A River of Muck Has Overflowed Out of Your Toilet. Our Advice? Don't Panic!
There's not too much worse than flushing a toilet and watching the water rise up, flow over the edge and create a river of muck throughout the bathroom and beyond. Especially if you are a guest at somebody else's home or in a public place!
Panic can quickly ensue when you are dealing with a clogged, overflowing toilet and you may not be sure of how to handle the situation or what to do next. (No, the solution is NOT to call 911, as some distraught homeowners have done!!)
After shutting off the water valve at the base of the toilet, you'll need to determine if you require a professional clean up. In general, if you have a modern toilet and the spill was limited to a single flush (1.6 gallons), you may be able to mop it up yourself. This is usually the case if you have a non-porous flooring such as ceramic tile and the water did not reach the sheet rock walls or extend out of the bathroom to other areas of the house. If these conditions are true of your situation, you can likely clean the mess up with bleach and hot water, taking care to dispose of all wastewater and cleaning materials properly.
However, if you were not able to immediately shut off the water valve (many people walk out of the bathroom and don't realize there is disaster happening behind them) or someone repeatedly flushed the toilet, you may have far greater quantity of water spilled. Also, older toilets tanks hold 3-5 gallons of water so the volume of spilled water would be much greater. If the water seeped out to the hallway, saturating carpet or getting under laminated flooring, professional clean up will be required.
Calling in a specialist will not only save you from having to clean up the mess yourself (let's face it - probably not high on your list!), it's also necessary to keep you and your home safe. Toilet bowl overflows are considered Category 2 water, also known as “gray water”. The water may contain human waste matter and contain bacteria and pathogens, which are harmful to human health. The flooding can allow for mold growth later on, particularly if water seeps into sub-flooring or under molding into interior wall voids.
It's not a fun scenario for any of us but fortunately, the SERVPRO of Southbury/Torrington team is up to the job. Our technicians are certified by the IICRC as Applied Microbial Remediation Technicians and wont skip any steps to endure your home is properly cleaned.