A bathroom flood can do significant damage to your home if you don’t immediately address clean up. Beyond hiring a plumber to fix the leak or broken pipe that caused it, you need to assure that you keep yourself and your family safe from other hazards like electrocution or mold. Here are the main tasks you need to implement when this problem arises.
How to Handle a Flooded Bathroom
1. Turn Off Electricity
Before addressing anything else, turn off the electricity in any room affected by the flood. If you see electronics, appliances, or outlets that are in the floodwater, then practice particular caution with this measure. In the case that you can’t find the main breaker, you smell gas, or you see sparks, smoke, or flames, call 911 immediately.
2. Shut Off Water
Once you’ve shut off any electrical current in the flooded bathroom, turn off the source of the water. If you can see where the water is coming from, such as the toilet or sink, there is typically a knob on the pipes for these structures that you can use to cut the water supply. For more extensive issues—or ones that you can’t identify the source—a plumber will suggest that you turn off your water throughout your home instead. The main water shut-off valve will typically be in a basement or crawl space if you are having trouble finding it. In any case, turn the handle or nozzle right to shut it off.
3. Take Before & After Pictures
To assure that your insurance covers the damage to your home, take “before” photos of the affected area before you begin your clean up. These images will be physical evidence of the damage created by the flood, and they will help solidify insurance coverage and tax deductions to come. Take stock of everything that was destroyed, and make a note of the severity and nature of any flood damage.
4. Clear the Floor
Before you can adequately clean your flooded bathroom, get everything out of the room. Throw any towels, floor mats, or linens immediately into the wash, and bring any furniture, rugs, or various unwashable items out to dry. Make sure you get the heavy wet out of everything, whether it’s wringing out towels or wiping down furniture. Place aluminum foil around the legs or base of any furniture you can’t move, like cabinets. Anything that isn’t salvageable, like wet toilet paper or tissues, throw out.
5. Dry the Space
Getting the water out of your bathroom after a flood can be an overwhelming process. Prepare to use your towels and mop in excess to eliminate pooling water. To speed up the process, use a vacuum to collect some of the flooding, but make sure you plug it in a separate room unaffected by the issue at hand to avoid electrocution. Make sure you wipe down any tight nooks or crannies, and don’t miss the inside of your cabinets. To speed up the drying process, turn on the overhead fan if you have one, open any windows, and open all cabinets, drawers, and doors to promote airflow.
6. Wipe Down Wooden Surfaces
Wood surfaces are particularly vulnerable in a flood because they’re easily damaged by water. If left to fester, saturated wood will rot and attract mold, which results in costly replacements. Take particular care in wiping down any wood cabinets, shelves, and doors, and note any damage you find as you clean. Even though insurance can cover any losses with the right proof, it’s worth trying to salvage anything you can to avoid the lengthy restoration process.
7. Call a Plumber
While all of these steps are crucial immediately following a bathroom flood, call your plumber when this issue arises. They can not only find the source and fix it, but they can also instill preventative maintenance that helps you to avoid new flooding problems in the future. Plus, the sooner a plumber fixes the broken component, the faster you can go back to using this essential space in your home.
Like the once unfriendly waters of the Whistling River, there isn’t a flood that Paul Bunyan can’t tame. Our team at Paul Bunyan Plumbing & Drains will be there when you need us, whether it’s a pipe burst or an overflowing toilet. For more information about our Twin Cities, MN, based plumbers, give us a call today at (612) 236-9052.