9 Tips to Survive a Water Leak in Your Home

Finding a water leak in your home can set off an instant wave of panic. Knowing these steps will help you minimize the damage and the stress of putting it all back together.

There is a Smell in Our Kitchen…

Around Christmas, I started to smell something a little musty around our kitchen sink. We checked under the sink itself and the faucet. Nothing was leaking. Fast forward a week and the smell was getting worse. We emptied everything out from under the sink and found that the back of our cabinets had mold. There was a leak in the wall and it was causing all sorts of destruction to our kitchen.

You would think that since this is the second time we have gone through a water leak, the first with our dining room, that I would be a seasoned veteran. But this was a lot like having a second child, the baby is born (or the leak happens) and you vaguely remember what to do but it’s still a little hazy. There aren’t any clear answers on Google – for the baby or the water leak – so here is my handy list of what to do when the leak happens. I’m still working on the concise parenting list…

9 Tips for a Water Leak

  1. Locate and stop the water leak if possible. We had to shut our water off for a few days until the plumber could get out here. BUT, the plumber won’t come if there is mold so you need the mold remediation company to come out first.
  2. Call a mold remediation company. Get a few quotes also. Even though your homeowners’ insurance will most likely cover this, you want someone that you feel will get the job done right and understands how the process works.
  3. Call your insurance. Ours didn’t send an adjuster out until after the mold remediation process was complete. The adjuster will come out and write up an estimate of what it will cost to fix the damage.
  4. Save receipts! Our insurance will reimburse us for a portion of our cost of eating out since we don’t have a kitchen.
  5. Ask your friends for help. We borrowed a microwave and hot plate from a friend. We also had a few great recommendations on contractors from friends.
  6. Set up your back up space. If the leak was in your kitchen, this is going to be more complicated than if the leak was in your dining room or some other non-essential place. Since our’s was in our kitchen, we set up shop in our garage with a folding table filled with a microwave, hot plate, toaster oven, electric skillet, and Instant Pot. I created a must-have list here of all the essentials we are using for our back up kitchen.
  7. Rethink your space. Once you can assess the damage, start to think how you are going to rebuild. Walk the big box stores and take a look at what’s out there. I was shocked at how fancy kitchen drawers are now compared to the 1979 builder grade cabinets we had.
  8. Start to contact contractors. This process is not fast so get some companies out to give you some preliminary quotes. Get at least 3 quotes for the work that needs to be done.
  9. Have patience. Easier said than done, I realize.

Stay tuned for before and after photos. Perhaps a few posts on how to renovate a kitchen. Leave any kitchen renovation tips or things you’d like to know in the comments!

Scared you have a water leak in your plumbing, maybe behind a wall in your home or in a basement? Here are some tips on how to make the damage and cost as minimal as possible, especially if you are dealing with mold. Great hacks on how to set up a temporary kitchen too. Don’t worry, no real DIY skills are required - just a sense of humor, someone who knows pipes or toilets and patience with insurance and contractors and everyone else who is affected by the water leakage. #DIY #waterleakage #renovation #mold

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