Courtesy of our hot water heater, I ended up with today off, and possibly tomorrow as well. I’d noticed last night that there was water on the floor by the hot water heater, which is stuffed in a corner of my sewing room closet (courtesy of the previous owners, we believe). Luckily, it was actually one of the hoses at the top of the tank that was leaking, so we were able to shut off the water to it, and leave the hard work for today. Since the hot water heater is 10 years old, instead of just replacing the hoses, we bought a new tank, as well.
Unfortunately, when we got the old tank drained with a garden hose and pulled out, we started to discover that the hose had been leaking for a lot longer than we’d hoped. Definitely weeks, possibly months. All I can guarantee is that it wasn’t leaking last November when we painted that room. We could tell that it was wet between the laminate flooring and wall, so we started pulling out flooring…
…and got a nasty surprise. That’s mold, on what had been particle board sub-floor. Water had gotten underneath the plastic pad under the laminate floor, and molded. With how bad the sub-floor was directly under the hot water heater, we’re lucky it hadn’t actually gone through the floor. We followed the wet and mold, pulling out flooring until we hit dry edges all the way around in the sewing room.
Just for kicks, we put down some kitty litter to see if that would help pull some of the moisture off the top of the wood. It helped a little, but it will still take some time to dry out completely. (The kitty litter has already been swept up, lest the kitties get any bright ideas) We did check on the other side of those walls – the entry closet and living room – and while the edges were a little damp, there didn’t seem to be a lot of water or any sign of mold, so it looks like the living room floor is safe for the time being.
The sub-floor right in that nook where the hot water heater sat was completely destroyed – spongy, bulged up in the middle, and covered in mold, and the only thing to do was to cut it out.
Right now, we’ve got heaters and fans running, an bleach has been sprayed on the remaining edges that we weren’t able to cut out. Hopefully tomorrow things will be dry enough to get some new sub-floor screwed in, and get the hot water heater set up temporarily so that we can shower again. We’ll have to figure out a new solution for the floor in that room, since the company that made our laminate flooring doesn’t make that color any more, and I’ve already ordered a water sensor alarm that should arrive Monday to place in the pan under the new hot water heater, so we find out about leaks immediately – before damage like this happens again!