Between sinks, toilets, showers, and baths, bathrooms have a lot of water to go around and thus carry a high likelihood of flooding. To make matters worse, a flooded bathroom often affects other areas of your home since it’s typically situated on an upper floor.
So what do you do when the worst happens? How do you handle a potentially catastrophic situation? As Davis County clean-up specialists, we have seen quite a few flooded bathrooms, so we compiled a list of our seven most effective tips.
What Causes Bathroom Flooding?
Before we get into the how-tos, it’s critical to know why the flooding occurred in the first place. With so many water sources, bathrooms can flood in various ways—pipe clogs are the most common causes of bathroom flooding. Using showers and sinks daily will inevitably allow for a buildup of whatever you happen to be washing off. Hair represents one of the primary sources of clogging and will eventually lead to a slowing down or complete blockage of water runoff. Toilets also risk blockages from flushing items such as sanitary towels and dumping too much toilet paper.
Leaks and floods in a bathroom may also stem from burst pipes. The location of these pipes will determine the severity of the flooding. If a line running beneath a bathroom floor bursts, this will lead to not only the bathroom flooding but any room below it. Pipe bursts happen when the water pressure gets too high, either caused by blockages or an issue with the home’s water supply. Drastic temperature changes could also lead to bathroom flooding, as the water freezes during a cold snap, weakening the pipe’s integrity.
Malfunctioning toilets constitute the last common cause of bathroom floods. This generally happens when one of the components in the toilet’s cistern breaks or wears away from use. A functioning toilet will stop filling once it reaches a specific volume. When parts of the mechanism break, this refill action will not stop, causing the toilet to overflow and release water into the bathroom.
7 Pro Tips
A flooded bathroom is a harrowing experience, and with so many potential problems, it takes some careful consideration and planning to bring the situation back in hand. After you have faced the initial shock of it, take a deep breath and consider the following steps.
1. Shut off your home’s water supply
In a panic situation, it’s easy to forget this step. Your immediate response might be to empty the flooding area or stem the water flow. However, all this will be utterly useless if the water source remains open. Much like trying to bail out a sinking ship, if you don’t fix the leak immediately, your unsealed water main will quickly replace any flooding you manage to clear out.
Most household appliances will have a shut-off valve beneath their faucets. In the case of a bath, toilet, or sink, you can isolate them from the water main. If all that doesn’t stop the flow of water, there’s likely another source. In these cases, shutting off the whole house’s water supply is critical. Once you have shut off the water, further flooding will cease, and you can deal with the standing water.
2. Clear the area of any electronic devices
Common knowledge tells us that water and electricity do not mix. Electrical interference is the last thing you want while trying to control a flood. Ensure all plug sockets in and around the bathroom and flooded area are turned off and move any electronic devices to a dry location. This includes any electrical outlets or devices in rooms around and below the flood. If you cannot shut off the sockets individually, switch off the power to the whole house via the circuit breaker until the flooding stops.
3. Repair the cause of the flood
Once you are safe to work, find the source of the flooding and repair it. If this is a blockage in the toilet or a drain, clear it out or remove the offending section of the pipe. The same is true if it is a pipe burst. However, bear in mind that not all plumbing issues have a quick and easy fix. Sometimes, you may need to contact a local plumber to do the work for you to prevent future problems.
4. Document all damage for insurance purposes
If your insurance policy covers flood damage, you will want to document every bit of devastation with photo and video evidence. This will give your provider the information they need to process your claim quicker while keeping up your end of the agreement.
5. Clear up standing water
First, you will want to move any freestanding items out of the flooded area. Any cabinets, rugs, or other bathroom objects like scales or trash cans should be moved to another location to dry. When the area is clear, remove the standing water using buckets, mops, and towels, switching to a wet vac when the worst is gone. If clean up seems too challenging, you can always call a Utah flood clean up specialist to remove standing water from your bathroom.
6. Dehumidify and air the room
Open all windows and install a dehumidifier to remove the remaining moisture from the room. This is the time to check skirting boards, floors, and walls for signs of seepage, softness, and potential mold growth. If you find anything soaked with water, it may need removing and replacing, especially weakened floorboards or walls.
7. Disinfect and return to normal
Disinfect any areas exposed to the water to prevent mold and bacteria growth, and replace rugs and towels that have soaked up dirt or other materials. When you have disinfected everything, you are free to set things back in order.
Dealing with a flooded bathroom will take a lot of work to set things right and may even require the help of professionals. What matters most is how swiftly you respond to it and keep things in control. Take your time, stay calm, and you can tackle any bathroom flooding.