News and Info

Is A Toilet Overflow Really That Bad?

When a toilet overflows, biological contaminates in the water spread on the floor. The water might appear to be clear but that doesn’t mean it is clean. Some call it “grey water.” Contractors call it Category 2. Sometimes a toilet overflow can mean demolition is required. This is dependent on whether the spill is category 2, “gray water,” or category 3, “black water.” So who makes the call as to whether demolition is required? Sometimes it is best to bring in a 3rd party inspector to make sure everyone is honest.

What is the difference between a Category 2 and 3 water loss?

If a toilet overflow originates before the p-trap it is considered grey water or category 2. If the overflow originates after the p-trap, it is considered black water or Category 3. The big question is: Do you know for sure that the toilet overflow didn’t come from after the p-trap? If you have any doubt, you can call VeriDry at 855-379-6692 for an inspection. An independent (IEP) indoor environmental professional, like a VeriDry Inspector, can use an ATP Meter (the same meter used in the food industry to determine the cleanliness of surfaces) to inspect your home. Specific protocols exist in the industry for safely cleaning, restoring, and remediating damage caused by a toilet overflow.

Knowing the category of a toilet overflow means knowing what safety procedures must be followed and how much demolition and restoration will be required. A 3rd party inspection, such as a VeriDry inspection, can yield this information. After a VeriDry inspector determines the cause and scope of damage, you will need to call a restoration professional. You can find a list of independently certified contractors at www.veridry.net by clicking on the the find a contractor button. You can even search by zip code to find qualified contractors near you. Contractors with a VPScore have agreed to VeriDry’s Scope of Work and post-restoration verification. That means they are so confident in their work that they welcome a 3rd party, VeriDry, to inspect their job sites and review them for honesty and work procedures.

Does it really matter when you have a toilet overflow if the water is grey or black?

In a black water (category 3) damage situation, professionals should be called in to dry and sanitize your property.

Here are some safety precautions to take until a qualified contractor begins restoration:

  • Don’t walk in contaminated water with absorbent shoes, flip flops, or barefoot.
  • Keep small children from the area.
  • Have a plumber determine and document where the blockage is located.
  • If possible, save the item that caused the blockage in a plastic bag for insurance adjusters. At least have the plumber note it on his or her invoice.
  • Most importantly, have a 3rd party inspector ensure that your property is dry. A VeriDry inspector can ensure that your property is clean, dry, and sanitary.

When your contractor finishes cleaning up after an overflowed toilet, VeriDry will issue you a Certificate of Dry. This certificate proves that your property has been cleaned and dried to industry standards.

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