Water Damage on Hardwood Floors

Water Damage to Engineered Flooring

Whenever you buy a house you need to be prepared for things to go wrong. Very wrong. It’s not the end of the world but often major home expenses can really cost you if you aren’t prepared with an emergency fund. Recently we discovered an issue with our refrigerator which will force us to do some major work on our floors.

The Situation

What happened was a two fold problem emanating from the fridge. A while back the freezer began leaking out the front of the door. We discovered it was an ice blockage of the drain pipe in the back which caused an iceberg dam effect and the water began to drain out of the door instead. I fixed the issue by thawing out the ice and removing it with warm water.

I ended up doing a similar repair two more times after the first time but unbeknown to us another problem was working. Our engineered hardwood floors were certainly damaged and needed replaced but we thought that since the problem was taken care of it wouldn’t get any worse. You guessed it, we were wrong.

The Real Problem

Yesterday we discovered the the moisture was continuing to spread. Slowly but it was obvious something else was wrong. I pulled the fridge out and found the issue. A pinhole in the coupling on the hose was shooting out a tiny spray of a fine mist. The mist was so fine that it was difficult to see but enough to wet the floors, baseboards, and lower wall areas.

The real problem was discovered at last.

The Culprit: The Water Line

I cut the water off at the line to prevent any further damage. The next step is to install a new coupling on the hose. It’s an easy fix that costs around $5. I’ll post more on repairing a refrigerator water line in a future post.

The Real Damage: The Engineered Hardwood Floors

Unfortunately the engineered hardwood floors will cost a bit more to replace. The floors were eventually going to be replaced anyway but this has really pushed up the timeframe. We’re exploring installing a laminate hardwood flooring for the kitchen and living room. For the price range of our house in this neighborhood a nice laminate floor makes sense.

Replacing the hardwood with new flooring was on our “before we sell to do list” so I guess we’re conquering a chore we would have to do anyway.

What I Learned

No one ever told me to pull the refrigerator out to check the lines periodically. It’s something you just don’t think about, but you should. I’m not exactly sure how often you should check the line but as the refrigerator gets older check it more frequently. If your floor isn’t a mess like ours is now the fridge will roll out fairly easily.

Lesson learned.