Right, I live in North Texas (DFW area) in a house that was built in
Today my wife noticed some black spots on a kitchen cabinet shelf.
Upon further investigation, the deepest, most unreachable part of
those shelves were black with mold. Since these shelves are right next
to the dishwasher, I next looked under the dishwasher and my worst
fears were true. There must be a slow or small leak somewhere in the
dishwasher plumbing, since there was a lake of water under there. This
water never seeped onto the floor, since the tiles on the floor seem
to form a small barrier that allows the water to spread under the
cupboards, but there never was enough water to complete fill that
hollow and spread over onto the floor.
So now I have several questions.
Can spraying bleach cure this or am I looking at replacing (at best)
the shelves that seem to be some form of particle board or 9at worst)
the entire set of kitchen cabinets?
How the heck do I get the dishwasher out of there and how do I look
under the dishwasher to find the leaking plumbing? All my tugging on
the dishwasher doesn't seem to move it and I'm afraid I might twist or
break something (nothing feels very strong) if I pull too hard.
For those familiar with the mold issues a few years back here in North
Texas, I guess I'm SOL as far as my insurance picking up a part of the
tab? I'll call my agent tomorrow, but I thought I'd ask here in case
someone has some experience.
There should be a metal kickplate at the very bottom of the DW held by
screws. Remove the screws and the kickplate will come off. You can view
many things from there. Maybe enough not to have to remove the DW.
Removal. Open the door to the dishwasher. Look on the underside of the
countertop. There may be two metal tabs that are screwed into the
underside of the countertop. This MAY be all that is holding it.
Some DWs are also screwed into the sides of the cabinet rails. Open the
DW door and look for screws at the very front that point towards the
front edge of the cabinets next to the DW.
You may have to lower the leveling legs of the DW to slide it out. Remove
the kickplate. The base of the adjustable legs (two or four of them)
should be hex shaped so you can put a pair of pliers or large wrench on
it to turn. Looking DOWN at the floor, you would turn them
counterclockwise to lower the DW.
To slide the DW totally out you have to disconnect the drain hose. You
MAY also have to disconnect the water inlet supply and/or electrical line
depending on how long each is. Probably count on doing this.
OK, I got the dishwasher out and it's not a pretty sight, not as bad
as it might have been, but not pretty. I took some pictures and posted
them here: http://mpbrede.googlepages.com/moldpictures
Hopefully this will give you guys a chance to form a better opinion of
what I should be doing.
I had a repairman come out for the dishwasher and he says it is the
motor/pump assembly ($250 on the Kitchenaid. Add in labor and tax and
he's quoting $362).
From what I read, the mold is essentially there and will yield spores
ad infinitum. Since it is wood, it is not easy (possible?) to seal the
surfaces adequately, if my understanding is correct. I will look into
the biocides, but my wife is very concerned that she will have
polluted cabinets afterwards and she doesn't want to store cookware
and other kitchen utensils there if there is a chance of
SteveBell, can you please contact me with the referral you offered? My
email address on this post is good.
Thanks for the advice, please keep it coming.
I'm dealing with the exact same issue this morning. I've got blowers
rented from Sunbelt drying things out now. So, I have a vested
interest. If you come to a solution via means other than this forum, I
would be very grateful if you would share it with me. I'd tell my
story, but it seems more in the same (your pictures sum up my cabinets
too.). Thanks everyone!
Check you home owner's insurance policy. You may be covered for
the problem. Letting the pro's come in and do the job will be cheaper
and easier than DIY if it is covered.
I had a friend who bought a house that had a pipe bust in the
cold. There was mold in places you would never think of and not near
the leak. It was a big job but the insurance paid for it all.
For that kind of price, get a new dishwasher. My rule is: If the repair
price (of any broken thing) is half the price of replacement, get a new
thing. For computer equipment, the break point is one third.
Relax! Mold/mildew isn't a new animal about to take over the world.
Your shelves will probably
be fine if cleaned with household detergent with a little bleach - let
them air out and dry before putting
stuff back. I assume they have some sort of finish on them.
I have had puddles under my dishwasher three times, none of them related
directly to the dw plumbing.
First time, the repair guy said there was buildup of dw detergent that
caused suds that kept the dw from
draining properly , so it ran over. Cure: dump in a quart of white
vinegar and run through a full cycle. I
was skeptical but it worked.
Second time, I had forgotten all about the first problem, but it turned
out to be different - the dw had moved
slightly so that the door hit the edge of the cabinet ever so slightly
and didn't shut entirely.
Third time, water heater in corner of kitchen (on slab, inside corner
cabinet) was leaking slowly, water
ran over and puddled under the dw.
I may write a book about "plumbing events" in my condo - certainly gets
As for mildew, any home in Florida without sufficient AC will grow
mildew somewhere. Spores are
everywhere, and they are supposed to be everywhere, so don't think you
can wipe them out. Clean, dry
and well ventillated are key. My hubby and I nudge the thermostat back
and forth constantly, he to 80, me to 78.
Not much diff, but at 80 the salt hardens and the saltshakers rust,
leather grows grey fuzz and elastic rots.
Next chapter in my saga of mold in the kitchen.
Spoke to a few people regarding this. One company (forgot the name of
which, but very professional) told me they could not come out until a
licensed consultant had reviewed the mold. They then gave me a name
and number to call. There I spoke to a very friendly and helpful guy
who told me that I had the grand old state of Texas to thank for this.
Apparently back in 2001, a rash of mold-related problems caused
massive issues with the insurance companies, since people would rip
out huge parts of their houses (or condemn entire houses) based on the
presence of black mold. So in 2005 the great state of Texas passed a
law that says that only "licensed contractors" could work of mold
infestations greater than 25 sq ft. Unlicensed contractors could work
on smaller infestations. However, a licensed contractor cannot work on
a mold infestation until such a time as it has been assessed by a
licensed consultant to correctly asses the damage and repair required.
To get the consultant to come out is in excess of $570. For them to
write the 8-page assessment is extra.
So I've had an unlicensed contractor come out. This guy had lots of
proposals, and the one that I finally got a quote for was to put some
fan in the kitchen, cover if with a plastic tent and drill small
holes and pipe air under the cabinets to ventilate that area for 3-4
days. Then he would replace the wood that was easily reachable (but
not the wood that was hard (impossible?) to reach, for the princely
sum of $735.
Right now I have some cleaning equipment (smae make as recommended
earlier in this thread), some surface primer and a mask from Lowes for
I guess we'll ask the dishwasher man to come back the day after
tomorrow, not tomorrow, to give my treatment a chance to dry.
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