Even New Refrigerators Can Cause (And Receive) Water Damage
The past two years of lockdowns, remote learning and WFH (work from home) has had all of us spending even more time in the kitchen. As families utilize every inch of space, continue the sourdough bread trend, and rediscover the crock pot, their reliable refrigerators can end up causing problems in the kitchen.
Unfortunately, whether you have a $100 Facebook Marketplace score, a traditional side by side, or a high end smart fridge, all have the same vulnerability– water damage.
- The supply line that brings water into the icemaker can break.
- A dirty motor can overheat, freeze up and then thaw, leaking water under the unit.
- And if your dog learns to help himself to ice cubes, the dampness from lost cubes can cause mold around the fridge.
Causes of Water Damage To Your Home
The most common failure is when the plastic water line that supplies the icemaker cracks or weakens, causing a slow leak. Over the weeks or months, this water drips down to the floor and wall beneath the fridge.
Another common cause of fridge water damage is general condensation. Since the units are tucked into a corner or surrounded by cabinets, there is poor air circulation in that area. Unfortunately, even just a little bit of added moisture from condensation buildup (or dropped ice) can spell disaster for your walls and adjacent cabinetry.
Causes Of Water Damage To Your Fridge
In the rare case that your appliance has been in a flood, put safety first. Don’t use any appliance that has come in contact with dirty flood water. If your refrigerator or freezer was totally submerged in flood water, it should be replaced. In this case, any electrical equipment that has an electric motor will need to be inspected and evaluated individually by an appliance repairman.
So even if the unit’s motor is working, refrigerators and freezers have insulation material that could soak up liquid if left in standing water. The slow dry-out of the material could lead to the formation and growth of bacteria and mold.
Repair Or Replace?
Check your notes- is the fridge still under the manufacturer’s warranty? If not, you need to balance the cost or repairs vs the cost of a new unit. Another calculation is energy efficiency. A typical new refrigerator with automatic defrost and a top-mounted freezer uses about 800 kiloWatt-hours (kWh) per year; your 20-year-old model probably uses about 2,000 kWh. So you could be saving money and energy for years to come.
If you are in the market for a new unit, the options are considerable. For more than a decade, homeowners have replaced and upgraded their black or white appliances for stainless steel. Now, in a retro twist, white appliances are a hot color choice for 2022 kitchen redos. And for the bravest homeowners, pale blue appliances are a show stopper as a pop of color. The opposite is also popular- completely camouflaging the refrigerator to match the kitchen’s built-in cabinetry.
When connected to an app, smart appliances allow you to monitor your energy use. Some refrigerators will alert you on your phone when you’ve left the door open for too long. You can even get a reminder when it is time to buy more milk. Most importantly, smart refrigerators will notify you of potential issues like a leak in the water line to the icemaker. By alerting you early, you might avoid thousands of dollars of water damage.
Will Insurance Cover Refrigerator Water Damage?
This question has two possible outcomes, depending on the inspection by the insurance adjustor. If damage was determined to be caused by a “sudden and accidental” leak or other malfunctions, the homeowner’s policy will kick in and cover the cost of cleanup. Typically, that would include the flooring, baseboards, sheetrock, and cabinets that were affected.
Unfortunately, slow leaks caused by the ice maker, freezer, or fridge aren’t covered by a typical homeowner’s insurance policy. Neither are situations that are determined to be due to negligence. For instance, water damages caused by a burst pipe would likely be covered – but repairing the pipe itself would not be. So whenever you suspect refrigerator water damage, call the PCS/PRS Southern repair team immediately. They will come out to your home and get started right away in order to save your kitchen from further damage.
The Best Water Damage Repair in Trumbull
The water damage repair experts at Professional Restoration Systems are here for your home and your family. They will send out clean-cut and uniformed restoration specialists to your door, ready to clean up all damaged areas. A plan will be quickly made to remove all traces of waste, repair all damaged materials, and to keep you safe.
The team will detect any structural damage with high tech tools then eliminate hidden mold or other pathogens. The water damage repair experts at Professional Restoration Systems will restore your home to pre-loss condition, as quickly and safely as possible. Visit our website for more info about carpet cleaning, as well.