A burst pipe in the bathroom or an overflowing toilet can cause major damage. Your first goal, of course, is to shut off the water main and then call in a plumber to repair the issue. Once the plumber is gone, though, you will need to assess and repair the damage. The following guide can help you.
Put safety first
There are two major safety concerns with bathroom water damage. First, if the water breached any electrical outlets or light fixtures, shut off power to the room at the main breaker until an electrician gives you the all clear. Fortunately, most bathroom electrical fixtures are at sink level or higher, which means flooding rarely affects them.
The second concern is if there is any sewage involved. If there is, you will need to wear gloves and a face mask as you clean and disinfect. Avoid getting sewage on your skin and be prepared to wash everything you are wearing in hot water or to dispose of it afterward.
Soak It Up
Getting up the excess water is the first task. You can use towels or a mop, although these may be relatively ineffective for larger spills. A better option is to suck up as much water as possible with a wet-dry vacuum. Once the bulk of the water is up, then you can soak up the remainder with towels. Wash all the towels in hot water and dry in a hot dryer to kill any germs. If there is sewage involved, the vacuum canister and hose will need to be disinfected with bleach after use.
Dry It Out
The next task is to dry everything as quickly as possible. You can rent large fans and an industrial strength dehumidifier to speed the process and to suck extra moisture out of the air. This step must be done quickly or mold may take hold – especially in a bathroom if it has poor ventilation. This step can take a day or longer, depending on how humid the weather is and how extensive the flooding was. If water got behind the drywall, you may need to cut an access hole in the wall and aim a fan inside to dry it out.
Check the flooring
Fortunately, most bathrooms have hard floors so there is no carpet to dry out. Tile floor will likely need little more than a thorough mopping and perhaps disinfecting. Linoleum or vinyl, on the other hand, may begin to warp or peel up after being flooded. In this case, you will need to remove the flooring and dry out the plywood subfloor beneath. Once it is dry, you can install new flooring.
Repair the Walls and Trim
The final concern will be walls and trim. If the drywall got wet, you may have bubbling paint after it dries, and you will definitely have water stains. Begin by scraping off any paint. Patch the hole with a drywall patch, if a hole was necessary during the drying phase. Then, paint a primer over the entire wall. The primer will prevent the water stains from showing through. Finish by painting on two coats in your preferred color. Wood trim can sometimes be scraped and refinished if it didn't warp. If it warped, you will need to replace it.
For more help, contact a water damage restoration company in your area, such as Servicemaster of Buncombe County.