The bathroom is one of the most common places where flooding occurs, especially considering that this is an area where the most water is used. Plus, several water pipes lead into and out of the bathroom, raising the risks for flooding. When the bathroom floods, a homeowner should immediately respond. Here are the answers to common questions on what to do if your bathroom floods.
FLOODED BATHROOM – What to Do FAQ by RestorationMaster
Q: What are potential causes of bathroom flooding?
A: Toilet clogs are a common cause of bathroom flooding. Flushing large amounts of toilet paper, for instance, can eventually lead to a toilet overflow. Flushable wipes, too, can clog the toilet, since they do not dissolve like toilet paper does. Having a toilet plunger nearby is always helpful.
Plumbing malfunctions are another cause of bathroom floods. The toilet float, which measures the amount of water in the tank, can stop working due to wear and tear. When the homeowner flushes, the toilet fails to stop refilling—and it overflows.
Leaks in the plumbing system can lead to flooded bathrooms. Faucets might become loose, or the sink gaskets can harden, crack, and leak water. Leaks that appear to have resolved may just be leaking elsewhere that the homeowner has not yet become aware of.
Subfreezing temperatures can cause pipes to burst in the bathroom, especially since this part of the home contains a substantial number of pipes. A drop in temperature causes water in the pipes to freeze, which subsequently leads to the pipes expanding and possibly rupturing.
Accidents in the bathroom can be a source of flooding. Leaving the bath water on, for instance, and forgetting to turn it off can cause a flood. Allowing the faucet to run faster than it can drain and then leaving the area can result in a bathroom flood.
Q: Should the homeowner turn off the water first?
A: A homeowner is advised to first locate the water source, then turn off the water at the shut-off valve nearest to the leak. Shutting off the water supply to the home at the outside cut-off valve is an even safer way to stop the water from continuing to flood the bathroom.
Q: How does a homeowner prevent electrical shock?
A: Electricity and water are a dangerous combination. It is a critical safety measure to shut off the electricity prior to removing the floodwaters from the bathroom. A homeowner should call the electrical company and request the electricity be turned off in the flooded bathroom.
Q: Should the homeowner notify the insurance company?
A: Prior to beginning the cleanup process in the flooded bathroom, document the extent of water damage. Take photos and videos of the floodwater to speed up insurance claim processes. Call the insurer and notify them of the water damage to the bathroom.
Q: How does a homeowner remove standing water?
A: The swift removal of standing water in the bathroom is advised to prevent structural damage to the subfloors. Utilize industrial pumps and wet vacs to suction out the water. Since speed is critical, most homeowners immediately remove standing water with an accessible mop and bucket.
Q: Is water from a flooded bathroom contaminated?
A: Toilet overflows are considered to be Category 3 water or black water—the most contaminated and toxic of all three categories of floodwater. Due to this reason, the homeowner should proceed with the cleanup of bathroom floodwater cautiously and swiftly.
Q: Should bathroom items be relocated?
A: In order to facilitate the cleanup process and the later water damage restoration, the items in the bathroom cabinets should be moved to a different location. Bag and discard the goods that are too water damaged to be salvaged. Inspect the insides of cabinets for water damage.
Q: How thoroughly should the bathroom dry?
A: A hospitable bathroom is a fully dry one. Any leftover moisture, especially water that has seeped into porous surfaces, can lead to a major case of mold. Spores in the bathroom can cross-contaminate other parts of the home and cause a range of health issues, including allergies and asthma symptoms.
All excess moisture in the bathroom, from the floors to the walls and furniture, should be removed. Pumps and vacuums do not thoroughly extract water. Fully drying the bathroom requires adequate ventilation. Circulate air by running multiple fans, a dehumidifier, or heavy-duty drying equipment.
Q: How important is disinfecting the bathroom?
A: As mentioned, toilet overflows are considered toxic black water; so, the homeowner must disinfect all surfaces exposed to the floodwater. Disinfectant sprays may be effectively used to eliminate contamination and prevent mold spores. Wipe down all areas of the bathroom.
Q: Should the drywall be replaced?
A: Water is quickly absorbed by porous materials, like drywall. Floodwater on the bathroom floor is whisked upward several inches above the water line. If the drywall is damp, tear out and patch those areas. If necessary, tear out and replace entire drywall sections.
Q: Why Call ServiceMaster?
A: Water damage in the bathroom can quickly spread to other parts of the home. When you are faced with a water damage emergency, consult the experienced professionals at ServiceMaster DAK. We are equipped with the tools and techniques to return your home to its pre-loss condition fast.
Skilled flood damage cleanup technicians arrive promptly to assess the extent of water damage. We utilize non-invasive meters to accurately pinpoint damp areas. Digital photographs are taken to serve as documentation for homeowner’s insurance purposes. Our crews determine the category of floodwater.
ServiceMaster DAK specialists extract the floodwater using powerful water extraction equipment. Air movers and dehumidifiers are strategically placed throughout the affected area to speed up the drying process. We take moisture and humidity readings daily to ensure the property is fully drying.
Water damage occurs without warning, which is why ServiceMaster DAK technicians stand by 24 hours a day to respond immediately to emergency calls. A speedy response will likely save the structure and belongings. Call us for water damage restoration services in Northbrook, Illinois, and nearby areas.