Do you have a flooded bathroom? Don’t panic! Whether a toilet overflows or there is a broken pipe, we are here to help.
We’ve compiled a list of 11 steps to help you clean up your flooded bathroom quickly so you can save some time and money.
Keep Yourself Safe
Your first instinct may be to go into the bathroom to identify the source of the flooding. However, a flooded bathroom should be considered a hazardous zone because of the possibility of electrocution.
Turn off the electricity supply to the bathroom at the control panel. Make sure bathroom appliances aren’t plugged into sockets that could be submerged by floodwater.
If you have them, wear latex gloves and rubber-soled shoes as you work on the bathroom flood. Your feet could become extremely cold if they remain exposed to water.
Wearing these items will help keep you warm during this process. Only after it is safe to do so, remove all electrical items that may be impacted by the bathroom flood.
Try to Figure Out What Caused the Flood
Your next thought may be to turn off the water supply line or use the shut off valve on the toilet or sink. But wait. You need to see if you can very quickly assess where the water that caused the flood is coming from first.
If you turn off the water immediately you may only be dealing with the aftermath and not the actual cause of all the water. Of course, it may be obvious if there is water gushing from burst pipes or someone left a running bath on. Other common causes of bathroom flooding are:
- Plumbing Issues
In order to prevent such disasters, you should make sure your toilet tank doesn’t have leaks or cracks. Be sure there aren’t any leaks in the walls or where the toilet meets the floor.
- Clogged Pipes
To prevent toilet problems, you should flush your toilet every time after using it. Also, try to avoid putting hair into sinks or drain lines. You may also want to consider installing a water softener to help reduce hard water deposits in your home’s plumbing system.
- Drain Problems
A plumbing system failure causes a bathtub to fill up to overflowing. Water then spills onto the bathroom floor.
- Backed Up Sewers
Tree roots cause problems in sewers by cracking, clogging or backing up the pipes. Sewer main backups often occur during storms because of tree root damage.
Shut Off the Water
After you have identified the water source, for example, a leak in your toilet, turn off the shut off valve. Depending on the cause of the flood, such as burst pipes, you may want to turn off the main water supply to stop the water flooding into your bathroom.
Call Your Insurance
Now is the time to call your insurance agent. Speaking to your agent early in the process will give you a good idea about the logistics of making a claim. Your insurance company may be willing to pay out more money if you provide them with photos showing how much water was inside your home.
Keep Records of the Damage
Water damage claims require lots of paperwork, but having photographs helps make the process go smoothly. Taking video footage as well may also help to prove your claims of damage because of a flooded bathroom.
Gather All Your Clean Up Tools and Supplies
Open the bathroom windows if possible. Move all bathroom cabinets contents and other objects that might be affected by moisture to a different place.
The supplies used will generally fall into two categories. Those used for removing excess water and those used in the drying process. Gather mops, mop buckets, disinfectants, wet/dry vacuums, old towels and sheets, brooms, small buckets or basins and rubber gloves.
Remove Standing Water
It’s important to note that the longer you leave the water standing, the more likely it is to spread throughout your home or cause mold. The best time to fix a flooded bathroom would be immediately after the incident occurs. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that this is an emergency situation requiring immediate attention.
A bucket or basin can be used to scoop out large amounts of water. If the bathroom has a door to the outside close by, sweeping out some of the water with a large broom may help.
Fix the Problem at the Source
Plumbing leaks can be fixed with temporary fixes such as epoxy putty or tape. Toilet repairs may include replacing a wax ring around the flange or tightening the base. Leaks behind walls may need to be repaired with a new supply line, replacement of a damaged pipe or fixing the problem with caulking or drywall mud. Alternatively, you may want to hire a plumbing company to help.
Start Drying Out the Flooded Bathroom
After you have scooped out or swept out as much water as you can, use old rags, towels and sheets to soak up as much moisture as possible.
Another option is to use heavy-duty drying equipment rentals from the hardware store to speed up drying times.
This drying equipment includes fans, wet/dry vacuums and dehumidifiers.
Put your fans out into the open air so that they circulate cross currents of fresh air. Turn off the dehumidifiers if they’re running in the bathrooms. Check them often and empty their water wells.
Use heavy-duty drying equipment rentals from the hardware store to speed up drying times. Don’t be impatient.
A wet/dry vacuum is a must if you want to clean up after a flood. Don’t use a regular vacuum because it won’t be strong enough to suck up the water. Renting a wet/dry vacuum may cost as much as $100 but it could save thousands of dollars in damage costs.
It may take several days to dry out a damp room. Use paper towels and never vacuum over wet carpeting. This will only cause more damage to the carpet fibers.
Remove and Replace Drywall
Drywall is porous, so it absorbs moisture. Damaged drywall needs to be removed before patching begins. Patching should be done carefully because any excess moisture trapped inside the walls could cause rot.
If you leave wet patches behind, mold will grow there. Mold spores travel easily, so if you’re repairing a flood-damaged house, make sure to clean up thoroughly.
Disinfect at the End
After you’ve cleaned up your home after a flood, be sure to thoroughly wash any porous material, such as woodwork, tile grout, carpeting or other hard surfaces. These areas trap moisture, dirt and bacteria. Cleaning them also helps improve indoor air quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Should I Call in Professionals?
Water damage is a common problem in homes. You may be tempted to try cleaning your home yourself, but that could end badly. After water damage, mold starts growing almost immediately.
That’s why it’s crucial to call a professional if the water is more than ankle deep. Water removal services are usually available 24 hours a day, with most companies offering emergency service after regular business hours.
Water damage specialists use advanced equipment to locate and repair leaks. Their crews also remove moisture from air ducts and dry out basements and crawl spaces. To prevent future flooding, they inspect your home’s foundation and fix any cracks or holes.
Can Bathroom Flooding Cause Structural Damage?
Flooding in the bathroom can cause major structural damage. Minor flooding can also lead to long term problems. After you’ve removed the water, you need to protect yourself from mold growth by drying out everything thoroughly.
Moisture meters are used to measure how wet or dry your home is by measuring the amount of electrical resistance across a pair of electrodes attached to the surface being tested.
Water damage professionals use them to determine if there’s enough time before mold begins growing on surfaces. Structural drying uses air movers to remove excess moisture from ceilings, floors and other areas of the house.
When Is a Flooded Bathroom Dangerous?
Flooded bathrooms pose risks if they go unattended for long periods of time. Water damage can cause ceilings to cave in. Mold growth can lead to respiratory problems. Patches of mold larger than three square feet require professional attention.
Water damage can also cause serious personal health problems, such as respiratory and immunodeficient disorders. To avoid these risks, call a professional restoration company. These specialists detect and remove hidden water damage, and they clean up unsafe sewer leaks.
How to Prevent a Flooded Bathroom?
Bathroom flooding is often caused by a clogged drain. You should always flush toilets after using them. Only toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet. Even wet wipes that claim to be flushable are known to clog the toilet.
Double check when you leave the bathroom that everything is properly turned off. There’s nothing worse than finding your home flooded because you left the water running while doing something else.
Also, check supply and drain lines regularly for any signs of leakage. Slowly draining sinks and tubs require immediate attention.
What Should You Do About Wet Carpets?
If you notice that your carpet has been wet for more than an hour, contact your local cleaning team. Never vacuum over wet carpeting. This will only cause more damage to the carpet fibers.
How To Prevent Children From Causing a Flooded Bathroom?
Make sure to always supervise children while they use the bathroom. Children often play with toys in the bathroom and try to flush them down the toilet.
If you bathe your child in a tub, they might want to make some waves.
Keep lots of towels around, and get them to clean up after themselves. Also encourage them to turn off taps after they have used them, instead of leaving the water running.
What About Water Damage From a Flooded Bathroom?
Water damage can start showing up within one hour. That’s what makes it imperative that you get rid of as much water and moisture in your house as possible right away. You need to make sure that you take care of any water damage as soon as you notice it.
Contact a professional who knows how to deal with water damage and make sure to take photos of the problem before you attempt to fix it yourself.
Although you may have experienced a flooded bathroom, we hope the above steps have helped you bring the situation under control. If you feel overwhelmed in cleaning up your flooded bathroom it may be time to call in a professional.
In the end, do what is best for your situation, your safety and your budget.