There are few things more unpleasant than walking into the kitchen to grab yourself a snack, only to be faced with a torrent of water from a dishwasher leak.
While an incredibly convenient appliance, dishwashers can also break down; they generally only last a decade even with great maintenance. Everything from an improperly sealed door or being not exactly level on the ground can lead to serious problems not just for your dishwashing routine, but for your home as well.
Your first instinct is to mop up the water right away, but then you may find yourself worrying about how you’re going to pay for the damage and whether your insurance policy will cover it. Today, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to put your mind at ease and help you clean up the damage before calling in professional help from TN Flood Kings.
What Causes Dishwasher Leaks?
There are a variety of reasons that a dishwasher may break down, some unintentional and others caused by misuse. TN Flood Kings will help identify which of these issues is causing the damage.
Plumbing leaks can easily manifest through dishwasher overflow, or through water leaks behind the machine.
You Used the Wrong Detergent
You should always check the manual to see what kinds of detergents you should and should not use. Using the wrong detergent – or too much of the right detergent – will lead to excessive pressure on the door seal and may cause it to leak.
It’s tempting to stuff as many dishes into your dishwasher as possible, but this can block the flow and drainage of the water, causing a leaking dishwasher.
The Door Seal is Broken
Just like a washing machine, the rubber sealing on your dishwasher door should be airtight and never let any water escape; however, it’s common for this seal to break down as the dishwasher ages, leading to leaks during the wash cycle.
Water Has Corroded the Dishwasher Tub
The water inlet valve at the back of your dishwasher can develop a leak, and this will drip down into the bottom of the dishwasher where there is no drain. Corrosion will eat away at the bottom and can cause major leaks.
The Dishwasher is Not Level
Your dishwasher needs to be properly aligned in order to function correctly. Should it not be on entirely level ground – for example, if there’s a dip in the floor or one of the legs is too short – this won’t allow all the water to enter the drain hose, which can begin to corrode the tub.
The Air Vent on the Sink is Clogged
This air vent helps to equalize water pressure between the dishwasher and the sink, and it also prevents sewer smells from wafting into your kitchen. If it’s clogged, the water pressure can build up and lead to leaks.
Quick Steps for Dealing With Dishwasher Water Damage
No matter where or why you have water leaking all over your kitchen, it’s essential that you act fast to prevent as much damage as possible. This speedy guide will help walk you through what to do whenever you find your home soaked.
Inspect the Area for Safety and Call a Water Damage Restoration Team
We can’t stress enough how important it is that you never let electricity and water mix. Before you do anything else, flip the circuit breaker and shut off the current to the area. Wear rubber-soled shoes when entering standing water, even if you know that there’s no electricity in the area.
Never work on electrical appliances that are leaking water unless you are entirely certain that they’re not “hot.”
Get the Leak Under Control
The first thing you must do is stop whatever’s leaking; only then can you begin the drying process. Shut off the water supply to the malfunctioning appliance and pull it away from the wall so that you can inspect the whole area and get to work drying everything out.
If you can’t find the leak, call TN Flood Kings for a free estimate. We can explain the issue to you and fix it right; we also bill your insurance for covered damages.
Remove the Excess Water
It’s time to break out the towels and the wet vaccuum! Soak up all the water on the floor and the walls before you open the windows and set up fans to create cross ventilation. A dehumidifier can also help a lot with sucking moisture from the air so that you can dispose of it elsewhere.
Double-Check Your Insurance Policy
After you’ve dealt with the basic aftermath of your dishwasher leaking, it’s time to call up the insurance company and talk policy.
You need to know whether you have insurance coverage for this issue, which means you need to pull out your homeowners insurance policy and examine what it says about dishwasher water damage. While there are a few basic rules about what type of water leak will probably be dealt with by your insurance company, every policy is different.
Work With Restoration Services
Over the next few weeks, IICRC-certified TN Flood Kings will fix the damage and prevent mold. We’re available 24/7 to assist you and ensure that your home returns to its former glory.
Does Home Insurance Cover Water Damage from Dishwasher?
It’s common to assume that nearly every damage in their home will be covered by their homeowners insurance policy, but insurers are very particular about what they will and will not handle.
While it can sometimes be difficult to discern what you can claim, when it comes to dishwasher leaks, there are a few basic rules that can help you determine whether you should call your insurance company for help.
When Insurance Will Cover the Damage
The Leak Was Sudden and Accidental
If the dishwasher leaks because of broken pipes or other unexpected plumbing problems, your homeowners policy will often cover this. You can call a water damage restoration company like TN Flood Kings to diagnose this and communicate with your insurance agent; we’ll explain to the claims adjuster what happened while we work to repair the damage.
What Is Classified as Accidental Water Damage?
Accidental water damage is anything that is due to a sudden and unexpected failure of your plumbing, such as frozen burst pipe or storm damage overwhelming your home’s drainage systems. This can also sometimes cover sudden malfunctions of appliances like a hot water heater, dishwasher, air conditioning unit, or water pump.
When Insurance Will Not Cover the Damage
The Leak Was Caused by Misuse of the Machine
If you didn’t follow the manufacturer’s instructions, then a leaking dishwasher will not be a covered incident under your insurance policy.
The Dishwasher Is Old
The average lifespan of a dishwasher is about 10 years, so if you have a very old dishwasher leaking, then it’s unlikely that your insurance company will cover it.
There is Flooding (Unless You Have Flood Insurance)
It’s tempting to say a flooded kitchen is flooding, but according to your insurance company, it’s not. Flooding is defined as water that enters your home from the outside, such as during a hurricane, major thunderstorm, or tsunami.
If you want flood damage covered, you need separate flood insurance.
Know Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
While this quick guide is a basic overview of what can and can’t be covered, you should always double-check your homeowners policy and have a familiarity with what can and can’t be covered. TN Flood Kings will work directly with your insurance to ensure that everything possible is covered.
Does Home Insurance Cover Floor Damage From a Dishwasher?
Generally, you can make an insurance claim for damaged floors from a dishwasher incident – as long as the issue came from one of the above incidents
How Much Money Will Homeowners Insurance Cover for Water Damage?
The average claim for water damage is about $11,000, but this depends on a lot of factors, including what caused it and how much damage was done.
They generally only help with structural issues in the affected areas, like replacing the floors and repairing broken pipes, and probably won’t pay for a new dishwasher.
How to Prevent Water Damage From a Dishwasher
Place a Mat Under the Dishwasher
A drain pan is a plastic or rubber mat that sits underneath the dishwasher, protecting your kitchen floor from any excess water. Most of them are designed to push the water to the front of the pan so that you can easily identify a water leak before it seeps into your kitchen floor.
Use the Machine According to Manufacturer’s Instructions
Poor maintenance is almost always not covered by by homeowners insurance, which means it’s up to you to take care of your dishwasher before it causes any water damage. Rinse and clean the filters to clear any built-up grease or gunk, and regularly wipe down the unit’s bottom. Always use the right detergent and run a sanitizing cycle at least once a week.
Check the Surrounding Drywall Whenever You Clean
Make it a habit to regularly touch and look at the walls in your kitchen to identify any potential signs of crumbling drywall. Feel for damp patches, soft material, or water stains. If you do notice any possible water damage, get it checked out right away by TN Flood Kings; your insurance policy may not cover structural damage from a slow leak that was never repaired.
Watch Your Floors For Water Spots
Your floors can tell you a lot about the condition of your appliances and help you catch a leaking dishwasher before it becomes a catastrophe. For wood floors, look for light or dark spots, as well as warped or swollen boards. Laminate flooring may start to separate and buckle, while tile might be cracked from an improperly seated dishwasher.
When You’re In the Basement, Look Up
Even if you see no water in the drain pan and the floor is dry, you may have more insidious water damage that is affecting your basement. When you’re down in the basement, check out the ceilings, particularly under any water-using appliances, and look for water stains or damp patches. If you see any, pull out the dishwasher and explore it more thoroughly, then call TN Flood Kings right away.
When in Doubt, Call in Professionals! TN Flood Kings is Available 24/7 To Assist With Water Damage
Whether it’s a broken air conditioning system causing condensation, an overflowing toilet bowl, a lightning strike leading to basement flood damage, or a broken dishwasher leaking underneath the floors, we’ve seen it all over our 15 years serving Middle Tennessee.
We offer fast and friendly service that includes water extraction, water damage repair, and mold removal. We also can work directly with your claims adjuster if you have insurance coverage for the issue.
Call now for a free consultation; we’re available day and night.