You Came Home and Found Your Bathroom Flooded
Your bathroom is one of the most used rooms in the entire household. Subsequently, it is also the room with the most plumbing connections.
Flooded bathrooms can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s the result of a clog, or perhaps a burst pipe. Sometimes a flooded toilet can cause the bathroom to flood. What to do in this case you can find out in post “What Do I Do If My Toilet Overflows?”
Drying a Flooded Room
It typically takes 2 to 3 days for a bathroom to completely dry after water damage. However, this time frame can vary – it all depends on the severity and nature of the situation. “White” water from water supply pipes is easier to clean and dry, while on the other hand, “black” water such as sewage water is more problematic due to its contaminants.
If the bathroom was exposed to water for an extended time, perhaps while you were away for the weekend, for example, it may take an entire week for the room to dry properly. You can expedite the process by hiring a professional water damage restoration company, though. Such experts are equipped with wet vacuums, industrial-grade fans, and pumps to remove water and dry indoor areas. Plus, they can discover hidden water damage and avert potential damage from mold growth.
First Steps After a Bathroom Flood
Immediately following extensive water damage or a flooded bathroom, consider these steps:
- Turn off your water supply. If the water damage stems from a single fixture, like an overflowing toilet or bathtub, there’s typically a shut-off valve behind the fixture to stop the flow of water and prevent further flooding. Otherwise, turn off the water to the entire room/house to stop water from flowing.
- Shut off the electricity. Using the circuit breaker panel, turn off all electricity to the bathroom. Electrocution is the primary hazard in a flooded bathroom. An active outlet could easily electrocute anyone who steps into the water.
Clean Up and Organize
The clean-up phase when your bathroom floods can be trying and exhausting. First, clean up any standing water using mops and towels, or use a wet-dry vacuum if the flooding was more extensive. Move any furniture away from standing water and rescue any valuable items. If your room is full of cabinets, open them up to allow fresh air to get in, preventing any mold or mildew from growing inside. Pointing fans toward areas once flooded with water will help ensure they’re thoroughly dried out.
After the initial cleanup, there’s still much work to be done. As you’re cleaning — and before you even start cleaning — it’s a good idea to snap a few pictures of the flooding for insurance purposes. Pull back the carpet in damaged areas to check if the water seeped below onto any carpet padding. Check floors below the flooded areas to ensure the water isn’t dripping onto the next floor.
Call the Experts and Reinforcements
After you’ve taken care of the initial flooding, it’s best to call in the professionals to help you discover the root of the problem and make any repairs. Don’t ignore the effects of flooding — it could cause significant damage to your home and should be checked up on even months after the initial occurrence. Call your insurance agent to get more information, and ask a few friends or neighbors to stop over and join the clean-up festivities.