Kitchens tend to have the highest concentration of plumbing fixtures in any home, making them a potential source of substantial water leaks. Most US kitchens have a sink and a dishwasher at a minimum, but many may also contain other items such as refrigerator water dispensers and so on. Any of these items can leak under the right circumstances.
A significant leak in the kitchen can cause a sizeable amount of damage, especially if your kitchen uses hardwood floors or another vulnerable type of flooring damage. This article will explore three potential ways that a kitchen leak can affect your home and why you may want to consider professional restoration to deal with this problem.
1. Subfloor Damage
Most residential flooring consists of numerous layers. The subfloor is at the bottom of the stack, and most homes use plywood or oriented strand board (OSB). Depending on the type of flooring in your home, you may also have an underlayment to help absorb sound and protect the subfloor from moisture damage.
Unfortunately, water can often reach this lower layer, where it may cause significant damage. Since the subfloor has less direct exposure to air, it will dry more slowly and retain moisture for much longer. As a result, this layer can warp or even act as a host for mold growth. A professional restoration expert can help you determine how a leak impacted your subfloor so you can take appropriate steps to restore it.
2. Wall Rot
Many homes may have subtle slopes in their floors, either due to the original construction or due to settling or previous damage. These slopes may not be easy to detect under normal circumstances, but they can cause water to run in unexpected directions. It may seem like water from a leaky faucet is pooling in front of your kitchen cabinet, but it may also be slowly leaking back towards a nearby wall.
Water damage experts know what to look for following a significant leak, and they can determine if water may be seeping behind kitchen cabinets and towards walls. This evaluation is crucial because unaddressed moisture in these locations can lead to rotted-out drywall panels and future mold growth.
3. Ruined Flooring
Your top layer of flooring will usually suffer the most apparent damage during a leak. If your kitchen uses tile or laminate, you may not need to replace anything. On the other hand, hardwood flooring can quickly absorb water, leading to warping and discoloration. While you may be able to restore boards with minor damage, others will require replacement.
An expert restoration team will work with you to determine which boards you can save and which you should discard. This process will allow you to minimize your overall repair costs while also ensuring that you remove all the moisture from your kitchen and restore your floor to its former beauty. For water damage restoration assistance, reach out to a company like Great Lakes Abatement Co., Inc.