Toilet Overflow Water Damage: When to Call a Pro

Is there any more helpless feeling — at any more awkward time — than pushing the flush handle and watching possible toilet overflow water damage occur? A clogged, overflowing toilet can induce panic and often uncertainty about what to do next. (There are recorded incidents of 911 emergency calls due to overflowing toilets.) The decision to call in professional help depends upon the volume of water spilled and the type. Here’s what to do when toilet overflow water damage occurs and who to call afterwards.

  • toilet overflow water damageFirst, don’t keep flushing! When the toilet overflows due to clogging, flushing a second (or third) time in  hopes of dislodging the clog only makes things worse and spills still more water.
  • Turn off the water. There’s a water shutoff valve on the wall near the floor directly behind the toilet.  That won’t fix the water that’s already spilled, but will at least stop further overflow and keep damage from getting worse.

Do You Need Professional Water Damage Recovery?

If the spill was limited to a single flush — in today’s standard toilet, that’s about 1.6 gallons — you may be able to mop up the results yourself.  However, if overflow continued before you could manage to access the shutoff valve, or someone repeatedly flushed the toilet, you may have far greater quantity of water spilled. Also, an older toilet has a higher capacity tank of 3 to 5 gallons so volume of spilled water would be much greater in that event, too.  In such cases, an evaluation by a water damage recovery specialist is advisable.

Toilet bowl overflows are considered Category 2 water, also known as “gray water” — not as clean as Category 1 water straight from a supply line. Overflows may contain human waste matter and pose an immediate toxic risk or trigger mold growth later, particularly if water seeps into sub-flooring or under molding into interior wall voids. Professional disinfection by a qualified water damage specialist may be required to fully decontaminate the premises.

Wondering if you need professional help to deal with toilet overflow water damage? Ask the experts at Rytech, Inc.


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