There are only a few things scarier and more frustrating than flushing a toilet and watching the water spin and rise higher than usual. Unfortunately, it happens now and then in every home.
Several things can cause a toilet to overflow—clogged drain, blocked vents, sewage troubles, old pipes, et cetera. Whatever the reason, the earlier you fix a flooded toilet water damage, the better it is for a home’s health and safety.
Flooded toilet water damage: Risks to homes and homeowners
At first, a flooded toilet may seem like a trivial issue. After all, it’s just water, right? But it is not just water. It is, in fact, contaminated water that can spread quickly to other parts of the house and cause damage to the structure of your building. Long story short, a flooded toilet screams trouble for health and home, maybe even worse than the flooding itself.
Here are some of the risks a flooded toilet poses:
- Spread of harmful bacteria: The average toilet bowl contains 3.2 million bacteria per square inch? That is way too many germs to be spilling over and spreading around a home.
- Electrical risk: Water and electricity are a dangerous pair. In bad cases of toilet flooding, the water may flow toward electrical wiring and outlets, posing the risk of electrocution.
- Mold: Mold thrives in moist places, so it is common to find colonies incubating and growing in the affected areas 24 to 48 hours after a toilet floods. Mold looks harmless until its presence starts causing reactions like headaches, difficulty breathing, fatigue, and, worse, loss of consciousness.
- Structural Damage: Some parts of a home can only take water in small doses, while others are built to stay dry. In the event of flooding, these structures risk getting damaged. Some of these parts and house structures include:
- Bathtub and shower tiling.
- Door trims.
- Flooring and carpeting.
- Wooden cabinets.
- Ceilings and walls.
How much health trouble can this cause?
Having a toilet flood is already bad enough. However, various degrees of damage can mean more problems.
- Clean water: is not contaminated and generally does not pose a health risk.
- Grey water: Contamination! Contamination!! Contamination!!!
- Black water: A breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, and millions of germs. Also a risk for raw sewage exposure, linked to several diseases like Campylobacteriosis, Salmonellosis, Hepatitis A, and Typhoid fever, among others.
What not to do when a toilet overflows
When a toilet has just overflowed, homeowners should beware of attempting DIY cleanup. Here are a few things homeowners should avoid:
1- Don’t flush
Flushing the toilet a second time may seem right, but it’s not. It makes things worse. The water rising in the bowl is a sign of blockage somewhere, preventing the water from going down, and flushing it again increases the water overflowing from the bowl.
2- Don’t clean up immediately.
Hey, don’t reach for cleaning tools just yet. Attempting to clean up immediately exposes homeowners to potential health risks. Assess the extent of risk, preferably hearing from an expert in flooded toilet water damage.
So, what should homeowners do when their toilet floods?
It is normal to go into full panic mode, but homeowners should take a moment and breathe (preferably not near the overflow). It is not the end of the world, and it is definitely not a sign to pack up and move.
Here are some things that can be done to help:
1- Shut off electricity
Shut off the electricity to remove the risk of electrocution.
2- Pick up the phone and call a professional
There is more to a flooded toilet than meets the eye. DIY solutions can work for several other house-related malfunctions, but there is a high chance they may not work for toilet flooding caused by complex faults in drainage systems. On the other hand, a professional can spot the cause of a problem from a mile away and is better skilled at finding solutions and minimizing the damage.
3- Contact an insurance company.
This step is necessary if a homeowners insurance type covers this kind of damage. One factor that may determine whether or not insurance covers the flooded toilet water damage is the cause of the flooding. Whatever the case, it helps to contact an insurance company to know your options.
Flooded toilet? National Restoration Experts can help.
Having toilet flooding troubles around Pompano Beach, Florida? No worries. National Restoration Experts is a professional water damage restoration company that can help. They can be reached by phone or text at are a phone call or text at (754) 219-4660. National Restoration Experts will find the cause of the flooding, remove the standing water, and repair and damage.
You can call them at (754) 219-4660 or get a free quote on their website.