Flooded toilet. Soaked carpet. Apartment. What to do?
November 5, 2012 3:41 PM   Subscribe

Flooded toilet. Soaked carpet. Apartment. What to do?

This evening my toilet flooded so much the water went into the living room. The carpet is soaked, the pad is soaked, it is disgusting. Washing the carpet gives me the chills because the pad is still under there, now covered in ahem...sediment and bacteria. UGH.

Our apartment complex is a pretty nice one. Chandeliers, etc. Can I ask them to replace the portion that got soaked? Have you ever experienced something similar?
posted by DeltaForce to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
I hope you notified your landlord ASAP. I just had this experience. Also, we called Servpro (no affiliation), they were out in 15 minutes. They did a good job of cleanup, replacing the carpet pads and setting up heaters. But let your landlord take care of this.
posted by wongcorgi at 3:44 PM on November 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

Yeah, definitely "contact landlord" should be your first priority. The matter of who is responsible (financially, etc.) for damages can be sorted out later...but it'll be much better for you if landlord is notified right away.

That said, as you clearly can't just wallow in filth until a landlord-approved cleaning/plumbing crew arrives, I'd suggest renting one of those super-suctiony wet/dry vacuums and loading them with Nature's Miracle or some similar enzyme-based cleaner (sold for dealing with "pet messes" but very effective at addressing anything, er, organic). Even if the carpet ends up being replaced, that should knock down the nastiness factor until that happens.
posted by aecorwin at 3:59 PM on November 5, 2012

Your landlord wants to and needs to know!!

The landlord won't pay to replace your personal goods but they should replace carpet and anything else that's part of the apartment (cabinets, wallboard, etc.)
posted by vespabelle at 4:06 PM on November 5, 2012

Do you know why the toilet flooded? This happened to me once because I lived in an older apartment and there were roots growing in the plumbing, causing the overflow. It was not my responsibility to pay for the damage. Bite the bullet and call your frickin' landlord. I know it's embarassing but I don't see any advantage to hiding this from him/her. Shit happens.
posted by phaedon at 4:16 PM on November 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Nthing going to the landlord.

But the correct steps to take are:
1. Dry everything out. Space heaters and de-humidifiers are key here. They can be rented at any home improvement box store.

2. Replace or clean the carpet. Obviously, replacing the carpet would be your first choice, but your landlord (and your wallet) might say different. If you were going to keep the carpet, you want to carefully pull the carpet up from the tack strips, and clean the floor, the pad, and the under-side of the carpet. It needs to be dry to do this. Take one layer up at at time, vigorous sweep and clear any dirt or other material.

3. Paint the floor (and I would even paint the pad) with anti-mold paint, like the primer, Kilz. I know it says not recommended for floors, but that is if you are trying to get a finished paint coat on the floor. You are just using the kilz as a long term mold killing layer.

4. Then tack the carpet back in place. You might need carpet knee-kickers to stretch the carpet back into place, to tack it back to the tack-strip.
posted by Flood at 4:21 PM on November 5, 2012

Pros cleaned up a huge leak at my place this summer, and they didn't use space heaters or dehumidifiers. They used fans that have an exhaust port that you insert under the carpet.

I really don't think this is a do it yourself job. There are companies who do this all the time, and your landlord should hire one.
posted by thelonius at 4:34 PM on November 5, 2012

Yes, that's too much of a mess for you and you don't have the right equipment. Call the landlord, who needs to call Servpro. They will fix it up.

Warning: depending on the severity of the mess, you may not be able to inhabit the apartment for maybe a week or two. When my downstairs apartment got flooded from an upstairs toilet, they brought in a lot of dehumidifiers, had to get new carpet...water damages a lot.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:51 PM on November 5, 2012

If any of your belongings were ruined, you should also call your renters insurance company, if you have one.

This did happen to me, but it was the toilet in an occupied apartment that overflowed. All of our carpet and padding was replaced by our landlord. We had to move our belongings to make that possible, and our insurance company dealt with replacement costs for our belongings that were ruined. Whether they got money from our apt complex for that, I don't know.
posted by freezer cake at 2:22 PM on November 6, 2012

Well luckily none of our things were damaged.

Maintenance came and said that since it seemed like it had dried a bit since last night, they weren't going to do anything...So, I am pretty upset to say the least. I have a small rug cleaner that I used very thoroughly to try and help with the smell.

Is it crazy to think about moving over this?
posted by DeltaForce at 7:20 PM on November 6, 2012

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