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Repairing a Water Damaged Kitchen Floor

Thursday, July 30th, 2020
water damaged kitchen floor

A water damaged kitchen floor is a more common occurrence than floors in other rooms. The sink, dishwasher, disposal, ice maker, and associated plumbing—all in a single room—make kitchen floors likely to be exposed to water at some point. On the plus side, certain common flooring materials tend to make kitchens more water-resistant than floors elsewhere in the house.

Seepage into the wooden subfloor beneath flooring is often a deciding factor in assessing a water damaged kitchen floor. If a subfloor has absorbed substantial moisture, removal of all flooring material may ultimately be required to effectively dry the subfloor and prevent wood rot and mold contamination. Contacting qualified water damage professionals, ASAP, is vital to remove standing water and extract residual moisture as quickly as possible.   

Here’s how flooring types react in a typical water damaged kitchen floor:

  • Vinyl flooring. Usually a highly water-resistant material, vinyl flooring is often cut in a single large piece to fit the entire kitchen, minimizing seams that permit seepage into the subfloor. If seepage occurs at baseboards, a flooring professional may lift that limited section, dry the subfloor beneath, then glue the vinyl flooring back into place.  
  • Tile floors. Ceramic tile common in kitchens is impervious to water. However, the grout that secures tiles in place may deteriorate if submerged and individual tiles may loosen. Generally, loose tiles may be removed, the subfloor beneath dried, and the same tiles replaced with new grout.
  • Hardwood. Hardwood flooring is less common in kitchens. Hardwood in a water damaged kitchen floor absorbs moisture and may warp or buckle. Staining may also occur. Water penetrates between planks and soaks the subfloor. Professional restoration by a hardwood specialist is often required to save an expensive hardwood floor following water damage. 
  • Wood laminate. A water damaged kitchen floor made of wood laminate material rapidly degrades in standing water. Glues in wood laminate dissolve and the material swells and disintegrates, saturating the subfloor beneath. If water exposure is prolonged, laminated wood flooring generally requires total replacement.

What Is A Water Alarm System And How Can It Help Me?

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

water leak alarmA serious water leak inside your home can be a crisis if it happens when you’re asleep or in another part of the house. If it happens while you’re away from home, it can be a catastrophe. Plumbing supply system failures are the number one cause of indoor water damage. Even a tiny 1/8-inch crack in a supply line can release 250 gallons per day. A basic water alarm system alerts you to leaks occurring inside the home by sounding an audio alarm. Higher-tech systems, however, now take leak detection to the next level. Here’s what’s available today from the simplest to the more sophisticated water alarm systems.

  • Wireless audio alerts. These basic, battery-powered units can be placed at strategic spots where water leakage may occur: behind the washing machine, under the water heater and beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks, for example. The basement floor is another common location. If water is detected, a piercing audio alarm similar to a smoke detector sounds. Occupants inside the home are alerted to take action to prevent further damage.
  • Wi-fi connected water alarms. Increasingly common, these detectors are placed in vulnerable locations for water leakage and wirelessly connect to your home network. If water is detected, the system emits an audio alarm plus sends a text alert. With a smartphone app, the homeowner is immediately informed that leakage has been detected and also the exact location inside the house where it occurred.
  • Auto-shutoff systems. If a serious leak happens while you’re not home, simply receiving an alert on your phone may not be enough to avoid expensive consequences. By the time you can get home (or have a third party go shut off the water) considerable damage is done. Water alarm systems with auto-shutoff function detect leakage, alert you via smartphone app, and then automatically shut off the main household water valve, too—all within seconds. This system combines both instant alert and proactive damage control, providing the most comprehensive protection.

For more advice about water alarm systems from the industry leader in water damage recovery, contact the professionals at Rytech, Inc.



3 Main Causes Of Refrigerator Leaks

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

leaky refrigeratorRefrigerator leaks can be quite small. Unfortunately, that means a chronic refrigerator leak can cause water damage to the floor underneath it or the wall behind it—areas not frequently inspected by most homeowners—before anyone’s aware of it. Mold growth in these areas may also thrive undiscovered for some time. The good news is, in most units, there are only a few common causes of refrigerator leaks and they can be checked in a quick process of elimination.

  • Leaky water supply line. If your refrigerator incorporates an ice maker, it gets water from a 1/4-inch tube—typically made of plastic—routed from the kitchen sink water line. The tube connects to the back of the refrigerator with a screw-on connection. Inconspicuous water leakage, usually seepage or drips, may result if this connection loosens. The plastic supply tube itself is also prone to deteriorate and eventually crack. However, this usually causes obvious leakage and may flood the kitchen floor if the flow isn’t shut off at the valve under the kitchen sink.
  • Clogged defrost drain. Refrigerators with auto-defrost feature discharge water created by defrosting into a drain line that extends to a drip pan underneath the refrigerator, where the water evaporates. If the defrost drain line clogs with food particles or other debris, water may drip behind or beneath the unit, missing the collection pan. This leakage is intermittent and may not be obvious as it only occurs when defrost cycle kicks in. However, over time it can cause water damage to the floor or wall behind the refrigerator.
  • Condensation leaks. Condensation forming inside the refrigerator compartment should drip through a drain tube directly into the drip pan beneath the unit. If the drain hole is clogged or obstructed by some object, leakage may occur. Another cause can be that the refrigerator is not level, so collecting condensation does not flow toward the drain hole. A typical sign of this is small amounts of water leaking out the front of the refrigerator.

Refrigerator leaks can be a major or minor cause of household water damage. Catching these leaks early is the key to prevention.


How To Extend The Life Of Your Dishwasher

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

dishwasherIs a dishwasher backing up a sign that the end is near? The average service life of dishwashers is about 9 years. Severe backups can leak water out the dishwasher front door seal and cause kitchen water damage. Usually, however, they are a symptom of some repairable issue versus a sign that your dishwasher is on the verge of total failure. In fact, the problem may actually originate outside the dishwasher itself, in the the sink or garbage disposal. Before you assume that a dishwasher backing up needs to be replaced with a new unit, try these tips to troubleshoot the issue:

  • Remove the bottom rack from the unit. Locate the drain openings in the back of the dishwasher pan and feel for scraps of food or other debris that may be impeding proper drainage. Clear any blockage, replace the rack and test the dishwasher.
  • If backup recurs, look under the kitchen sink for the dishwasher drain hose connected to the garbage disposal. Straighten the hose if it if it appears to have become kinked or twisted, blocking free flow of drain water from the dishwasher.
  • If the hose appears functional, fill the sink with hot water, then remove the stopper and turn on the disposal. Allow hot water to flush the disposal for several minutes. If drainage through the disposal appears very slow or totally obstructed, you now know that the backup problem is a clogged disposal, not a dishwasher issue.
  • Locate the air gap, a cylindrical metal unit typically on top of the sink beside the faucet. It’s actually a backflow prevention device in the dishwasher drain path to keep dirty sink or disposal water from flowing back into the dishwasher. If the air gap becomes clogged with debris, however, it will also inhibit proper dishwasher drainage flow into the disposal and backup will occur. Most air gaps have a top cover that can be unscrewed to check for clogging debris and clean out the unit.

Ask the Rytech professionals for more solutions to potential water damage issues like a dishwasher backing up.


How To Find The Source Of The Leak Under Your Sink

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

leak under sinkIf water gets loose under your kitchen sink, a leaky disposal is just one possibility. Under-sink leaks can be a multiple choice mystery with more than one likely suspect. Whatever the cause, they can rot the wall structure behind the cabinet, trigger mold growth and attract insects. They may also be the first sign of a more major event, like an impending supply line rupture that could cause water damage to a large area. From a leaky disposal to a loose drain fitting, here are some steps to rule out sources of kitchen sink leaks.

Disposal Leaks

  • Water may seep through a leaky disposal sink flange. Fill the sink with water, then run a piece of tissue around the disposal flange underneath the sink to detect drips or seepage.
  • Another possibility are drain lines connected to the disposal. The smaller dishwasher drain line attaches with a clamp that may be loose and leaking. The larger pipe goes down the household drain. It connects to the disposal with two screws that could be loose from vibration or a rubber gasket inside the connection may be defective.
  • If leakage originates from the internal seal at the bottom of the disposal body, this is an indicator that the unit must be replaced.

Leaky Supply Connections

Compression fittings at shutoff valves under the sink connect supply lines to hot and cold faucets. Because supply lines and connections are under household water pressure, leakage at these points may unexpectedly worsen and flood the kitchen.Wipe each connection with dry tissue. If moisture is detected, try to very gently tighten the compression fitting with a wrench. If that doesn’t work, the supply line and fitting may need replacement.

Drain Leaks

Fill the sink with water, then watch underneath as it drains. Look for leakage around the slip joints in the drain pipe. Hand-tightening the large joint nuts slightly may stop leakage. If that fails, drain pipes may need to be disassembled and new joint seals installed.