Dishwasher leaked under vinyl floor

mommabirdNovember 1, 2008

I discovered my dishwasher has probably been leaking for a very long time. It never leaked on top of the vinyl - it leaked under the vinyl. I discovered while scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees, the vinyl felt loose in front of the dishwasher. I took hold of the edge & it peeled back about 2 feet, and the thin plywood is soaked and rotting.

I will call a dishwasher repairman Monday. What about the floor? Will I have to cut away the subfloor (and hope the floor joist is OK)? Will I have to replace the sheet vinyl? I'm guessing YES to that question because I'm sure the wet has damaged the vinyl, and it's 15 years old anyway.

Has anyone had a similar experience where the water went under the vinyl? I think this is weird, and to say the least I'm upset at thinking how many $1000s this will cost to get fixed right.

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Your home owner's insurance should cover the floor repairs, right? Call them and see about filing a claim.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 11:09AM
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I would not call my insurance company for a minor leak. Why do you think the vinyl is damages? The wood subfloor maybe, but I doubt the vinyl is wrecked. Once the leak is repaired, and the area allowed to dry thoroughly,I'm sure it'll be fine. A vinyl floor should not cost thousands...

    Bookmark   November 4, 2008 at 1:21PM
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I'll second the don't call the insurance company vote, but this time.

First you've got to figure out how extensive the damage is. Once a claim is on the books there's no removing it...even if you never collect. The second thing to remember is that insurers and water claims can get dicey quickly. While water damage is a covered loss in your description, water damage over time is specifically excluded.

An example might help...You discover a leaking elbow under your kitchen sink and some minor wood damge to the cabinet bottom. Your insurer will gladly pay for that claim less your deductible. Or you could choose to fix it yourself and leave the insurer out of it (figuring your rates would increase more than you'd ever collect). Same scenario...only this time you ignore the damage, clean up the visible water, place a small bowl under the sink to catch the drips, and decide to deal with it "later". Time passes, leaks generally don't fix themselves, and now not only the cabinet has damage, but your tile floor is starting to pop. The first thing the claims adjuster does is poke around the cabinet bottom looking for black, punky wood. As soon as he finds it, he denies the claim as "damage over time". Right or wrong, the insurer will see the second scenario as some one looking for a new kitchen floor when a $100 plumber visit would have sufficed.

I don't mean to allude that you are acting out scenario 2. I'm only trying to illustrate how insurers deal with non-flood water claims.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2008 at 3:34PM
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My dishwasher leaked under my vinyl floor....and it curled and lifted. The floor was ruined and had to be replaced to the tune of $3500 about 15 years ago. I put in a claim on my household insurance and they paid.
However my dishwasher leakw as a sudden clog and the water flowed under the floor and the vinyl tile curled and that was that.
Your situation may be different.
High end vinyl can cost as much or more than ceramic tile....mine did!
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 8:45PM
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I had never even thought of calling my insurance company, I am sure it's not covered. It is apparant the leak was there for a long time, but since it was under the vinyl, I coulnd't see it until the vinyl came loose on the edge. I'm sure the insurance company would see this as a nuicense claim and drop us at our next renewal. I'd rather just save up to fix it all myself.

The entire floor needs to be replaced because it's 15 years old and it's black underneath from mold where it was leaking.

Due to lack of $$$, I'm just washing dishes by hand until I can save the $$ to fix it all. I called two different repair palces and they both said it will probably be $200 if the come out, and we only paid a little over $350 for the dishwasher new 3 years ago. I will save up for a new dishwasher & floor. Meanwhile my 9 year old car gave out and it will cost almost double what it's worth to fix it, so I'm looking for a cheap used car, which eclipses the whole dishwasher/floor fiasco.

It just never ends, this house has been a 16 year disaster.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 9:53PM
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CALL your insce. co. Give them the opportunity to decide if it's nonsense (because it sure doesn't sound like it is to me - it sounds quite valid). Why would you think it's not a reasonable claim?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 6:06AM
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Beware of actually filing a claim , however. We filed four claims with our home insurance, one was for flooding, one was for a minor fire that damaged a couch, the other two I can't recall the details. Our household insurance policy almost got cancelled by the "underwriting " department. Luckily they let us keep the policy. But it was nerve-wracking. We have, and always had, the "deluxe" policy and we always pay the premiums on time.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 3:05PM
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I call these types of leaks 'sneaky leaks'...Have run across many due to dishwashers, icemakers, sinks and toilets. With a slow leak situation it can seem weird that water winds up under the flooring instead of on top of it, but what is happening in such a situation is capillary action and the fact that flooring underlayment and some backings will wick moisture real well. You don't get to notice the leak until after the damage is done.

And,...lindac is spot on about the high cost of high end vinyl.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 10:55PM
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I know this topic is a couple years old, so I'm going to revive it a little with a similar scenario. My dishwasher overflowed over the 4th of July and the water seeped under my vinyl. Immediately the material under the vinyl buckled and formed a 'speed bump' where (I'm assuming) two boards meet up underneath. I know the repair for the 'speed bump' will be covered by my insurance. However, what happens to the vinyl? It looks alright, but has become unglued in the damaged area. If it is destroyed during the repair, then what? Will insurance cover a whole new vinyl floor? And to make matters worse, my vinyl floor is no longer manufactured so it wouldn't be possible to patch it either. Any input here?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 12:46PM
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Sizwizz--if you're still interested in a reply to your questions, email me.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 8:20PM
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