What To Do When Your Washing Machine Floods Your Home
Did you know that an average load of laundry uses about 30 gallons of water? That’s almost as much as a full bathtub and plenty to do some serious damage to your home, and clean-up can be a pretty serious process, especially if you have stacked units or your washer is tucked in a laundry nook. But don’t stress, here are the steps to take to mitigate the damage caused by a washing machine flood, and how to get your home back to normal as soon as possible.
Step 1: Turn off the washer and any surrounding electronicsIt’s elementary science, water and electric current make for a dangerous combination. Protect yourself, your family, and your pets by immediately switching off the electricity to the washing machine and any other surrounding electronics and appliances such as a hot water heater, dryer, lighting etc. It might even be best to flip the switch for the entire circuit via the breaker box. Pro Tip: Make sure you and your family know where your breaker box is and make sure all of the switches are clearly labeled.
Step 2: Turn off the water.When your washing machine floods, it may seem like a river has been unleashed in your home. To staunch the flow you need to turn off the water. This could mean either turning the intake valve to the washer itself or shutting off the water to the house if this isn’t possible. Pro Tip: Make sure your family has familiarized themselves with all the main water valves in your home including the main intake from the city.
Step 3: Take pictures. But do it quickly.Your first instinct may be to grab a mop and get to work. However, the flood in your home could have long term consequences. Especially to your walls and flooring. If you have someone else with you, designate them the job of photographing as much of the affected area as possible to use in your insurance claim. But work quickly in order to minimize the effect of the water damage.
Step 4: Start Cleaning UpEven a centimeter of standing water can do some serious damage to your home. It’s important to get up as much water as you can and prevent it from spreading. Grab a mop, bucket, towels, squeegee, anything you can to start pulling the water away. You’ll also want to move any items away from the area to prevent them from being destroyed. Pro Tip: Keep a squeegee, mop, or extra absorbent towels by your machine in case a disaster strikes. You can also invest in absorbing materials that hold onto water and make clean up easy.
Step 5: Call the experts.Like we mentioned, washing machine floods can wreak havoc on your home. Often, this damage isn’t apparent at the outset as water can soak into subfloors, drywall, furniture etc. This not only makes cleanup more difficult, but poses a health risk if mold is allowed to grow. Call in a water damage restoration expert to clean up the mess quickly and thoroughly, getting in the places the average homeowner can’t reach and properly disinfecting to prevent odor and harmful bioactivity. Pro Tip: Keep the number of a trusted restoration service – Like Integrity Restoration – near your washer and dryer. Better to be prepared in the face of disaster than spend valuable moments frantically searching for a number online. Make sure to find one that’s available to respond 24/7. Common Causes of Washing Machine Floods The best way to mitigate washing machine floods is to prevent a disaster in the first place. Common causes of washing machine floods include:
- Improperly loaded machines with either too much laundry or suds
- Loose or damaged water supply valves and hoses
- Loose or clogged drainage hoses
- Damaged internal hoses
- Malfunctioning water level switches
- Faulty door latches, boot seals, and cover gaskets