting up. It’s essential that you sanitize the surface right away.
Use disinfectants that are safe for the given surface. Don’t mix cleaning solutions under any circumstances! Pick one disinfectant that promises to kill mold, and use only that solution.
Remove Affected Porous Materials and Clean or Catalog Them
Anything that becomes soft and spongy when wet is a porous material, and it needs to be dried out and sanitized. Some of these materials can likely be dried and sanitized, while others need to be thrown away.
A rule of thumb is if it’s a porous building material, it likely needs to be discarded, but if it’s a household material that can be dried and sanitized, it may be salvageable.
Porous Kitchen Items That Need Replacement
- Padding under laminate or hardwood floors (usually felt or foam)
- Heavily damaged wood flooring or laminate
Porous Kitchen Items That Can Be Restored
- Kitchen towels
- Fabric placemats (you may need to throw away laminated ones)
Even if you’re not sure if you can make an insurance claim, it’s a good idea to take pictures of all the damage, as this will help you replace the materials. Be sure to take pictures of tags and serial numbers to help estimate the cost.
TN Flood Kings will work with your insurance so that you don’t need to worry about coordinating with them while you’re struggling with damage to your home.
How to Prevent Home Water Damage
You want to avoid water damage everywhere, but especially in the kitchen: it’s the heart of your home, as well as filled with expensive appliances.
Here are some quick tips to prevent water damage in your kitchen and elsewhere:
- Keep humidity low in the kitchen by using dehumidifiers and opening windows whenever possible.
- Check and clean the drains and the garbage disposal regularly to avoid backup.
- Always use appliances like dishwashers according to manufacturer’s instructions, and replace them when they get to the end of their lifespan.
- Have plumbing issues addressed promptly by a professional. TN Flood Kings is always here for you!
- While cleaning, shine a flashlight behind appliances to check for drips.
- Put mats underneath appliances to collect and identify any leaks.
- Thoroughly dry all surfaces after cleaning, and use cleaning solutions that are safe for the surface to avoid excess wear and tear.
- Examine the floors for damage while mopping, and don’t saturate them.
- Use as little water as possible on the floors when cleaning: a Swiffer is a great choice, as it only uses a small amount of fluid.
Dealing With Kitchen Water Damage? Call TN Flood Kings 24/7 for Help! Free Estimates and Direct Billing to Insurance!