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What To Do When The Refrigerator Floods Your Kitchen

What to Do When the Refrigerator Floods Your Kitchen

Refrigerators are expected to run smoothly and keep food chilled. But even this common household appliance can spring a leak and flood the kitchen. While major flood damage should be handled by pros, minor cases can be a DIY fix. Here’s what to do when water leaks from the refrigerator.

What causes a refrigerator to leak?

Today’s refrigerator models are built with water lines that dispense water for drinking or making ice. A blocked water line will result in a puddle of water underneath the fridge. Ice will be created in incorrect amounts. The water dispenser may function poorly or not work at all.

Clogs in the defrost drain are a common cause of fridge leaks. The purpose of the defrost drain is to keep the fridge from freezing, allowing it to automatically defrost itself and drip water into a pan. When food particles block the defrost drain, ice accumulates, and a leak follows.

In addition to damaged water lines and a frozen or clogged defrost drain, refrigerator leaks can be caused when the water tank assembly is defective. Even a rusty or otherwise damaged drain pan can result in water leaking from the fridge and onto the kitchen floor.

How should a homeowner handle a flooded kitchen?

  1. Stop the leak

A flooded kitchen is an alarming event. When faced with the unexpected disaster, a homeowner must immediately shut off the water. Try turning off the water supply valve lines to stop the flow of water. If this fails, turn off the home’s main water line at the shutoff valve.

  1. Switch off the electricity

Water and electricity don’t mix. A homeowner risks an electrical shock when stepping into a flooded kitchen filled with working appliances. Head to the circuit box and turn off the electricity supplying the kitchen. Then unplug the kitchen appliances, including the countertop ones.

  1. refrigerator-kitchen-flood-tips
    It is important to fully dry the kitchen to minimize further water damage

    Inspect all kitchen appliances

A flood in the kitchen affects more than just the refrigerator. Consider that water on the floor can impact the functionality of a gas stove; specifically, supply lines and bottom burners may need to be replaced. Practice safety by having all the kitchen appliances professionally inspected.

  1. Relocate kitchen furniture

Water is absorbed into porous materials, like wooden dining tables and chairs, causing warping, rotting, and other water damage. Move the furniture and other kitchen items away from the flooded area to a dry one. Be aware that ink from magazines can stain kitchen surfaces, so relocate these promptly.

  1. Remove the water

Whether the kitchen flooded a quarter inch or two, it is necessary to remove the standing water. Use a standard mop and bucket to absorb as much water as possible. Thick towels can help. Large amounts of floodwater may be effectively suctioned out with a wet/dry shop vacuum.

  1. Assess the water damage

Once the kitchen floodwater has been removed, assess the extent of water damage. Inspect the drywall and door frames in the immediate vicinity. Moisture is likely to have been absorbed by these porous materials, so check for signs of damage above the water line.

  1. Dry the area

It is important to fully dry the kitchen to minimize further water damage. Lingering moisture can lead to additional problems, such as mold and mildew growth. In fact, mold spores can begin to colonize a damp area within as little as 24 to 48 hours after water exposure.

Start drying the area by opening up cabinets and drawers that have been dampened by the floodwater. Introduce optimum air circulation by opening the windows (if weather permits) and running multiple fans. Consider switching on the air conditioner to accelerate the drying process.

  1. Call in flood cleanup experts

Vacationing homeowners who are alerted to water damage or those who are uncertain about how to clean up a flooded kitchen are urged to consult a qualified water damage restoration company. Water damage cleanup pros will quickly eliminate the excess water, dry the property, and remove the mold.

How is refrigerator flooding prevented?

Cleaning the refrigerator drain lines regularly with chlorine bleach will prevent clogs from occurring and contributing to water leaks. Homeowners suspecting significant damage to the water line should replace it with the help of a professional electrician or appliance technician.

When the defrost drain is clogged, it’s important to melt the ice. Using a small receptacle, such as a turkey baster, pour warm water down the freezer drain. If this method fails to melt the ice, use a wire hanger, or pipe cleaner to break up the chunks.

Water leaks from the refrigerator can cause major damage to hardwood floors. The wood can start to warp or rot, especially when the moisture is left unaddressed. Due to the extensive damage floodwaters can cause, it’s critical to consult the pros at ServiceMaster Fire and Water Restoration immediately.

Our highly skilled water damage cleanup technicians specialize in fixing water damage caused by leaky refrigerators. We limit the extent of water damage to the home or business by containing the area. All excess moisture is removed from the premises, and a thorough drying procedure is begun.

Household goods and materials that are affected by the water damage and can be salvaged are repaired and restored. If mold infestations have developed, ServiceMaster Fire and Water Restoration specialists are equipped with the tools and cleaning solutions to eliminate all mold growth from the property.

In addition to cleaning water damage that resulted from fridge leaks, our crews are experienced in sewage cleaning. Using appropriate methods, we safely extract the sewage water, then clean and disinfect the area. We also deodorize the property to ensure that optimum air quality is returned.

Flood damage restoration should be performed right away to minimize water damage. When your Denver, Colorado, home or business undergoes flooding of any type, consult the experts at ServiceMaster Fire and Water Restoration. Our crews stand by 24/7 to deliver quality flood cleanup.

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