Dishwashers are truly wonderful innovations. Rather than spending hours scrubbing dirty pots and pans, you can pop them into the dishwasher and, within just an hour, you’ll have sparkling clean dishes that have been steam-sanitized for your safety. Not only do they get your dishes cleaner than you ever could by hand, but they allow you to multitask, freeing your time up for other essential tasks that can’t be automated.
However, as with any modern appliances, dishwashers come with their risks, including possible water damage. This can be a remarkably insidious issue, as dishwashers are generally placed flush with counters; unless you see water leaking from underneath the unit, you may never know that there’s a steady drip behind the machine that is slowly eating away at your drywall. Slow leaks are just one of many problems that can be caused by dishwashers that we’ll discuss today – and all of them can be fixed by talking to a Portland water damage remediation company, as we’ll see.
There are several reasons that a dishwasher can cause water damage, which is often caused by faulty installation or user error
Dishwashers have three main connections outside of the unit itself: an electrical hookup, a supply line, and a drain line. Each of these needs to be sealed properly in order for the machine to function as it should, and many units will also have valves on the supply and drain lines to ensure that clean water goes in and dirty water comes out. A properly functioning dishwasher has a watertight seal inside the unit that keeps the water in, which is how it sprays all your dishes clean without splashing all over the floor. If any of these fail, there’s the possibility that water will begin leaking from the unit during the wash or rinse cycles.
It’s essential that a dishwasher be professionally installed because it’s very easy to pinch either the supply or drain lines while placing it against the wall; this can easily cause a tear in the hose, which can cause leakage. The hoses will naturally move a bit while being filled and drained, so if they are not carefully placed to allow this, they may rub against the wall or the unit, abrading the protective covering and leading to water escaping.
Another cause of water damage is due to user error, such as a clogged drain. If you regularly overload your dishwasher with very dirty dishes – especially dishes with small particles like rice or pasta – these will get trapped in the drain, which will ultimately lead to the dishwasher backing up into the unit. The standing water will then spill out when you open the unit; even if you work problems over time.
Finally, there are also manufacturer errors that can lead to water damage. Dishwashers whose internal seals are no longer watertight may allow water to leak from the unit during wash and rinse cycles; depending on the severity of the leak, this could be a slight dribble under the unit or a huge flood that covers your entire kitchen. Either of these outcomes will require assistance from a water damage remediation expert lest there be serious impacts to your home and health.
Dishwasher-related water damage needs to be taken seriously, especially due to the risk of electrocution
One of the most pressing issues that can be caused by dishwasher leaks are electrical problems, which can destroy your entire home if left unchecked. While pure water isn’t very conductive, the dissolved minerals inside regular water can carry an electrical charge, essentially turning the entire body of water into a giant live wire. Even dipping a pinkie into an electrified water source can cause a serious shock, which could be deadly for those with heart conditions or other health issues.
It might seem strange that water damage could burn your house down, but it’s entirely possible that damaged water-damaged wires could start an electrical fire: one of the more dangerous forms of fire because it can easily spread through the wiring of your home to engulf the entire house. A small leak from a dishwasher can lead to the loss of your entire home, which is why it’s essential that you get into contact with a water damage remediation company the instant that you suspect any leaks.
There are other risks from dishwasher leaks, too, which include structural damage and mold growth. If the escaped water sinks into the floor, it can easily rot the subfloor, which is usually made of wood; over time, this will cause the floor to soften, and it will no longer be able to hold the weight of whatever is placed atop it. Mold loves water damage, and it is incredibly dangerous for human health because it can lead to respiratory infections, which can cause lifelong lung problems.
To reduce the risk of these many issues, it’s essential that you contact a water damage expert as soon as you suspect your dishwasher is malfunctioning
You may believe that you should only call a water damage remediation company when there’s a huge pool of water in your kitchen, and it’s gushing from the dishwasher, but this is the last stage of a problem that has likely been building up for a while. The longer that a dishwasher leaks, the more damage has been done – damage that can be incredibly expensive and time-consuming to fix. If you wait until there are obvious signs of serious flooding, it’s more than likely that you will have to remove all the flooring and drywall from around the affected area, and you may even need to replace all the cabinets and counters as well.
To avoid these problems, you need to be proactive and pay close attention to how your dishwasher is working. Have you noticed that your dishes are no longer as clean as before? Does it take longer to work? Is there a moldy or unpleasant smell around the dishwasher when you open it?
Should you recognize any of these signs, it’s important that you contact the dishwasher installer right away, and then get in touch with a water damage remediation company that can assess the situation. Given the severity of the consequences, there’s no time to delay: never hesitate to reach out to a water damage expert who can assure you that all is well.