There are a number of possible causes of a flooded bathroom, including burst pipes, clogged toilets, plumbing pipe failures, and more. Dealing with a flooded bathroom can be a stressful experience, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Many people contact their local plumber to fix the issues and deal with the aftermath. But, if you want to tackle this job, we present seven steps to deal with the problem quickly and efficiently.
The last thing that you need when you’re dealing with a plumbing emergency is more water coming into the bathroom. If you don’t know where the shut-off valve is located, it’s a good idea to find it now and make sure that everyone living in the home knows where it is. The usual location is on the wall behind the toilet or inside the bathroom sink cabinet. If you can’t locate the shut-off valve or it isn’t working, turn off the main water supply at the cut-off valve which is usually located outdoors where the water line enters your property line.
Many people don’t understand that any flooded room has the potential to be an electrical hazard that can represent a significant threat to their health and safety. All bathroom appliances should be checked and removed from power outlets. This includes hair dryers, space heaters, floor lamps, and more. Don’t take chances, every year, people receive electrical shocks in these situations, and the results can be fatal. Wearing rubber shoes reduces the risks, and it will prevent slipping on the wet floor. If you want to be extra safe, go to the breaker box and turn off the power supply until you get the situation under control.
The insurance agent must be informed before any action is taken to assess and fix the damage in the bathroom and other areas. Even a minor flood can cause a lot of long-term problems that can spread to other areas of the home. Document the entire process, and take pictures before you even start cleaning to ensure that you are covered. You will find that it’s much easier to file a claim when you have a lot of supporting evidence.
If you can see the affected line or pipe or another easily identified cause of a water leak, it may be possible to seal it temporarily with fiberglass tape or an application of epoxy putty. Most hardware stores sell a pipe repair clamp kit that can be a useful addition to your home plumbing toolkit. If the toilet is leaking, it will be necessary to install a new supply line, and the wax ring at the base should be replaced. If the source of the flooding is a broken pipe located behind a wall, it’s time to contact your local plumber. They can handle the cleanup and restoration for you.
At this stage, it’s important to take a moment to assess the situation and formulate a plan to deal with it. If there is a lot of standing water, it should be removed with a mop and bucket, and any remnants can be dried with old towels. The walls may be damp, and there is a real risk of toxic mold growth that will lower the indoor air quality (IAQ). Open the windows to increase airflow and set up floor fans to dry the area. Placing a dehumidifier in the bathroom at an earlier stage can remove a lot of water from the air. If you don’t have access to this equipment, consider hiring a local restoration company.
This is the step that most people will dread, and that’s especially true if they need to clean raw sewage. Scoop up any waste, and dispose of it in plastic bags along with any sodden items that cannot be salvaged. Any standing water can be removed with a wet/dry vac, and the dried areas should be cleaned with a bleach solution. In a five gallon bucket, mix a ⅓ cup of unscented bleach with four gallons of water. The contact time for this solution is five minutes, and the cleaning can be repeated as required. This should disinfect the area thoroughly, and most microorganisms cannot survive and thrive in this environment.
The bathroom drywall can wick the moisture in an upwards direction from the flooded bathroom floor. This means that damage can occur at a height that can surprise many people. These damp and damaged areas need to be torn out, and a replacement will be required. This will take place after the drying process is completed, and it may be necessary to replace the entire section of the wall to prevent mold growth. If this step is not carried out, there is a real risk that the moisture will spread into the connected wood framing. Eventually, this could lead to some serious structural problems that would be expensive to fix.
As you can see, dealing with a bathroom flood is a complex problem, and this is why many people hire a local plumbing company to deal with the problem. They have the skills, experience, and specialized equipment to identify and fix the problem quickly. When you contact your insurance agent, they may recommend a local plumbing company that you should consider hiring. It’s important to act swiftly in the initial stages to keep the water damage to an absolute minimum. Water damage is expensive to fix, and it tends to spread to other areas of the home. The best way to deal with bathroom flooding and other plumbing issues is to adopt a proactive approach. Regular health checks for your home plumbing system are a good investment, and many potential problems can be avoided, or the effects can be mitigated.
If you need help dealing with a bathroom flood or you need to schedule a health check for your plumbing system, contact your local certified plumber today.