curious dogs in a bath

Bathroom Flooded?

If this is an emergency, I’ll cut to the chase.
  • Bypass the problem by shutting off the main source of water. Typically this will be found in the basement. It should be a lever or round nob that is located where all the pipes run together.
  • Turn off the power if you think there’s any risk of shock. Grab a couple flashlights or a headlamp.
  • Mop up what water you can. Open windows, doors and turn fans on.
  • Locate the source of the leak and righty-tighty the control nob for that unit.

Not a crisis, or crisis averted? Read on for more detailed information.

Stopping the flow of water in the house should be easy as parking on a hill. But if not practiced enough, it can be easy to forget which way to turn the wheel. It’s best to be prepared, but more often than not, it’s a sink or swim type of setting that causes us to learn things. Read on for detailed information on how to handle flooding bathrooms from start to finish.
Toilet tank replacemnt

Identify the Water Source, Turn the shut-off valve.

Oftentimes this is a toilet that continues to run. The valve should be at the supply line, close to the wall. Follow the source of water with your eyes and navigate to the closest possible source.  In some updated bathrooms the valve may be hidden behind the cabinet and will have to be reached to be found. Standard valves are oval shaped which should make it fairly easy to find. Clockwise is the Righty-Tighty way. With sinks and vanities the valves will be found in the cabinet below. If this doesn’t work the issue may be a burst pipe inside the walls, in which case the best place to turn off the water is at the main shut off valve. Usually found in the basement. If your house doesn’t have a basement try the area where the water heater is located.

Safety is key

Curious dogs in a bath
Electrical hazard is what needs to be avoided here. If there is standing water it may be best to simply turn off the breaker before continuing forth. Either way, you’ll want to remove all electrical hazards like space heaters, floor lamps and hair dryers. Bring in a flashlight or two for better visibility.

Clean it up a Bit

Getting rid of the water is key. Water seeping through the floorboards can cause serious mold problems in a short amount of time. Move all of the furniture that can be moved out, soak it up, mop it up, get the water out! This is one of those situations where an old unused towel or sweatshirt may have to see its final day. That box of old paint rags could be the difference between a fifty dollar replacement part and an entire floor removal. Open the window, turn on the fan and let the air flow.
Clean up the water

Identify the problem.

What happened here? Was it that a faucet was just left or something much more serious. Since toilets tend to be a primary culprit in this category they’re worth mentioning. Stoppers get old and have to be replaced occasionally. This is the rubber part that opens up the drain there in the tank. Sometimes it can be simply cleaned and other times the entire internal tank components need to be replaced. This is important to mention though since so many people determine instantly that the whole toilet needs to be replaced, when more often than not, it’s simply the plastic components inside them that broke.

Photograph the incident

Document, document, document. It is important to get a digital reference of the incident in case insurance claims will have to come into play. Also it’s good to keep in mind that photos will be good for use in the hardware store when looking up items or talking to the attendant. Most digital photos already come with a timestamp but it is important to be sure that the documentation is correct. Whether on a phone or hand-held camera the timestamp should be located in settings. Typically this isn’t placed on the actual photo, but goes into the pictures file information. It’s not intuitive how to find these settings so if the camera says it’s saving the date that should be sufficient. Insurance claims can include damaged units as well so make sure to document anything that got caught up in the storm. Photos can always be deleted before submitting so it’s best to be thorough. Check for warping and if there’s anything popping out it would be good to open it up a little bit and get a photo of the underlying layer. Take the photos in three stages. Start with up-close, move to intermediate shots and then a couple of final shots for the whole area. Sometimes overhead shots can be useful so if there’s a step-stool around that could be useful in getting a full perspective.
Photograph the incident

Mop, do general cleaning and take a deep breath. 

Crisis averted. Good job. Now it’s a matter of getting things back to normal. Fortunately this is a bathroom and mopping up can be as easy as mop, ring out in the tub or sink, repeat. Now that the primary concern is over there are a few things to check before calling the day to a close. If there was warping it’s possible there will be water still lodged behind the trim. That’s going to be the primary location. Also, under the tub is notorious for those ol’ clawfoot tubs. Open up the vanity, check under removable items, behind the door and lastly, behind the toilet. Got it all? Okay, phew. Sit back, relax and call it good for the day.

Do your best to fix it on your own 

Now that a new day has turned over and time’s been given to take it all in there are things to consider for DIY home repair. Water damage can lead to a major health risk so the primary issues shouldn’t only get a quick patch up. In minor water damage instances a coat of Killz paint can defeat mold from spreading into any kind of major problem. There are different applications of Killz from paint can to spray application. Most floor trims can be popped off with a pry-bar as they are attached with a run of nails that gets painted over for consistency. Trim can be easy to break though, so be careful. Take a run through the back to break the paint seam before trying to remove trim. This will all have to get painted over in the long run, so no worries. Toilet issues often have to do with the internal hardware that’s located in the tank. These things are plastic and need replacing every so often. Sometimes just a new flap is required and more often than not the whole system needs replaced. Make sure the water is turned off, remove the hardware so it can be matched up to its best like at the store. Plumbing issues are another matter. Try some liquid drain-o first. Give it a moment. Try again and then just stop. Unless this is something that’s been dealt with before a plumbing snake isn’t in the tool shed. This can be a useful tool but it can be messy and very time consuming. Also, home-use snakes are fairly weak and can too often be too short for their worth. If this is a jammed up pipe, its best to call a plumber. Save the headache, bite the bullet and do something productive with the couple hours just saved. Clogged pipes can tend to be deeper issues in the long run anyways so calling a plumber is going to save on any reoccurring instances of this bathroom flooding. Here’s a list of plumbers that can be found in Spokane, not listed by any preference. Gold Seal Plumbing – Shaw Plumbing – Pace Plumbing – Bulldog Rooter – Glenrose Plumbers –

Serious Structural Damage?

Might be time for that bathroom renovation you’ve always wanted. 

And what would be an in depth article without a little self promotion. Straightline Construction and Granite is a full-service kitchen and bath remodeling contractor. We offer custom cut countertops, cabinetry install services, flooring, remodel and repair. Free consultations offered so give us a call for an estimate. You may be surprised at our budget friendly prices.
author avatar
Scroll to Top