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Question DetailsAsked on 1/30/2017

The bathroom flush broke, water spilled in the bath room and we mopped water in 10 min. Do you think of any damage

Though we mopped up the water completely, the insurance company feels we need to get a mitigation person come out and that is going to cost $1000-$1,500. Is this really necessary. WE are trying to be well within out deductible of $2,600 and take care of the expenses ourselves.

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Ouch - hate to say it, but contacting the insurance company, even though they will likely not pay anything on the claim, likely will result in probably about 10% higher premiums for 5 or more years - because most count any notification of damage as a claim regardless of whether they pay anything. Yeah, I know - crooked and VERY customer unfriendly business model but that is how it is. Some like Allstate are very strict on that - some like State Farm "give you" a free claim every 3-5 years without raising your rates, some it depends on the type of damage like whether "act-of-god" like yours, or due to some homeowner action which might be repeated like a fire due to cigarette smoking or such.

Damage potential depends on floor type mostly - and whether the water got in under vanity or tub or under the flooring itself (one reason I like to caulk the baseboard/base trim on non-tile floors, and use base around the walls and vanity with tile). Laminate or hardwood floor certainly more susceptible to damage if it got down through the joints or around the edge and in under - sheet or asphaltic-adhered square linoleum or vinyl much less so especially if full-gluled rather than floating, ceramic tile little if any damage potential unless you soak the heck out of the subfloor and it buckles.

I have seen a lot of houses (including my own) have a toilet tank break or toilet overflow (with commonly 5-50 gallons of water spilled), and provided it was mopped up and a fan run in the room (and in any adjacent room the water got into under walls) until it was well dehumidified and any flooring was dried out, you might well have no damage other than maybe a bit of water stainiung - which on finished surfaces can usually be wiped away if cleaned right afterward.

You say the "flush" broke - I presume you mean the flush handle - and evidently was seen at the time it happened with your rapid response, so probably just a gallon or few spillage. Personally if you do not see damage now, I would not expect it if dried out well within a day or so of the event. Plus the fact you have a $2600 deductible - that would likely totally replace baseboards and flooring a couple to several times over if needed, so I can't see any advantage to professional drying out.

Run bathroom fan AND put a strong (say 12-20") fan in there aimed to move a lot of air over the flooring and base of walls/vanity, with bathroom door open. And of course check downstairs for damage from leakage through the flooring. Normally, a one-time wetting like this does not damage subflooring or wall interiors as it vaporates out and diffuses to surrounding areas - especially this time of year where in most areas natural indoor humidity is not real high. My fan preference - a 12" or so oscillating fan (the type that swing back and forth 180 dgrees or so, about $15-20) directing air on the room, and a 20" or so fixed fan (the type used to make a room feel cooler in the summer) for about $20-50 - put in the doorway and directed outwards so it moves the humid air out of the bathroom. And bathroom fan running to remove humid air from the ceiling area. The key is a lot of air movement over the damp areas to dehumidify them, plus evacuation of the humid air from the room.

If worried about the subfloor forming mildew or mold (which would die off as it dries out anyway) you can open a hole for a shop vac hose and run a shop vac there for some hours to move air through the area and dry it out - though normally simple evaporation and absorption of the surrounding wood of the moisture diffuses it and dries it out pretty quickly UNLESS there is a vapor barrier overlying the ceiling below, which is generally only the case with attic floors, where there is usually a vapor barrier right above the underlying ceiling which holds the water and prevents diffusion/evaporation through the drywall. I do not recommend leaving a shop vac running while out of the house for fire safety purposes in case it overheats.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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