How Long Can I Leave Water Standing In My Bathroom?
Whether it’s your home, office, or a public area, standing water in the bathroom is almost always an unsavory sight. Not only does it create a poor aesthetic environment, but standing water also presents a slipping and falling hazard. And if you’re like us and have seen enough horror movies, you know well enough that tripping in the bathroom can be particularly dangerous.
Standing water can become stagnant in as little as 12 hours. Within 24 hours, mold and bacteria colonies will start growing in the water. Leave it a little while longer, and if you have mosquitoes in the area, they will come around and see if the water is suitable for them to lay eggs. Leave the water for a little longer, and other pests will also start coming in. By this time, mold will have grown quite a bit, and the DIY mold removal process will become equally difficult.
It is important to note that the water splashed on the bathroom floor after you take a shower is not deep enough for insects to lay eggs in but can stand in the corners and invite mold. If your bathroom is built properly and no water is seeping from within the tiles, the risk of water damage goes significantly down – even with standing water.
However, if your bathroom is experiencing a flood and you leave the water as is, you run the risk of mold, water damage, pest issue, health hazards, and more.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the dangers presented by stagnant water, even if it’s in the bathroom. For this article, we will assume that the ingress was because of a freshwater flood (if it is sewage water, you should immediately evacuate and call a water damage restoration company).
The Dangers of Stagnant Water
If water has sat in one place for a while, not only does it become stagnant, it also starts inviting several living things, as mentioned above. Within the 12 hour mark, bacteria will run rampant and start forming colonies. The freshwater will turn into gray water and therefore become dangerous for you.
By the 24-hour mark, not only will the bacteria and other pathogens have formed cultures, mold will start developing at the corners and within the bathroom tiles. The gray water will slowly start turning into black water (contaminated water) and therefore present significant health hazards to all those in the vicinity.
At the same time, insects will thrive in the bathroom. They will all be having a pool party from small mosquitoes to cockroaches, millipedes, centipedes, lizards, and even ants. You may even see eggs floating in the pool so created. These insects will eventually invite vermin, who may find a permanent hidey-hole in your home.
At this point, even touching the water can lead to rashes or make you sick. After this point, you can expect a thin film of green scum on the surface if you remove water. Mold will be thriving underneath it in the caulk.
You can expect vermin such as mice, rats, possums, and even snakes to start considering your bathroom as a watering hole after 36-48 hours. These animals often carry diseases, which will spread in the water and infect other animals and insects. Your bathroom will essentially become a watery jungle where animals may even start dying. You can expect a very repulsive odor from your bathroom after the 60-hour mark.
Water Seeping Into The House
Standing water in the bathroom may not pose such a threat to other parts of your home till the 24-hour mark. However, beyond that, water may start seeping through the caulk and damage the wall behind it. This will start creating more problems for you and increase mold risk in other areas.
You may end up with bacteria cultures and mold colonies all around your home and increase the prevalence of resulting illnesses. One of the biggest concerns you will have to deal with is rot. As the supporting beams start getting wet, you can expect the structural integrity of your home to start giving way.
What To Do About Standing Water In Bathroom
As soon as you notice that your bathroom is flooded, make sure you either open the drain pipes one way or another or rent out a pump from your local hardware store and expel the standing water. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty (or wet), consider calling home restoration experts.
If there are any containers that may have accumulated water in them, put them upside down once the water has been drained. Make sure the bathtub and toilet are kept clean and well-maintained.
Even if the floodwater stood for just a few hours, throw away your toothbrush and soap. Open a new one to ensure hygiene. While the risk of them getting contaminated is very small, there is a risk nonetheless.
911 Restoration of Tri-Cities is always ready and waiting to help people looking for water damage restoration and mold removal services. Whether it is a clogged drain or a storm that led to the standing water, give us a call, and we’ll be right over to help you out!