Whether your child has accidentally left the bath taps open upstairs, the downstairs shower has burst a pipe or the drain clogs in the sink have caused it to back up and overflow, these problems can all escalate into a flooded bathroom before you even realise.

That is why it is important to know what to do in the event that your bathroom floods, so you will always have peace of mind and know how to save your property.

At Squarefoot Property Rescue, we have created this guide based on our own specialist knowledge and experience of dealing with plumbing and drainage, as well as bathroom refurbishment, for flooded properties. However, if you are based in London and you’d like a team of experts to handle the repair and restoration work, we can also provide this.

Contact us today if this is something you would like and we will book you in for an appointment.


1: Turning Off the Water Supply and Your Electrics

If your bathroom has been flooded by an internal source (water from your drains and pipes, rather than flood water from bad weather), you should immediately locate your stopcock and shut off the water supply. This will prevent more water from flooding in and making the damage worse.

At this time, you should also ensure that your electrics are switched off at the fuse. Electrocution is always a present danger in the event of a flooded room, and if your bathroom is on the 1st or 2nd floor there is a chance that the water will travel and could affect light fixtures in the ceiling below.

We would always recommend having a trained and qualified electrician clear any room that has been affected before you attempt to enter it.


Claiming on Insurance for a Flooded Bathroom

If there is sustained water damage in your bathroom, you should also take the time to make a claim on your home insurance. If the claim is successful (usually because the damage is sudden, such as an accident caused by a child or a pipe bursting), then the funds received from the claim can be used to pay for professional repair work.


2: Controlling the Damage

If the standing water left by the flooding is Category 1, otherwise known as “clean water”, you should be able to remove or control this with little trouble. This type of water will have come from a leak in a supply pipe, a sink tap, the tap on a bathtub or a showerhead and is not contaminated. As such, it is safe for you to handle. You may be able to mop this water up or use old towels to absorb the water.

If the standing water is Category 2, which is otherwise known as “grey water”, or Category 3, which is known as “black water”, we would not recommend attempting to remove or handle it yourself. Grey water, which may come from a toilet that contains urine but no fecal matter, may make you unwell if it is accidentally consumed or even if you are simply exposed to it in some cases.

Black water, on the other hand, is considered grossly unsanitary because it is most often used water that will be sent to the public sewer line. This includes toilet water which contains fecal matter. It is harmful to humans and should not be handled by anyone who isn’t a qualified technician under any circumstances.

If the flooding has come from a bathroom upstairs and is leaking down through your ceiling, this should be collected in a bucket.


3: Cleaning Up

Water damaged wooden floor

The cleaning process may require more care and attention, depending on the category of water you have flooding your bathroom.

When you start to clean up an area affected by Category 1 water, it is important to dry it out as quickly as possible. Open windows and doors to circulate the air as much as possible. Drying the room out may also involve removing sections of carpet or rugs which have become waterlogged, as they are susceptible to mould growths and mildew.

When attempting to clean up a bathroom that has previously been flooded by Category 2 water, you must ensure you are wearing the appropriate safety gear, such as protective goggles, footwear and thick rubber gloves. You should also avoid splashing any leftover water wherever possible.

A household disinfectant should be used to sanitise any areas affected, and you should always ensure that you disinfect the mops and equipment you’re using. Any rugs, towels or mats which can be kept should be washed immediately. If you have a carpet, this should be treated by a professional firm. Affected floorboards and drywall should also be treated by a specialist.

As Category 3 water is always to be considered dangerous, you should never attempt to remove or clean up after this type of flood water by yourself. Instead, you should always contact an experienced firm with knowledge and training in drainage engineering.

Any appliances which have caused flooding, from broken toilets, to clogged shower drains and sinks, should not be used until the problem is resolved.


4: Repairing the Damage

The action you should take to repair your bathroom after it has flooded will depend on the water damage that has been caused. For instance, if the damage is coming from a bathroom on the 1st or 2nd floor and is leaking down through your plaster ceilings, you may be able to seal any cracks with fibreglass mesh tape and plaster over this. This area may then be bleached and sealed with a stain-blocking primer, before you paint over it to ensure water stains cannot form. To find out more about this work, please follow the advice we have available on water damaged ceilings.

Repairing the damage in a bathroom wall requires a several step process. If you would like to learn more about this, please see our page on repairing water damage in walls and find our section on bathroom walls.


5: Contacting a Professional Firm

As the owner of the property, you may be responsible for the repair and restoration of your bathroom after it’s seen water damage. After all, the water is most likely to have come from bath, sink, toilet or shower drains somewhere in your home. So, if a carpet is ruined, electrics are made faulty or a ceiling needs repair work, you are likely to feel as though you are the one who should make sure the room is set right.

Despite this, we would recommend that you do not undertake significant repair or restoration work by yourself. This is especially important if you do not have any DIY, building or restoration experience, because there is a possibility that further accidental damage will be caused. Depending on the levels of damage (especially to a floor or ceiling), there is also a chance that you may be putting yourself at risk.

We would always suggest calling in a professional repair and restoration service to carry out work on substantial damage to your flooded bathroom.


For Help With Your Flooded Bathroom

At Property Rescue Services, we’re always ready and waiting to help our London-based clients with problems around their property. So, if your home has suffered the effects of a flooded bathroom, we will have the solution in place to see the damage repaired and the room’s features restored in a short amount of time.

Whether your child has accidentally left the bath taps running upstairs and now the bathroom on the 1st or 2nd floor needs its floors replacing, or if a pipe has suddenly burst and you need the most efficient emergency services for your walls and ceilings, our experienced team will be there at a time which suits your schedule.

Call us or send us a message via our contact page and you’ll be able to speak with one of our expert technicians today. As soon as your property’s needs have been discussed, we’ll ensure that a team is sent out to get the job done.