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overflowing toilet

Water Damage – Overflowing toilet

An overflowing toilet does more than carry a foul odor in the bathroom. Home and sewer waste carries bacteria and bacteria-filled water with it, causing floor damage, wall damage, mold, and damage to bathroom furniture and appliances. Worse, the water seeps to hallways and other rooms in the house, threatening the floors and walls in that area.

What Causes a Toilet to Overflow?

There might be multiple reasons why your toilet overflows. These are five of the most common causes of water damage from the overflowing toilet.

Clogged pipes

A clog can prevent functioning pipes from its job, which is carrying waste from the toilet to the outside. The major culprit is toilet paper, but it could be human waste buildup or the toilet flow.

Vent blockage

The vertical pipe that connects plumbing fixtures together is the vent. The vent takes air from the outside and sends it down to the toilet to replace the air missing. Vent blockage is when debris blocks the vent. The result is a foul smell, a bubbling sound, suction, and/or draining issues.

Broken toilet parts

Malfunctioning parts inside and outside the toilet tank can cause toilet overflow from the base and/or tank. Examples are a broken flush handle and a malfunctioning fill valve.

Septic tank issues

Homes with septic tanks store waste first and then release the waste into the soil. A full septic tank will cause the toilet to overflow from the tank. Trapped stored waste in tanks will have the same result.

Low-flow toilet

Sadly, this toilet itself may be the culprit. Low-flow toilets cannot keep up with the home’s demands. It requires more than one flush to get the job done. For these toilets, it’s easy to clog it with non-flushable items, causing overflow from the base.

Toilet Overflow Bacteria – How Safe Is It to Clean Up By Yourself?

A pile-up from toilet overflow is never satisfying to clean up. The dirty water, bacteria, and human waster make it unsanitary to touch. This is why you need to contact the water damage restoration professionals to handle it for you. 

Overflow water comes in three types – clean, gray, and black. 

  1. Clean water is the safest to clean up. It’s the same clean water that comes from faucets. 
  2. If the clean water interacts with rim buildup, feces, or by-products, it becomes black water. This is the most unsanitary to clean up alone. 
  3. Gray water is clean water and urine combined, so there is some contamination. Gray water becomes black water if it sits idle.

What to Do Before the Water Damage Restoration Professionals Arrive

  1. Do not touch, clean up, or ventilate toilet overflow matter because it contains bacteria and pathogens that affect your health.
  2. Turn off the toilet water valve so water doesn’t overflow again. If the water valve doesn’t work, turn off the home’s water supply valve.
  3. Contact the insurance company agent about the toilet overflow to review the policy coverage for this.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage From Overflowing Toilet?

The home insurance policy will cover sudden and accidental water damage from a burst pipe. Additionally, the policy will cover dwellings and personal property. Water damage dwellings insurance coverage covers wall damage from pipes inside it. Personal property water damage insurance coverage covers belongings like electronics and books damaged from water. The policy will not cover negligence, maintenance issues, floods, and outside drains/sewers. For water damage from toilet overflow, coverage is 50/50. It depends highly on the overflow’s cause and the problem area’s location.

Water Damage From Overflowing Toilet in New York

Because of the iffy resolution, you need a pro on your side. The water damage restoration professionals at iFlooded Restoration know exactly how to maneuver this situation. 

We dry the floors using the latest technology to properly dry your bathroom and avoid any risk of mold growth. We use tools and tried-and-true knowledge to clean up the mess and sanitize the area.

After the floors are clean, sanitary, and dry, we will survey the damaged area for potential mold growth or upcoming damage. Finally, if it is a covered loss, all payment comes from the insurance company. 

With over 30 years of experience with water damage restoration, never tackle this dirty job alone. Contact us for a consultation, including a free estimate.

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