How to Handle a Flooded Kitchen
A flood in the kitchen can be one of the most stressful experiences as a homeowner. You may have to deal with insurance, broken appliances, and long-lasting problems from the water damage such as mold.
Not only that, but you obviously can’t cook with a flooded kitchen or clean dishes. Food may need to be thrown away if electrical appliances are affected. And if your kitchen is in a small apartment, the entire place can quickly start to smell of mildew and mold.
Before we get into how to respond to a kitchen flood, let’s examine the different ways they can happen. This way, you may be able to plan ahead for the possibility of a flood in your kitchen someday.
How Kitchen Floods Can Happen
Although it may not seem common, a home kitchen can flood for a variety of reasons. Some of these may seem unlikely, but accidents do happen.
One of the more common causes of a flood in the kitchen is a malfunctioning or broken refrigerator. This is often caused by a blocked or clogged defrost drain. The drain hose becomes backed up and the buildup of ice will eventually cause a leak.
You may also have a broken water line or a leak around the inlet valve located on the back of the refrigerator. If you have an ice maker or inline water filter, these can suffer from similar breaks.
Sometimes, refrigerator leakage happens simply because someone left the door open!
Clogged Kitchen Sink
Many people don’t have a garbage disposal and end up putting a lot of waste down their kitchen sink that they shouldn’t. And even if you do have a disposal, putting things like grease down the drain can clog the pipes in your kitchen sink over time.
However, a flooded kitchen sink can occur from a clog downstream. This can be unrelated to anything that was put down the kitchen sink drain. When floods and leaks occur in a house, you may find the source of the issue to be in a completely different area such as the bathroom.
Burst Water Line
A burst water line can occur in anyone’s kitchen and cause a rapid flood. These bursts can be a result of corrosion of older pipes, nearby construction affecting your plumbing, as well as freezing weather.
Similar to your refrigerator, a dishwasher that leaks is often caused by a bad or defective inlet valve. This is where the dishwasher receives water from the water lines in your house. Similarly, the dishwasher pump may not be completely sealed and cause water to leak at the bottom.
In some cases dishwashers discharge through a hose connected to the kitchen sink. This can also flood a kitchen if the kitchen sink drain pipes become clogged.
The first step is to be sure power is cut off to the kitchen and that any electrical appliances are unplugged or removed from the area. If outlets or devices are already compromised, avoid the situation until flood cleanup professionals arrive.
If the situation seems manageable, do your best to place towels down and blot dry what you can.
You can also do the following if your kitchen floods:
- Remove all items from vulnerable cupboards, shelves, and cabinets
- Take inventory of any damaged items or groceries that had to be thrown out
- Take photos of areas in the kitchen affected by the flood
- Get some form of air circulation to the kitchen
- Set up a dehumidifier as soon as possible
That last step is extremely important. While setting up box fans can help evaporate water after a kitchen flood, that water still needs to go somewhere. Without an industrial dehumidifier, that evaporated water will just seep back into porous materials in your home.
See if a hardware store in your area offers these kinds of strong dehumidifiers. You may be able to rent one.
Of course, industrial equipment as well as the need for extensive application of antimicrobial solutions to prevent mold are just a couple of reasons to get flood restoration professionals on the scene.
And even a small leak can cause long-lasting water damage to floors, cabinets, and drywall. Ultimately, you will need water damage restoration professionals to assess and repair the damage from a flooded kitchen.
Kitchen Floods and Insurance Claims
It’s a good idea to call your insurance company as soon as you can. Insurance will generally pay a water damage restoration company for flood damage cleanup. Still, it’s important to document the scene and take photos of all the affected areas in the kitchen.
Working with insurance during a kitchen flood can be a massive headache. Fortunately, restoration companies like ServiceMaster by Timeless work with your insurance to assure you get proper coverage and quality work.
A water restoration company will have heavy duty fans, industrial humidifiers, and construction tools to repair and replace parts of your kitchen damaged in the flood.
Cabinets may need to be removed, along with damaged flooring and drywall. And without getting a flood cleanup crew on the job, it’s very difficult to guarantee complete water extraction.
If you experience a flood in your kitchen, contact ServiceMaster by Timeless to get it taken care of. We will ensure your kitchen is completely dry of water and that mold prevention methods are implemented. Any structural materials in your kitchen will be replaced or repaired.