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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Real Estate and Landlording => Topic started by: kittenbear on September 18, 2017, 03:55:29 PM

Title: Advice on water damage to kitchen subfloor
Post by: kittenbear on September 18, 2017, 03:55:29 PM
Hi crew.  My husband and I are new landlords in Chicago -- our tenants moved in on Aug 1.  Shortly after they moved in, they told us about a funky smell coming from one of the kitchen cabinets.  Since then, we have been trying to figure out what's causing the smell and have heard from a mold specialist that it is not mold.

Yesterday we decided to cut out the bottom of the cabinet and discovered some moisture in the subfloor under the cabinet.  This is not near the sink or a window but is next to the stove -- so in theory it could have been caused by cooking spills although I don't think that's what's causing it since there is no evidence of it immediately under the stove. 

So, we need to figure out where this water is coming from and determine if we need to rip out the cabinet(s) and potentially pull up the (crappy vinyl) flooring and plywood subfloor.

My question for the group is: what type of person should we call about this?  We are generally pretty handy with DIY stuff but we both have full-time jobs and this seems a little beyond our abilities to get done quickly and thoroughly while our tenants are still living there, so I'd like to call in a professional.  Should that person be a general contractor, a handyman, some other type of job description that I haven't even thought of yet?? 

Huge thanks for any advice or words of wisdom that you can share.  Mustachians are the best and I fully trust in your collective knowledge!
Title: Re: Advice on water damage to kitchen subfloor
Post by: J Boogie on September 20, 2017, 12:32:04 PM
Sorry to hear that, totally sucks that happened right off the bat.  Before calling someone in, you might want to work to get the following questions answered:

What's beneath the problem area? Maybe there's a leaky or condensating pipe nearby. 

Are you sure the liquid you've found is water?

If you dry up the moisture with a fan, does it return later?

Title: Re: Advice on water damage to kitchen subfloor
Post by: geekette on September 20, 2017, 12:39:13 PM
Yeah, I don't know much, but I'd check if there are any pipes underneath.  Copper can get pinholes; you might not hear the water run, but it can still do damage.  I assume other pipes can crack, too, but we have a friend who had damage from pinholes in copper in multiple places in his house.
Title: Re: Advice on water damage to kitchen subfloor
Post by: kittenbear on September 25, 2017, 09:38:14 AM
Thank you both!!  We have since identified this to be a roof issue since it got noticeably worse after even a light rain -- we are planning to get a ventilation chimney tuckpointed and have some repairs made on our rolled asphalt roof.  While we're not entirely sure which of these issues is causing the moisture problem, they are things that needed to be done anyway so if nothing else this has forced us to deal with needed maintenance. 

Lucky for us Chicago is having the warmest fall ever with almost no rain.  We should have this solved before the rain starts again -- thanks again for the help!