Whether it's a backed up kitchen sink or a dishwasher with burst supply lines, your kitchen is full of potential causes of an indoor flood. You may not think of calling it a flood when you have half an inch of water standing in the room, but the damage is the same whether the moisture comes from your appliances or a passing storm. These four serious problems threaten the health of your family and the value of your home if you fail to call for professional cleanup after a big water leak.

Mold and Mildew

The kitchen is full of absorbent materials that trap residual moisture and resist your efforts to dry them out. From the chipboard used for cabinet backing to the insulation surrounding your dishwasher, it's nearly impossible to remove all the water without professional help. This leads to mold and mildew growth throughout the kitchen, lowering the indoor air quality and possibly triggering allergies and asthma attacks in family members.

Ruined Flooring

You may think of vinyl and laminates as water-resistant flooring because you can mop up a spilled glass of water, but most kitchen flooring is quickly damaged by any amount of standing water. Even linoleum that looks fine on the surface starts breaking down underneath where the moisture is still trapped. Trying to save your favorite flooring with fans and dehumidifiers could cost you a lot more in the long run.

Rotten Subflooring

When you leave damp flooring in place or a leak takes years to discover, the plywood underneath the vinyl and tile becomes saturated as well. You'll notice the problems when your footsteps cause parts of the floor to sink or break open into a hole in the floor. By prompting removing wet flooring and drying out the subfloor as soon as possible after a flood, you reduce the amount of work needed to save the floor.

Structural Damage

The rot that leaves your foot stuck through the floor can also spread along the edges and start working up into the walls. When subfloor spreads rot to the sturdy joists holding the room up, it's only a matter of time until the studs in the walls become infected too. This problem often spreads for years or even decades without outward signs to warn the homeowners the structure is slowly failing.

When your dishwasher sprays hot water across the room and soaks the floor, call a flood cleanup team immediately. You don't need to wait until there's an inch or more of water to take a kitchen leak seriously.