When people search for a home to buy, there are many things that they will consider. What is the price and how many square feet are there? How many bedrooms are there? What does the kitchen look like? Is there a yard? But something that everyone wants to know before they purchase a property is how many bathrooms are in the home. Plus, what condition are those bathrooms in?
A bathroom is a significant aspect of any home, but it can also be the source of a few maintenance problems, the main one being the potential for water damage. A water-damaged bathroom can ruin any homeowner’s day, especially if the effects are significant. Fixtures can be ruined, the bathroom floor could get soaked, and you might even experience ceiling leaks in the floors below.
The potential causes of serious water damage in the bathroom are numerous. Anything from faulty fixtures to clogged sinks to storm flooding to excess water from a hot shower can be harmful to the materials in the bathroom.
How to Prevent Water Damage in the Bathroom
Though you cannot prepare for every circumstance, there are a few tried and true methods for keeping your bathroom functional by preventing water damage from occurring in the first place.
Keep Up with Maintenance
If an issue pops up in your bathroom, no matter how trivial it may seem, it should be addressed immediately. Is the silicone sealant peeling away from the tub? Does the sink seem to drain slower than usual? Is the toilet bowl filling to the right level after every flush? Does the shower have patches of decaying grout around a tile or two? When you notice these warning signs, figure out the cause and do whatever maintenance is required to address the problem.
Check Pipes for Leaks or Corrosion
Keeping an eye on the condition of the water supply lines in your bathroom can help you stay ahead of water damage. When you notice rust beginning to spread or water stains forming under the pipes, this could be a sign that they need to be replaced. Better to know now than after burst pipes flood the whole bathroom.
Update Old Fixtures
Sometimes, it makes sense to tackle a potential problem before it even comes up. If your bathrooms have aging fixtures, you may want to consider replacing them just to make sure that they are updated and properly working for years to come.
Use a Bathroom Exhaust Fan
An exhaust fan can help pull moisture out of the bathroom and expel it outside through a wall or duct. This is particularly useful during hot showers when steam tends to collect. This moisture would otherwise cling to the surfaces, potentially being absorbed and causing structural damage in the bathroom.
Keep Drains Cleared
Clogged drains are a leading cause of sink overflows or tub spills. If someone accidentally leaves the water on and drainage is slow, then you could experience bathroom water damage. Keep the sink trap clear, snake the drains regularly, and make sure all the faucets are off when not in use.
Repairing Bathroom Water Damage
If the incident has already happened and you are looking to restore your bathroom walls, floors, fixtures, or other surfaces, then you need to implement a quick cleanup process to protect your possessions and prevent mold growth.
Remove Excess Moisture
The first step is to deal with the standing water that has collected. (This assumes that you have stopped the leak somehow and shut off the source of the flooding). You can do this by using towels, wet vacuums, manual pumps, shop vacuums, or buckets. Don’t allow more water to collect or the issue could worsen.
Dry Out All Materials to Prevent Mold Growth
Using fans, open windows, air movers, and dehumidifiers, the next step is to make your bathroom dry. Otherwise, you could face warped flooring, warped walls, and a breeding ground for mold. Mold growth can cause significant health issues like respiratory problems, so a thorough drying process is crucial for this type of repair job.
If you fear that you can’t handle the extent of the repairs and you may see permanent damage as a result, get in touch with a Portland water damage restoration company for assistance.
Wet items could produce bacteria. Additionally, if the water that spilled came from the toilet or shower, there it might be classified as grey water since it contains mild levels of bacteria.
If this is the case, use sanitary napkins, a soap solution, or a bleach mixture to clean the walls, floors, and other surfaces. Baking soda is also helpful for removing odors, so if there is a musty smell or other foul odor after a water leak, sprinkle baking soda around the room or place it in a bowl and leave it for a few days. Otherwise, water damage in your bathroom could lead to skin irritation or further decay in structural materials.
If some of the materials in your bathroom are beyond repair after the incident, they will need to be addressed. Replace cracked tiles or countertops. Search for hidden damage behind and under fixtures to see if there is drywall bubbling or mold growing. Check the walls for soft spots to determine if they need to be reconstructed. Replace torn shower curtains or missing tiles.
Any damaged surface may need to be replaced with new material to ensure that your bathroom remains safe and functional.
Seek Professional Water Damage Restoration for Your Bathroom Floor
Preserving your bathroom floors, walls, bathroom fixtures, and possessions could come down to who is working on the restoration. Unless you know what you are doing, it is probably wiser to contact a water damage repair company to handle the project.
These professionals can remove standing water efficiently, repair water-damaged bathroom walls, mitigate that musty smell, remove visible mildew, check for signs of water damage in hidden areas, and prevent further damage. Though you may think these are costly repairs, the damage that would result from doing nothing would be far more expensive in the long run.
When bathroom water damage occurs, take action quickly to mitigate the problem and save your property.