Waterproofing a laundry closet


Old 03-25-16, 10:35 AM
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Question Waterproofing a laundry closet

I live on the third floor of an apartment in California which has a laundry closet off the outside porch. In a casual initial inspection the laundry closet would look okay with apparently a concrete board floor and a drain to the outside on the left away from the apartment. There are double doors that open out that provide protection from the outside weather. Incredibly however the walls of the laundry closet terminate 1/2 inch above the floor without waterproof baseboard or anything, thus any water would simply drain on three sides into the empty space beyond the floor and then down to the lower levels to do whatever water does.

If you are very lucky and the washing machine and hoses never leak, of course there is no problem. What is an efficient way for me to remedy this problem? I was thinking that if there is a closed cell foam in a spray can that is waterproof itself and blocks the flow of water, then that would look possible. Less simple is stuffing in 1/2 inch backer rod, and then using a good silicone caulk to make a waterproof seal.

Parenthetically, let me mention that this is a 6 year old middle class apartment development that is not cheap, and if at the time of construction the contractor had done their job properly which would not have been expensive, there would not be this problem.
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Old 03-25-16, 03:21 PM
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#1, The wall material was installed correctly.
Even if it was installed tight to the floor no way would that stop a flood, and would just also destroy the wall board.
Do you have to old black rubber hoses? If so get rid of them and replace with stainless steel braided hoses.
Is the washer sitting in a pan with a drain?
Washing Machine Pan-34067 - The Home Depot
You could also spend a bunch of money and buy an auto shutoff.
Intelliflow - Automatic Washing Machine Shutoff Valve - Learn About - Watts
Old 03-27-16, 12:25 PM
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I question walls installed correctely

If there is a minor leak from underneath the washing machine of just a few quarts of water, the water will run to the right front corner and go down wherever it goes. The question here is how is that mitigated. I doubt if water even in a catastrophic failure of hose will even ever get to the installed PVC drain. If the contractor had put in a waterproof baseboard, this would trap almost all the minor flows I think. So you would have a big drain pan which is the whole floor. Due to the slope of the concrete board serving as the floor, even if the water couldn't get to the drain pipe, it would just sit there until it evaporated or someone finally saw it and cleaned it up.

When new washing machines are installed, the installer will not accept your old hose, but will bring new good stainless steel hoses and install those. Also they will check that the hose install is done properly. The danger most often is then from leaks underneath the washing machine which any experienced owner is aware of.

Another thing that I find bizarre about this installation. There is wood baseboard at the bottom of the walls which faithfully are 1/2 inch above the floor. So maybe the drywall people did all they were required to do, and the person installing the concrete board floor did all that was required by them, but it became a worthless exercise in making the laundry closet minimally water proof.
Old 03-27-16, 05:17 PM
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Your point is hard to follow. It sounds like the floor was installed poorly.

Anyway, builders don't generally build rooms to be waterproof. One thing you can do is put up tall vinyl base and caulk the bottom edge.

The best precaution is to maintain your plumbing fixtures and valves.
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