How to know if I have water damage

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Old 04-26-16, 07:09 PM
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How to know if I have water damage

I recently found that water came up through the natural holes in my travertine kitchen floor when I stepped in certain places. I thought it might be a slab leak, but it turned out there were just pinhole leaks in the hose connecting the ice maker for the fridge. Since the fridge is against the wall (where there tile ends), I suppose water had gotten between the slab and the flooring.

Would anyone be able to tell me what I should worry about in terms of water damage? Should I be concerned about mold in the wall where the fridge was, as well as between the flooring and slab?

Thanks,
Matt
 
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Old 04-26-16, 07:19 PM
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Mold needs 3 things to grow... moisture, optimum temperature, and a food source... and I doubt that the concrete or tile would be a good food source.

Once the floor dries out, your perceived problem will go away. No moisture no mold.

Don't quite understand why you think it would be wet inside the wall.
 
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Old 04-26-16, 10:10 PM
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If stepping on the tiles caused water to come up, that tile is loose. Tap the floor with the handle of a screwdriver held vertically to test for a dud sound.

Dehumidifier and fan running?

Jaz
 
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Old 04-26-16, 11:57 PM
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You didn't say if you made an inspection. The fridge should be pulled out. Inspect the wall baseboard and surrounding cabinets for any signs of water being absorbed. Test the drywall for wetness.
If you caught this leak quickly, you might be OK. If not, see post above. Area needs dried out as soon as possible.
 
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Old 04-27-16, 12:21 AM
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Thanks all for the replies. I definitely did not catch the leak quickly. It was very slow (I needed a flashlight to see the water coming out of the pinhole leaks in the hose), but it went on for at least a couple weeks and probably much longer. Long enough to cause serious corrosion to the metal plate on the back of the fridge.

The fridge is pulled out, and visually I can see the baseboards and drywall have definitely absorbed some water, though they aren't really wet to the touch. Cosmetically it isn't a big deal because it's behind the fridge, I'm just concerned about long-term damage inside the wall or under the flooring.

I guess the question is whether I need to tear up drywall to see what is happening inside the wall.

Thanks,
Matt
 
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Old 04-27-16, 12:32 AM
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Long term damage is exactly what you need to be concerned with. As Jaz said, get some fans and a dehumidifier in there.
Aim the fans at the bottom of the rear wall and the bottom of any adjacent cabinets or dishwasher.
It's your call on the drywall. If it feels mushy or you suspect water is inside the wall, cut out the drywall in a strip about 6 or 8" high.
 
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Old 04-27-16, 04:08 AM
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If the drywall is solid and stain free the odds are there is nothing to worry about. Any significant amount of moisture will leave a stain on the drywall, the more water the drywall has absorbed the darker/bigger the stain will be.
 
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Old 04-27-16, 05:51 AM
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Indoor Fungal Habits

I love this guy's comments on mold. Yes, dry it out as soon as possible. Once it dries out it will be fine.
 
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Old 04-27-16, 11:58 AM
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I'm not sure what here is due to water damage and what was due to sloppy installation initially, but I'm running a fan on the area now in any case.

Interesting reading about mold. I hadn't considered the impact to humans, I was only thinking about the house. If I do ever cut out some mold-infested drywall, I will try to resist the urge to eat it.

Am I correctly interpreting from the article that removing the cause of the problem (the water spraying on the wall/floor from the damaged ice maker hose) is sufficient, and additional damage is unlikely now the root cause is resolved? Or is that just what I would like to believe?

Thanks,
Matt

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Old 04-27-16, 12:13 PM
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I'd say fans will be good enough. I don't see any waterlogged drywall. Keep the fans on longer than needed, you will get a feel for how dry everything is.
 
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Old 04-27-16, 03:30 PM
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Yes! Drying the floor and wall with fans is enough.
 
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Old 04-27-16, 04:48 PM
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As mentioned in post #2 mold needs 3 things to grow; moisture, heat and a food source. Take away anyone of the 3 and it can't grow ..... of course it's always nice/wise to clean up or remove what you can.
 
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Old 04-27-16, 08:48 PM
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Thanks again for everyone's help. Let me know if you have any...uh...electrical engineering questions, as that's pretty much the only thing I know about.
 
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