We’ve all been there: a flooded bathroom. When a toilet clogs and overflows, it’s one sure-fire way to ruin your day. Most of us tend to panic not only about the flooding, but also about how to properly clean the floor. A major reason for concern is, of course, bacteria from human waste. You don’t want your family using an unsanitary bathroom. Bacteria can get onto clothes, shoes, and hands, eventually finding its way into our bodies and causing serious illness.
Yes, a flooded bathroom can be serious. But by having a strategy well in place before disaster strikes, you can manage the damage better. And have your bathroom sparkling clean much sooner.
Shutting Off the Water
Whenever your toilet floods, shut off the water valve to the tank so that the toilet cannot fill up. If the valve is stuck, rig the float in the tank to remain in position so the water doesn’t fill the tank. If the valve is frozen, shut the water off at the main valve in front of your house. Also turn off the breaker to the electricity in the bathroom, particularly if there is a considerable amount of water on the floor. Then call us so we can get your toilet working properly again.
Assessing the Damage of a Flooded Bathroom
After the flooding is under control, assess the damage and decide if it’s within your ability to clean it up. If not, you might need to call for professional help. If you decide to tackle it yourself, follow these steps.
- Is there fecal matter in the flooded water? If not, use old towels to soak up the water on the floor. Wearing latex gloves, wring the water into the sink or bathtub. Use a shop vac for larger spills. A shop vac can also help absorb water from carpets. Once you’ve cleaned up the water, mop the floor with soapy water and bleach.
- Wash the towels with laundry detergent in hot water. Again, add some bleach if you have any concerns about contamination with human waste. Also thoroughly clean the bathtub or sink where you wrung out the toilet water.
- Once you’ve cleaned your floors, open windows and doors, and turn on a fan. This will ventilate and circulate some of our dry Phoenix air until the bathroom floor is thoroughly dry. Water can soak into flooring, drywall, and baseboards, and cause mold. If you smell the slightest whiff of sewer odor or even a musty odor that might be mold, seek help from a water cleanup specialist.
- It may be safe for you to clean your floor after the toilet floods but bear in mind that the toilet bowl rim could have been contaminated with feces, even if you didn’t detect fecal matter in the flood water. The best and safest solution is to always call for professional help with so-called “black water ” — that is, any water contaminated with human waste or chemicals.
- If your flooded bathroom has definitely been contaminated with human waste, call a professional. Cleanup of black water damage is beyond most homeowners’ ability. A professional who specializes in these kinds of cleanups will have the training and equipment necessary to deal with this type of emergency.
If you would like to discuss your flooded bathroom with us, we’d be more than happy to let you know how we can help.