Preventing Kitchen Water Damage
We love our kitchens. From cooking meals with friends and family to birthday parties to elegant nights in with a glass of wine to helping the kids with homework, the kitchen is the go-to spot when it comes to household activities that bring people together. The life of the home starts in the kitchen and extends to the rest of the house making the kitchen the proverbial heart of the home. There is so much potential in the kitchen – especially when it comes to water damage.
When it comes to damages caused by water infiltration, the kitchen is the one room sitting right in the crosshairs of a future insurance claim. From the dishwasher to the disposal, the sink and the refrigerator, the ability for things to go very wrong in the kitchen is higher than any other room in the home (even the bathroom). So how do you prevent kitchen water damage?
Preventative Maintenance is Key
Stopping issues before they start is the cheapest and most effective way to prevent water damage in your kitchen. Start by checking the water hoses – are they snug? Do you notice any wear and tear? A small issue now will inevitably become a bigger issue down the road – typically right before your family comes into town before Thanksgiving break.
Check for wet spots – and check deep into cupboards and crevices. Most water damage starts off small but only becomes an issue when it becomes visible. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been rearing it albeit small, ugly head for some time now.
Give the dishwasher some tender, lovin’ care. The dishwasher has the ability to wreak the most havoc in your kitchen. Inspect the float switch – the device that tells the dishwasher to stop filling with water. If this malfunctions, you’re looking at a mess of water damage and dirty dishes.
Have an Emergency Plan
It’s not if, it’s when. Water issues happen and they happen fast. Having an emergency plan in place that the entire family is aware of and knows how to implement can go a long way in mitigating further damages to your kitchen and home.
Locate and tag the main water shut off valve to your home. In case of water flow, turn off the water main first, then assess the issue. Note that most homes have two types of shut off valves – the one supplying water the entire home and a secondary valve that supplies water to specific appliances. You’ll want to note the main water shutoff valve.
Have your insurance contacts close by. While water damage isn’t as intense as a house fire, you’ll still need to contact your insurance company to make the claim if the water damage covers enough square footage or has been sitting for a period of time. They may or may not recommend a restoration company to use, but regardless, check reviews from others who have used that company. Better yet, vet restoration companies before you need them – this will save you valuable time in getting started on the restoration process.
Water Damage can mean an opportunity
What? Right – no one asked for damage to their home, but when it does happen (and it will), it can be an opportunity to upgrade. If your insurance company agrees to cover the repairs, you may find yourself upgrading the flooring to wood or getting a much-needed kitchen remodel. Having insurance aid in the restoration costs allows you to explore some opportunities while they’re in there ripping up the flooring and cutting out drywall. Everything happens for a reason – possibly even water damage!
When it comes to kitchen water damage, preparedness and prevention are key to saving you both time spent repairing and the associated hefty repair costs. Water is both a necessity and a potential danger when it comes to homeownership, so understanding the repercussions is a must.