What to Do about Water Damage from a Leaky Toilet

Excess water around your toilet is never easy to deal with. If the water has been sitting for a long time, it could mean a lot of extra work. In addition to spreading germs, the water can cause a lot of damage to your flooring. The water soaks into the floor, rotting the joists and subfloor. The rot causes the floor to get soft, making it hard for the toilet to stay in place. The damage can also cause damage to the toilet, creating leaks and making the problem even worse. While the repair can be a bit messy. Use this step-by-step guide to learn more.

Step One: Remove the Toilet

In order to see just how much water damage you are dealing with, you are going to have to remove the toilet. This will allow you to clearly see the area around the toilet. Keep in mind that there are a lot of small components on a modern toilet, many of which are susceptible to rust and damage over time. Before you begin, disconnect the supply hose and drain the tank. You may need to unscrew a few rusty bolts to properly do this step. If you have never done this before, you may want to consider hiring a professional for assistance.

Step Two: Identify the Damage

Once you have removed the toilet, you can start to assess the area under the floor. You may need to remove some floor covering in order to get a proper look at the subfloor and joists. Most laminate flooring can be disassembled and reapplied with little effort. Tiles can be removed with a chisel and then replaced after your repairs are made. Hardwood flooring is the most problematic, but you will need to remove part of it to reveal all of the damage.

Step Three: Remove Water-Damaged Wood

Plywood and other coverings may need to be replaced completely, even after they completely dry out. You may not need to replace the flange to change out the wood. Simply unscrew the flooring and cut the damaged parts away. Try to remove a rectangle or square shape to make the replacement process easier.

Step Four: Replace Damaged Wood

If the joists are not also rotten, your wood floor repair should be easy. If there is damage to the joists, you will need to repair them before installing new wood. The new flooring should fit easily under the flange. Make sure you screw down any new plywood you install to keep it in place before reinstalling the toilet. This will help you correct the issue as easily and painlessly as possible.

Repairing water damage can seem difficult. If you are having trouble with any of the steps, consider reaching out to a local expert. The last thing you would want to do is cause more damage to your floor or toilet by making the repair incorrectly. To learn more about toilet installation and repair, please contact us today.