I recently noticed an area of our warm-toned Hickory floor was turning shades of cold, ugly gray. Since this new coloration followed the natural shape of the wood grain, it wasn’t immediately noticeable. With flashlight in hand (and my head down at floor level) I could see discoloration and warping of the wood beneath the refrigerator. Both are indicators of water damage. And, it could have started weeks ago!
Pinhead Sized Holes In Refrigerator Water Line Caused Serious Floor Damage
After a call to the plumber, he found two small holes in the plastic water line that ran from the water supply to the back of the refrigerator. It had been leaking for a while and, unfortunately, had created a very big problem. Replacing the leaking pipe was the easy part and just the beginning of this whole story. I did some research and learned that this type of water damage is not unusual. As a matter of fact, it’s quite common and isn’t always an easy fix, nor is it an economical one! My next call was to our homeowner’s insurance. They recommended immediate remediation of the wet space. We scheduled a water damage remediation company to come and remove all the damp wood flooring.
Removing Damaged Engineered Wood Flooring In Two Rooms
Remediating the water damaged floors included removing the kitchen flooring as well as the drywall behind the refrigerator. It’s hard to believe that 2 pin-sized holes in a small plastic tube caused all of this damage. It appears that the water exited the holes and ran down the length of the tube to the wall. At that point, it soaked the wall and ran onto the floor for quite a while! The dark, stained area on the wall made it clear that the water had been hitting the drywall first, then running down the wall and penetrating the floor. Over time the water reached well into the dining room, behind the refrigerator, and shares a wall with the kitchen.
Remediation Continues in The Dining Room
One entire wall of our beautiful wainscotting was pulled from the wall. The leaking water had penetrated the engineered hardwood floors as well as the underlayment. Both were removed and packaged for disposal. The remediation ended after nearly all the dining room, as well as a large section of the kitchen flooring, was removed and discarded.
Final Stage of Remediation
The remediation company disposed of the water damaged floor safely. Four large fans, in the kitchen and dining room, ran for 2 full days to dry any remaining moisture. We suspended and anchored old sheets on the floor around the entire area to minimize dust in the air. But, we’re still going to need some serious house cleaning when this is all over.
The next step is to find a match for our engineered wood flooring that was installed during a total kitchen renovation a few years ago. At the moment we’re waiting for the insurance company and a third party claim management company to process all the necessary paperwork and approvals to move forward. We’re hoping this will be a smooth, quick process, but my initial search for a match to our engineered wood flooring is hinting that the search will need to be expanded.
Check back with The Emerging Home Blog over the next few weeks to see how our “messed up home” hopefully, just becomes “home.”
Speaking from a bad experience at my mother’s house several years ago, please also check to see if you have a plastic pipe into your dishwasher if you haven’t done this already. Long story, but she was not living there at the time when the plastic line split and water shot out uncontrolled for days, until the utility company shut off water to the house due to noticing unusual usage and getting no answer at her house.
Great point Brian. I will check and replace the dishwasher line when it is pulled away from the wall prior to the new floor installation. Thanks very much!
What a mess!
You got that right. My office was in the dining room. Now all that furniture is jammed into the living room and I’m working on a folding table in the bedroom!