Tips for Preventing Water Damage from a Leaking Refrigerator

A man checking the door of a refrigerator to determine the cause of a leakIt doesn’t take long for a burst pipe to cause severe damage to your home. However, gushing water isn’t the only cause of water damage; oftentimes, a little drip can result in a big problem. A common culprit of slow, progress leaks is one of the most essential appliances in your home: the refrigerator. Since your fridge fulfills a variety of complex functions, it’s not out of the ordinary for a leak to occur and gradually cause water damage. Luckily, you don’t necessarily require a repairman when it comes to preventing water damage from a leaking refrigerator.

Preventing the Common Causes of a Leaking Refrigerator

The primary way to prevent water damage is to diagnose and correct issues with your refrigerator the moment you notice them. The best method is to schedule regular checks of your fridge – such as during your seasonal home maintenance – and if a problem is uncovered, fix it immediately. Some of these common issues and their solutions include:

  • Drain Blockage: If your refrigerator’s defrost drain is blocked by food, debris, backed-up water, or a buildup of ice, you can unclog it by flushing the drain with warm water or using a pipe cleaner.
  • Poor Door Seal: If the rubber seal on the fridge door is dry and cracked, it needs to be replaced, as it can allow warm air into the freezer, causing the fridge to work harder to maintain its temperature. This can result in ice buildup in the water line or freezer that can cause leakage.
  • Damage to the Water Supply Line: Water supply lines are typically made from plastic tubing, which is susceptible to damage. Regularly inspect the supply line for any cracks or kinks.
  • Imbalanced Refrigerator: Ideally, the fridge should be a quarter-inch lower in the front than the back. If improperly balanced, the coolant cannot flow freely and the more energy is needed to regulate the temperature, causing condensation on the coils that drips and pools on the floor.

Usually, water damage won’t happen suddenly, so if you discover one of these issues, it’s not too late. These problems cause slow leaks most of the time, so the water damage progresses over the years, eventually resulting in mold and wood rot.

Does Insurance Cover Water Damage from a Leaking Refrigerator?

Wall, floor, or foundation damage resulting from leaking pipes or appliances must be considered “sudden and accidental” to be covered by homeowners insurance. Therefore, if the water supply line bursts and spills a significant amount of water, you are covered for the damages. However, if your refrigerator has a slow, indiscernible leak, you must report your homeowners insurance claim as soon as you recognize the damage. Insurance companies will understand that a leak can go unnoticed, so if you show the water damage was not a result of negligence, you will be covered.

Preventing water damage from a leaking refrigerator is fortunately simple and mostly requires regularly scheduled inspections. Taking a few moments to check your fridge’s components and the surrounding area for moisture or mold can potentially save you a lot of trouble down the line. Fortunately, TJ Woods Insurance has the experience necessary to ensure their clients are covered from water damage. With the right homeowners insurance, a small leak won’t result in steep financial repercussions. Contact us today to discover how you can find the appropriate protection for your lifestyle.