There’s nothing quite as frustrating for homeowners than coming home to a flooded area in the kitchen, laundry room, or other areas or rooms in their house due to malfunctioning or faulty appliances. When these appliances leak, the water can damage flooring, ceiling, and walls if not cleaned and dried properly. Even the smallest leak, if not taken care of immediately can lead to long-term water damage and mold and mildew growth.

The Appliances Most Likely to Cause Water Damage

According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) some appliances failures lead to an average claim size of around $5,000 — sometimes, though, the cost can be much more. To help homeowners avoid these damages and repair costs, we thought it might be helpful to review some of the most common culprits of appliance water damage as well as prevent tips to ensure your home stays safe and dry.

Hot Water Heaters

A hot water heater is one of the top five leading causes of residential water damage. The most common causes of water heater failures are due to a slow leak or a tank burst, followed by supply line failures. The susceptibility of these appliances failing increase significantly once it has reached five years of age. In fact, many water heaters malfunction before they reach 12 years of age. However, getting an annual hot water heater inspection will help prevent leaks and costly repairs that are associated with the water damage. Always keep an eye out for corrosion and other signs of damage or wear.

Prevention and Maintenance Tips

  • Check the life expectancy and warranty for your water heater and replace accordingly.
  • Make sure to flush your tank every six months to increase the life expectancy of your tank. Sediment will build up faster in areas with hard water.
  • Inspect the values to ensure they are secure.
  • Have a professional plumber inspect the anode rod at least once every two years and once a year once the warranty has expired. The rod will eventually corrode and leave the tank vulnerable to damage.

Washing Machine

While having bubbles and water from a leaky washing machine may seem like an episode from a sitcom episode, the end result is no joke – rooms and contents flooded with water.

The most common issue with washing machines that homeowners deal with is a broken supply hose, which can leak up to 600 gallons an hour if not stopped. Often caused by long-term wear issues.

Prevention and Maintenance Tips

  • Inspect your washing machines supply hose regularly, looking out for cracking, rusting, or corrosion.
  • Leave enough space between the machine and the wall for movement as the wash cycle is running.
  • Replace the hoses every five years.
  • Ensure that the connection to the valve is secure, but avoid over-tightening.
  • When leaving your home for an extended period of time, turn off the hot and cold water supply valves to reduce failure risks.

Air Conditioner

If not properly maintained, your air conditioning unit has the potential to cause water damage to your home. Typically, your air conditioning should never leak water into your home, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t happen. By neglecting your A/C unit, you’re leaving your home vulnerable. The most common causes of air conditioner water damage include a clogged air filter, cracked drain pan, clogged or disconnected drain, or low refrigerant levels. Air conditioner leaks are something that you want to avoid as the average cost of flood damage is around $5,000.

Prevention and Maintenance Tips

  • Receive regular air conditioning inspections and maintenance.
  • Change your air filter monthly.
  • Have a professional air conditioning repair service clean the condensation line at least once a year.
  • Inspect the unit’s condensate drip pan regularly.
  • Clear away any outside blockages.

Dishwasher

A dishwasher is one of life’s greatest modern conveniences. However, it may not seem like that when a dishwasher malfunctions and results with water all over your kitchen. The hoses, valves, and switches are the plumbing connections of a dishwasher that could be causing puddles of water to accumulate on your kitchen floor. Additionally, dishwashers can often overflow due to human error, such as adding too much detergent to each cycle. Lastly, dishwashers should be replaced every nine years.

Prevention and Maintenance Tips

  • Ensure hoses, valves, and switches are installed properly.
  • Routinely inspect dishwasher water lines.
  • Only run the dishwasher when you are home.
  • Avoid using too much dishwashing detergent.

Refrigerator

We rely on the refrigerators in our home for a lot, so when there’s a problem with it, things can go downhill quickly. Refrigerator leaks tend to be quite small and won’t cause much damage if taken care of immediately. However, certain refrigerator leaks can cause water damage to the floor underneath it or the wall behind it — areas that not frequently inspected by most homeowners — before anyone’s aware of it. When these leaks go unnoticed they will eventually be susceptible to mold growth. Generally, refrigerator leaks are caused by a faulty water supply line, a clogged defrost drain, or condensation.

Prevention and Maintenance Tips

  • Check the rubber seals along the door to assure a tight close.
  • Ensure all hoses and water lines are properly connected.
  • Inspect the water like to ensure there is no buildup.

As you can see, there are a variety of factors that can lead to water damage apart from rising water levels and severe weather conditions — many are already inside your home! If your home is suffering from water damage from these appliances, it is important to quickly clean and dry the affected area properly. And, in most cases, the best way to handle appliance water damage is to contact a professional water damage restoration company for immediate assistance. If you are in need of residential water damage cleanup, the professionals at 24/7 Aquadry restoration are available to provide quick, emergency restoration services to ease your mind and save your property in the event of water damage. To learn more information or to request a free quote, contact us!