Preventing Water Damage in the Kitchen
By Terry J. Allen
The kitchen is often neglected even though it is often cleaned and warning signs of excess moisture and impending water damage are overlooked. Inspecting the following moisture sources will help in preventing damage where it is likely to happen.
The area behind the refrigerator is hardly ever inspected because it is relatively hard to reach. Inspecting this area will reduce the chance for water problems. Water behind the refrigerator is also a sign. Do not ignore it, fix immediately or hire an appliance technician. If you detect mold growth, clean it immediately. Locate the moisture and fix it. If you have an icemaker, check the hose to make sure it is sealed and attached to the water supply.
The sink and countertop are highly watered areas in the house. Check regularly under the sink and remove the trashcan and other stored items to search for leaks. A drip in the trap under the sink means drain problems and must be repaired fast. Look around the sink, slow draining pipes indicate a blocked drain. A dripping faucet must me repaired promptly. Pay attention to the countertop. If tiles are cracked or grout is missing, fix it to prevent water from pervading. Stained walls and floors around pipes indicate an internal leak that must be fixed to prevent additional damage.
If the dishwasher doesn't empty after use, the main filter may be blocked and must be released promptly. When the sink overflows, it is usually due to back-ups. This problem usually occurs when the drain line is clogged. Clean the drain line regularly. Look under the base of the dishwasher for leaks. If you find any leaks, there could be an unsealed joint or a damaged hose. Check the connection and fix as needed. Check the dishwasher hose under the sink for signs of leakage and fix if necessary. Consider installing steel-braided hoses on appliances such as the dishwasher.
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