What Are The Risks Associated with Damage From an Overflowing Toilet?

What Are The Risks Associated with Damage From an Overflowing Toilet?

Most homeowners deal with an overflowing toilet at some point. Aside from being an extremely unpleasant experience, a toilet overflow can pose a health hazard for your family and cause water damage that spreads to other parts of your house.

Quick action on your part can prevent extensive damage. And calling in a professional water damage remediation company like Central Florida Restoration Solutions for fast and safe wastewater removal and decontamination can restore your home to its previous safe environment.

Risks Associated With a Toilet Overflow

The most common reasons for toilet overflow are sewage system issues, clogged pipes, a full septic tank, or blocked vents. No matter what causes your toilet to overflow, the dangers are real and should be taken care of immediately.

Here are just three of the risks associated with sewage and toilet overflows.

1. Harmful Bacteria

Sewage contains harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. If you or anyone else in the home comes in direct contact with sewage water or contaminated surfaces, it can result in illnesses such as gastroenteritis. Protecting people’s health should be the top priority when dealing with a toilet overflow.

If you want to clean up the overflow yourself, be sure to wear protective clothing, including boots, rubber gloves, and eye protection when mopping and disinfecting. And don’t use your own water supply if you’re unsure of its quality.

2. Mold

Mold loves to grow on damp surfaces where it can feast on organic matter. And once it takes hold in toilet overflow water, it can spread to wood, drywall, wallpapers, and other porous surfaces. Most homeowners react by resolving the cause of the overflow and thoroughly cleaning and mopping the bathroom floors. But water can quickly make its way into baseboards and cracks and crevices around tubs, showers, and vanities.

Because mold can lead to respiratory issues, skin irritations, or worse, mycotoxin poisoning, it’s critical to contact a water damage restoration company for help identifying and removing mold, including from hidden places where you can’t see it.

3. Structural Damage

Like all flooding events, a toilet overflow can cause significant structural damage to your Central Florida home, especially if the toilet’s located on an upper floor. Once the initial water removal and cleanup are complete, you might discover water damage in:

  • Bathtub and shower tiling
  • Cabinets
  • Ceilings and walls in lower-level rooms
  • Door trims
  • Drywall
  • Electrical wiring
  • Flooring
  • Uninsulated areas, like beneath cabinets

The extent of damage from a toilet overflow can range from minor to major and usually depends on the amount of water involved. You might be surprised to learn that the upper floor where the toilet is located typically requires less work than the lower one. Hiring a professional water damage restoration company ensures all hidden moisture and water damage is found and dealt with before it can cause more structural harm.

How to Prevent Future Toilet Overflows

Clogged pipes and faulty equipment can lead to multiple toilet overflows, so it’s essential to identify what caused your most recent flooding. To prevent future overflow issues:

  1. Be cautious of what’s flushed down your toilets – Toilets are powerful plumbing appliances, but they do have their limits. To avoid clogged toilet pipes, don’t flush cat litter, wet wipes, paper towels, or sanitary napkins.
  2. Avoid plush toilet paper – It may be soft but it can also be harmful to your plumbing. Over time, most plumbing systems can’t break down all the thick paper flushed down the toilet, which can lead to serious clogs.
  3. Watch for toilet repair warning signs – Does your toilet have cracks or buildup marks? Are the chain, flapper, and float ball still in good condition? Is the toilet making unusual sounds when flushed?
  4. Steer clear of chemical drain cleaners – Store-bought drain cleaning products contain corrosive chemicals that break up clogs in your pipes. Unfortunately, these chemicals can also pose a threat to your piping system.
  5. Quickly repair faulty toilets – Always address a running toilet as soon as possible. It’s a clear indication the toilet tank has a problem that can eventually lead to much bigger issues.

Toilet Overflow Remediation and Restoration

Taking shortcuts that put your family’s health at risk from a toilet overflow is never a wise decision. The sooner you start toilet overflow remediation, including cleaning, drying, and sanitizing, the more quickly you can prevent further personal harm and structural damage.

The water damage restoration experts at CFRS have the protective gear and professional-grade equipment needed to deal with all the ramifications of a toilet overflow. If you’re a Central Florida homeowner dealing with a toilet overflow or any other type of home flooding, our skilled technicians are here to help. Contact us online or call us at 407-988-6101 to schedule service. We also offer 24/7 emergency restoration services.

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