What to do after a leak from a washing machine

26th Jun 2017 | |

Washing machine leaks are one of the most common domestic causes of water damage and can have long-lasting effects if not dealt with swiftly and efficiently. With even smaller washers using up to 15 gallons of water, it’s easy to see how serious a leak can be.

Whilst mopping up excess water from your kitchen or laundry room solves the immediate problem, it doesn’t tackle the longer term issues. Find out how to avoid leaks and what to do if water does escape from your machine,

How to prevent washing machine leaks

To prevent leaks from a washing machine we would recommend it is useful to occasionally check the plumbing behind the machine. Typical causes of leaks may be slow drips from the valve taps on the water supply pipe, or splits in brittle water outlet pipes can crack with age. These leaks can start slowly but soon develop into flood damage over a wider area of your property.

Have a look behind the machine to check for tell-tale calcium build-up on the water supply pipe joins, or green slime on the waste outlet pipe. If these are visible then alarm bells should ring! If you’ve checked the hose of the water supply or the overflow tube and can see signs of wear and tear look to replace it immediately.

To help prevent a washing machine leak that may occur during operation, best to ensure first that the machine is not overloaded in the first place! Leaks from a front load washing machine are often a result of overfilling leading to the door or hinge not closing entirely. Be sure to also check door seals for regularly to are signs of cracks or damage.

How to best solve a washing machine leak response depends on the nature of the water spillage, where the water has run to and which building materials are affected.

What to do if your washing machine is leaking

  1. Turn off the water supply to the machine. This can be done at the valve to the washer or by shutting off the main water supply
  2. Pull out the plug/switch off the machine at the socket. This will help prevent electric shock and also prevent the machine from automatically draining and possibly spilling more water
  3. Soak up as much water as possible with mops, towels and buckets, to prevent the further spread of water. Even better, use a wet-vacuum if you have access to one, to suck up surface water quickly.
  4. Open windows and doors as much as possible to help ventilate the space
  5. If the leak has happened due to a fault with the washing machine drum, remove any wet clothes into a bucket
  6. Clean and sanitise the area. A water leak from the supply pipe will be considered white water and as such is clean. A leak from the water outlet hose could be considered grey water and as such may contain traces of food, dirt and grease which require thorough cleaning. Using bleach-type products or anti-microbial cleaners will be important here to remove any source of food for potential mould;
  7. Install drying equipment if enough water has escaped that mopping up surface water hasn’t solved the problem.

We can provide Dehumidifiers, Fans, Heaters and other drying equipment and accessories to get your house dry as quickly as possible.

How to dry the floor after a washing machine leak

The drying method will partly depend on the building construction. Whether you have a solid concrete floor or a floor void below the washing machine, it is likely the floor covering will slow down the removal of water. If the floors are covered by tiles, lino, laminate or wood flooring, it is possible these coverings may require removal in order to expose the building structure below.

  1. Solid floors: Following removal of any floor coverings that may be trapping moisture, a dehumidifier can be set up with a fan directing the flow of dry air down at the floor.
  2. Floor voids: Voids can exist in the form of suspended timber floors in old houses, or between raised floor panels and the concrete floor structure in new-build flats. These voids need to be opened up to investigate the possibility of trapped water within. Dry air can be ducted into the floor voids from the dehumidifier, in order to minimise the amount of opening up required before drying takes place.
  3. Walls: Water can soak into adjoining walls. If these are plasterboard it may be necessary to cut open the walls so that dry air can circulate in the void, especially if there is insulation within.

If the walls are solid, rendered walls then it may be useful to scrape any paint/plaster from the walls to expose the more porous material below. A dehumidifier can be set up with a fan to focus the flow of dry air at the wet area.

If you’ve suffered from a washing machine leak get in touch with us for expert advice on drying solutions and an extensive range of products to remove unwanted water and moisture in your home.