How can I find why soft spot in kitchen floor growing and repair it ?

Brenda M B
by Brenda M B

2 years ago, we had a new oil furnace installed in our basement with the help of a heating assistance program. After installation, we noticed the kitchen faucet wasn't working properly and we were told it may have been from soldering during installation of some of the pipes. A workman came in to try to repair and was able to for the most part. I'm not sure if that's what caused the soft spot to begin with, but we have gone into the basement on several occasions with the water running but find no leak. The spot however has grown drastically, in the last few months, it has gone from the size of approximately a kiwi to stretching about 3 feet in width through the widest part of the floor and doesn't seem to span very wide in the other direction, if guess I'd say maybe 6 to 8 inches but not a straight line. Our floor is app. 12 feet by 6 foot. Greatly appreciate any and all suggestions, always a ton of great answers on this site, as a matter of fact it's the only one I use! Please keep in mind; we have already looked for leaks both in basement and under the sink. There was once a leak under the sink from around the time of the furnace install and pipe work, when found, we promptly put a bowl under the elbow in the pipe, and since the workers, it has since ceased. Also, we are on a very very tight budget, we are both disabled and my husband is an Air Force Reserve, Flight Medic, Special Forces Veteran and although we always try to do the work ourselves, both of us take great pride in whatever work/repairs we are able to do, we need to reach out for advice on this one, especially in the budget dept. We support and shop at the Habitat for Humanity every chance we get to give back.

Thank you in advance, and I'm very eager to see what advice and suggestions we get!,


  4 answers
  • Gk Gk on Sep 12, 2018

    Can you find the soft spot when you are down in the basement and looking up? Have you considered a leak from your refrigerator--water line to make ice cubes? Or a dishwasher? Is this leak close to any windows? Wish I could help!

    • Brenda M B Brenda M B on Sep 12, 2018

      No, we have not been able to locate the leak from downstairs in basement, but thank you so much! I never thought of the dishwasher! We found no damage in the area in basement, so we think that the subfloor might be spared, really hoping! Really can't afford to replace the entire floor. I will be bringing this info to light w my husband, fingers crossed and thank you so much again!


  • Pat Pat on Sep 12, 2018

    I don't know but do you have floor covering on top of your floor that is soft? Could water be getting between the floor covering and the wood of the floor? I had that happen when my dishwasher leaked but was able to catch it before it caused any floor damage. From what you are saying, the soft spot is growing so something is happening. Good luck finding it.

    • Brenda M B Brenda M B on Sep 12, 2018

      Thank you so Very much, Pat. We are looking into it being the dishwasher! Fingers crossed!

  • Julie Julie on Sep 12, 2018

    It could also be from the refrigerator. Water will travel to the lowest point usually along the side of a board so your soft spot could be feet away from where the leak is. Had an issue a few years ago and it was a pin hole in the bathtub. Took forever to track it down. Since this happened around the time you had a new furnace installed its possible that when screwing in the braces for the ductwork they hit a water line source. A pin hole over time can cause some damage. Hope this helps

    • Brenda M B Brenda M B on Sep 13, 2018

      Thank you, another thing for us to check! I will post something tomorrow to let everyone know what we find! Thank you,


  • Sharon Sharon on Sep 13, 2018

    Yeah I would suspect the dishwasher, as a former apartment manager, it was always the DW. Pull it out and check.

    As to the cost of getting your floor repaired before someone falls through it, there are grants and super low cost loans for home repairs from HUD which in my area Habitat for Humanity will do the work for, and also vets qualify for quite a few programs

    • Brenda M B Brenda M B on Sep 14, 2018

      Thank you Sharon so very much! Hopefully we have caught it before extensive damage! Been doing upgrade projects and really strapped. Seems we get 1 done and another one pops up. I am truly thankful for the info on the project help and possible grants we may be able to qualify for!

      Thank you again,