How to Handle Water Damage from a Backed Up Toilet

carpet in the bathroom is bad news

Toilet backed up? Sewage all over your bathroom floor? Learn from experts how to handle water damage from a backed-up toilet and how to save your floors.

What Causes Toilets to Back Up?

When toilets back up, they usually do so for one of two reasons. Either it’s a local clog, meaning the toilet itself is clogged, and someone simply flushed too many times before clearing the clog, or the sewer line itself is backed up because of a clog further down the line.

While flushing items like feminine products or the occasional toddler flushing a toy or inappropriate item can cause a backup, most sewer line backups happen because tree roots have grown into the sewer line. This happens because tree roots are always seeking out water and nourishment, and even a hairline crack can alert a tree to a source of both. Tree roots are impressively strong and can find their way into your sewer line through the most minuscule crack, growing into the line and completely blocking it.

Water Damage from a Backed-Up Toilet

Needless to say, a backed-up toilet is no fun, and the water damage (sewage damage, actually) is from contaminated water; you have to disinfect the flooring as part of your restoration process.

Disinfecting Bathroom Floors After a Backed Up Toilet

Methodology for disinfecting a bathroom floor after sewage damage is determined by flooring type.

Tile Floors

If you have tile floors with intact grout, your clean-up will not be so bad. Open windows and run a fan to ensure proper ventilation, and then mix 1 gallon of water with 1/2 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup white vinegar, and 1/4 cup borax. Use a mop to spread this disinfectant across tile floors. While wearing rubber gloves, scrub the grout with a scrub brush. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the tile surface with cool water to remove the disinfectant after scrubbing.

Hardwood Floors

Nine times out of ten, hardwood floors need to be replaced after sewage damage.

If you have a sentimental attachment to your hardwoods, and they are completely dried by a professional restoration company, they can be refinished instead of replaced. You will need to hire a professional to extract the moisture, disinfect the hardwood floors, and dry the flooring. Refinishing is a lot cheaper than replacing, but you will also need to sign a waiver releasing the restoration company of liability since the refinished hardwoods will still be prone to microbial or bacteria growth. Sewage damage is quite damaging and brings with it risks related to sanitation issues.

carpet in the bathroom is bad newsCarpeted Floors

If you have carpet in your bathroom, both the carpet and the pad will need to be replaced. There is no way to completely extract sewage contamination from carpet; it is unsanitary to simply dry and attempt to disinfect it.

Need a Sewage Damage Restoration Company?

A professional sewage damage restoration company will use a combination of water extraction tools, industrial fans, industrial dehumidifiers, antimicrobials that are finish-friendly, and high heat to completely dry out and disinfect the affected areas.

E.R. Services does not provide restoration services, but we can help you prevent water damage with our pipe and bathroom repair services. That, and we can refer you to a reputable restoration company to help solve anything too damaged to save. Give us a call to discuss options today.

Article Summary

Quick question & answer: Why is my toilet backed up?

Your toilet may be backed up because someone flushed multiple times before clearing the clog, or the sewer line itself is backed up. Tree roots can grow into the sewer line, looking for a water source. All they need is a minuscule crack to enter through to completely block the line.

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