Learn What To Do When A Drain Causes A Flooded Apartment Or Rental Unit

Drain Floods Your Rental Unit Headache

Do you know what to do if one of your drains causes a flooded apartment or rental unit? As an example, a severely clogged toilet can cause water to back up and flood your apartment. Besides the fact that it is an annoying mess you have to deal with, it can also cause damage to your rental unit. Additionally, it poses a serious health risk.

If your flooded apartment happens when you are home, you can react quickly and take action. However, if the flooding occurs while you are away or asleep, it is not quite so easy to deal with. If you experience this type of issue, the first thing to remember is not to panic. Everything will be okay as long as you take care of it right away.

A 3-Step Guide For When A Flooded Apartment Occurs

1. Close The Water Before Trying To Cure The Cause Of The Flood

Of course, the first thing to do is shut off the water to the particular cause of the flooded apartment. Most plumbing fixtures have individual shutoff valves. To be specific, each toilet and each sink has a valve underneath to close the water.

Here are some things that you should do if you suffer a flooded apartment or rental unit flooding to minimize damage, and get things back to normal.

A flooded apartment located in a basement.

A Flooded Basement Apartment Can Create Havoc

2. Remove the Clog that Caused a Flooded Apartment

Sometimes, a sewer backup is caused by a foreign object, toilet paper, or waste that is stuck in the pipes just below the toilet. Grab a plunger, place it in the toilet over the drain, and push down firmly several times. You should feel a bit of resistance as the plunger puts pressure on the clog. If the water recedes and the toilet flushes normally congratulations, you’ve solved the problem.

In cases where this doesn’t solve the problem, close the valve for the toilet under the tank to stop future flushing or running toilet issues. If the flooding still continues, it could be a clog in one of the main lines that serve the building. In that case, you’re going to need professional sewer cleaning help.

3. Be Very Careful of Wastewater

A sewer backup that floods your bathroom is an unpleasant experience, to say the least. The last thing that you want, however, is to leave any water standing on the floor or on your carpeting. Wastewater contains all kinds of nasty things that can cause serious illnesses. It’s best to get rid of standing water as soon as possible. However, you have to be very careful.

Never attempt to clean a mess like this without proper safety equipment like rubber gloves, safety goggles, and high rubber boots. Typically a mixture of bleach and water is used to kill mold and bacteria. If the job seems like a bit much for you, leave the cleanup to a professional with the right equipment.

If You Are a Resident – Call the Landlord

Do not be embarrassed or shy about calling your landlord if you have a flooded apartment issue in your rental unit. Part of their job is to ensure that these types of issues are addressed. Call them immediately to let them know what is happening so they can take care of it. This is even more of a vital step in case you do not have renter’s insurance.

If you wait too long, damage can occur to your unit as well as those below you. No one wants that, and it certainly will not please your landlord or building super to have to make repairs to multiple units. Making a prompt call to the Landlord or Building Super actually makes you a good neighbor!

If You Are the Landlord – Call a Sewer Expert

As a landlord, you are used to dealing with all types of repairs and maintenance issues in your apartment buildings on your own. You can handle almost everything. However, a sewer backup causing a flooded apartment is something that you really do need a professional drain service or plumber to help with.

For starters, you likely do not have the tools, equipment, and experience necessary to do the job right. You are also not a licensed plumber and making repairs yourself can violate local laws which can cost you dearly in terms of fines and other fees.

An apartment getting flooded from a sudden storm.

A Sudden & Severe Storm Can Cause

Apartment Flooding

How To Clean A Flooded Apartment

You might think that cleaning up after a flooded apartment is fairly straightforward, but in fact, that is not the case. Of course hard finished surfaces can be dried, disinfected, and then put back into use. However porous items have to be carefully inspected and cared for. In many cases, the restoration process is not worth the trouble. In other cases, dangerous mold may grow, which is a true health hazard.

Articles of clothing: If you take prompt action by washing clothes with bleach, or another item that kills mold and bacteria, you might be able to save your garments.

Sheet rock: In many cases, if the water level reaches your sheet rock, the sheet rock should be cut out and replaced. The studs behind the sheet rock should be sprayed with a weak bleach solution.

Any exposed hard surfaces: Any exposed hard surfaces, such as wood, or laminates, should be sprayed with a weak bleach solution.

Any articles that have active mold growth: Mold grows surprisingly quickly and tends to destroy the items it infests. In many cases, it is best to discard the items before the mold spreads to another area of your home or other possessions.

When to call a professional remediation company: Some clean-up projects can most definitely be DIY, but certainly some cannot and should not. When a flooded apartment occurs trying to save money on the clean-up or salvaging mold-infested items can lead to a great deal of damage.

As stated previously, mold grows quickly, and frequently out of site. It is not unheard of for mold to grow behind a basement wall upwards, and ruin higher levels of a home or a building. With that having been said, frequently the first step is to contact a mold remediation company before you even contact your insurance company.

Partner with Balkan Drain Cleaning

Now you know what to do if your drain causes a flooded apartment or rental unit. Plumbing and sewer problems are an unfortunate fact of life for NYC residents and landlords. Minor issues can quickly become major problems if they are not addressed in a timely fashion. If you are experiencing flooding in your rental units, slow, gurgling drains, or other issues, contact Balkan Drain Cleaning or call our team at 718-641-1222.

A Guaranteed Response Time For Flooded Apartment Emergencies

When you’re suffering through a flooded apartment emergency, we will dispatch one of our highly trained, licensed, experienced experts to your location to evaluate the situation and mitigate the damages. Our on-point investigations frequently make use of high-definition sewer camera inspections. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays and weekends if your drain floods your rental unit.