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dasamoto 01-06-2012 11:52 AM

Question about potential water damage from toilet flooding

I recently had a toilet blowup and i was wondering about any long term ramifications from the flooding. I would appreciate any advice / suggestions that anyone would be willing to offer.

Here's the situation:
We had some friends in town over New Year's and apparently the downstairs toilet clogged up and overflowed (clean water, but still toilet water).

I live in a condo and the water was able to travel from the bathroom (it pretty much covered the entire floor of the bathroom) into the hallway outside of my unit. Now this means that the water would have had to make it from my bathroom, seep below the stairs, and then end up out in the hallway.

I spent some time yesterday drying out the carpet with a very powerful water suction and then cleaning it as well. It seems to have dried out and I think should be fine going forward. The bathroom is tile so I'm not overly worried about that either.

What I am a little worried about is underneath the stairs - that bathroom wall is drywall and I really have no access to the area under the stairs unless I tore down the bathroom wall or the hallway wall outside (also drywall). Should this be something that I should be worried about? Obviously the water would have had to pass through that area to get to the hallway. I don't know if there's any standing water left over under the stairs, and if there is how damaging that would be.

Just as a further curiousity - what is typically underneath the stairs support-wise? I guess I hadn't really thought about it and am wondering if it's just generally empty or solid wood or something else.

Thanks so much for everyone who takes the time to read and/or respond.


nealtw 01-06-2012 04:15 PM

There shouldn't be much under the stairs. The framing at the bottom of the wall did get wet and need to dry out. I would find a spot that will be easy to patch and cut a hole to get access to that area so you can inspect it for mold and allow it to dry out.

BridgeMan 01-08-2012 08:22 PM

Why not pull off the bottom riser board, and use the opening to both view the extent of water under the stairs and assist in drying it out? You could even consider setting up a small portable heater to blow warm air in to hasten the drying process. Then replace the riser board when the area is dry, and you're "good to go."

Might want to suggest a change in the wife's cooking, to something less likely to blow up the toilet in the future.

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