DIY

Dishwasher Disaster

The Incident

On August 29, 2019, I dropped Sierra off at our home after school only to find what can only be described as a disaster. When we walked in the front door, a geyser was shooting out of the bottom of the dishwasher. On first inspection, there was also one inch of water in the kitchen floor and the carpet was soaked in the living room and master bedroom.

The Nightmare

What I thought was going to be a long sleepless night, has as of this writing turned into an 8-week nightmare. On that first day, I pumped 84 gallons of water out of the hvac system, 7 gallons off the kitchen floor and 6 gallons out of the living room and bedroom carpets. Over the next 4 days, I used our carpet cleaner to remove several more gallons from the carpets. None of these steps seemed to resolve the issues. So, on September 3, 2019 I filed a claim with our insurance.

The initial claim called for 32 square feet of new sub floor, new tile throughout the kitchen and new carpet pad in the living room (a total of $2,400). Fast forward 8 weeks and the claim now stands at right around $10,000 and includes replacing all of the insulation and vapor barrier under the house. Keep reading to see the damage, the repair process and the final results!

The Damage

This was the first picture after water cleanup. Everything “looks” somewhat normal here. Little did we know that this was the calm before the storm!
This is part of the original estimate: 32 sq ft of damaged subfloor.
The subfloor is 5/8” MDF and as a result, there are several areas of swelling and damage.
More swelling of the subfloor.
This countertop and partial wall will eventually be removed to repair the damaged subfloor below it. Here, you can see the water in the carpet and pad.

Repair and Renovation

The above pictures show the damage from the failed dishwasher plumbing. The pictures below show the upgrades we planned while other repairs underway. (Namely: re-sealing windows, replacing drywall, upgrading electrical, etc)

North wall of living room. Drywall removed to allow for sealing of windows and repair of insulation
Removal of damaged drywall near kitchen & installation of new Ethernet and cable jacks in living room.
New window sills and framing installed around windows. (We eliminated the trailer-ish furring strips along all drywall joints and mudded/taped the joints)
New drywall and electrical outlets installed along south wall. (The old outlets were attached to the drywall. The new outlets are installed properly on the wall studs)
Wall installed with most taping/mudding completed. Window opening finally opened up as well.
Mudding continues–This is the most painful/discouraging part of drywall work. I used to be really good but found that I was out of practice!
Living room flooring completed and kitchen making progress.
All flooring is installed and both dogs are happy again!
An Enhancement: These are custom built window casings. Sara found a design she liked and we bought the materials to build them ourselves.

Ongoing Problems

At publishing time, we still have a lot of work to do. We are living in the house and slowly putting things in order. I still need to finish two windows in the living room and start the two in the kitchen (Over the winter, all windows will get new insulation and casings). The insurance company owes us approximately $7,000 which has stopped all work under the house. While the insulation is gone, I am adding new plumbing for the eventual remodel of the master bathroom. I also am planning to build an insulated box for our pressure tank and make some repairs to the air conditioning wiring. Until checks come in though, the house will remain unfinished and our stress levels will remain elevated. We will post updates to this post as work progresses.

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