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Old 12-22-2017, 12:25 AM   #1
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Mold under kitchen tile due to refrigerator leak

Hi Everyone! Hoping you might be able to help! I’ve pretty much been through hell with new kitchen appliances! After a complete kitchen remodel our brand new dishwasher kept dumping a huge amount of water onto our kitchen floor. After a lot of back & forth with our service company & multiple visits with them pulling the dishwasher in & out & lots of back & forth with the dishwasher manufacturer we finally got out dishwasher replaced. Then we thought there were issues with the new one too! Turns out with all the “service” on the dishwasher, they busted the water line on the fridge that ran behind the dishwasher. It’s been leaking into my new cabinets & into my basement for a few weeks, unbeknownst to us. Now I am getting a weird orange crud on my grout (which is originally brown grout) that I assume is mold?

Do I need to pull up my tile? I want to cry! We saved for years to get this kitchen reno & the thought of needing to pull up tile to treat mold has me absolutely terrified. We definitely can not afford it, but I have two young babies & their health to worry about. Any advice? See a photo of the orange crud on the attached photo. Thanks so much for any advice!!!

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Last edited by Tool Guy - Kg; 12-23-2017 at 12:20 PM. Reason: Rotate picture upright. :)
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Old 12-22-2017, 01:51 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Jay.

Sorry for your troubles.

Let's not assume it's mold just yet without more evidence. What we need to know is what the floor is comprised of, from bottom to top. You can correct me on any part of this if I get it wrong. I'm assuming there's a joist structure of some sort, with a subfloor. Typically there's some type of tiling backer or membrane, then an adhesive of some type to stick the tile down.

Tell us what each of those are, as much as you know, and also what kind of tile and grout you have. That'll give us a starting point.

Also, post a couple more pictures of the tile, and some of the floor from underneath if you have access to it.

If you can prove that the dishwasher installers caused the leak, then they should be the ones paying for the repair, in my opinion. You may want to get your homeowners insurance on board at this stage, just in case this happens to be a leak that is covered.

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Old 12-23-2017, 12:23 PM   #3
Tool Guy - Kg
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In addition to what Kevin said and asked, I'd like to add one question. If you poled a butter knife down into the grout joints, does it feel rock hard...or does it have any "give" to it?

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