Flooded Bathroom? Here Are 10 Essential Steps to Recovery

Author: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Last Updated on

Clogged toilets can happen in the best-kept homes. Busy families can forget someone’s filling up the tub. A pipe can freeze during the night and burst before you’re awake. From faulty plumbing to a sewage backup, it doesn’t take much to flood the bathroom.

Before you grab a mop, ask yourself a quick question: Do you know the best way to take care of a flooded bathroom and keep water damage to a minimum?

As the leader among Chicago’s flood cleanup companies, we know how to tackle this kind of work. It’s a big job, and you need to take it one step at a time. It’s our goal to help make your next bathroom cleanup project a little easier.

Your 10-Step Guide on How to Clean Up a Flooded Bathroom

bathroom water damage tech

You want to address bathroom flooding as quickly as you can. Standing water soaks subflooring, wicks into sheetrock and creates a perfect breeding environment for unhealthy mold and mildew. These 10 steps get you on the road to flooded bathroom recovery.

1. Turn Off the Water

toilet water shut off valve
Toilet water shut off valve

Locate the sink or toilet valve so that you can shut off the water supply and stop the flooding. The oval-shaped knobs are usually under the sink and behind the toilet.

Power Tip: If you’re dealing with a burst pipe, turn off your home’s water supply at the outside main.

2. Fix the Problem

Determine the exact source of the flood water, and clear the clog, or fix the leak. We recommend calling in a professional plumber for most repairs.

3. Document the Damage

Even minor bathroom flooding can turn into serious water damage, so take pictures before you start cleaning. Save them as documentation in case you need to file an insurance claim.

4. Clean Out Cabinets

Get everything out of vanity cabinets and any other storage in contact with the wet floor. Check these areas for damage, and determine what kind of cleanup they need.

Power Tip: Leave cabinet doors and drawers open to help circulate air and speed up the drying process.

5. Remove Standing Water

Tackle minor floods on tile or vinyl floors with old towels, and finish up with a good mopping. Lay newspapers flat inside cabinets to absorb excess moisture in hard-to-reach spaces. If the flooding is severe, consider hiring a water removal service to take care of the damage.

6. Use a Wet Vacuum

If you’re dealing with several inches of flooding or a carpeted bathroom floor, extract the water with a wet vacuum. Be sure to follow the equipment’s instruction manual for safe use.

7. Pull Off Baseboards

Carefully pry baseboards away from walls so that you can check sheetrock at floor level. The porous material can quickly soak up flood water, and you need to know the extent of potential damage.

Power Tip: Discourage a mold outbreak by leaving the baseboards off until you’ve finished cleaning the bathroom.

8. Start the Drying Process

Dehumidifiers remove excess moisture

Set up as many fans as possible, and arrange them so that their air circulation creates crosscurrents. Consider renting a large dehumidifier to speed up the drying process.

9. Remove Damaged Sheetrock

Soaked sheetrock is a perfect breeding ground for mold, so don’t try to salvage it. Tear out and replace any wallboard that doesn’t dry within three days.

10. Scrub and Disinfect

Clean floors, cabinets and any other surfaces affected by bathroom flood waters. Finish off the job with a disinfectant designed to prevent mold growth.

You Can’t Always Do It Yourself

We must stress the danger of tackling sewage backup cleanup on your own. It’s hazardous work involving category 3 water damage and needs to be addressed by certified water damage specialists.

equipment drying flooded bathroom
Professional flood damage cleanup companies have advanced equipment to get your house back to normal

When you call in professionals for flooded bathroom help, you know the situation is handled safely. An experienced water damage contractor can also:

  • Detect hidden moisture behind walls and beneath floors.
  • Reduce cleanup and drying time with special equipment.
  • Address mold removal and remediation.
  • Help you with the insurance claims process.

Cleaning up a flooded bathroom floor can quickly become a very big job. Sometimes, you need to let professionals handle the hard work. We know you have plenty of DIY talent, but you can’t always do it by yourself.

Need Help with Bathroom Flood Damage in Chicago? We Can Help

We always enjoy sharing tips we develop as we take care of Chicago homeowners with emergency flood repair. We hope our bathroom flood cleanup guide comes in handy the next time you face a wet mess in the busiest room in the house.

water restoration technician
Our Chicago restoration team restores flooded bathrooms every week.

If you’re dealing with a bathroom flood that’s too big or dangerous for DIY cleanup, give us a call. We earn our reputation as one of the best flood cleanup companies in Chicago and the suburbs every day.

Our teams here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba are standing by and ready to respond:  773-647-1985

What causes bathroom flooding and water damage?

Water backups from clogged toilets and drains are common sources of bathroom flooding. Corrosion buildup in older plumbing can degrade joints and rupture pipes. During the winter, frozen burst pipes are often to blame. Storm flooding can also cause problems by backing up sewage lines.

What is the fastest way to soak up water in a flooded bathroom?

Old towels and newspapers will quickly soak up water on a bathroom floor. Mops and floor squeegees make it easier to move excessive water into buckets.

How long does it take to fix a flooded bathroom?

If you address flooded bathroom cleanup right away, the drying process usually takes an additional two or three days. If the flooding affects bathroom walls and cabinets, you may be looking at tear-out and replacement work which will extend the duration.