If you hear the sloshing of water hitting the floor or see a stream of water pouring from the direction of the bathroom door, it is probably too late to stop the mess completely. But understanding why your bathroom flooded could help you prevent the disaster next time. There are a few different reasons why a bathroom may flood, and it is usually a problem you can prevent with a little bit of forethought or by having the right tools on hand.
The most likely reason your bathroom will flood is clogged pipes. When excess toilet paper or other material gets hung in the pipes leading from the toilet to the main drain lines, it can cause the water to back up into the toilet until it overflows and floods the bathroom. The first reaction by many people when the toilet doesn't flush properly is to flush it again. This just adds to the problem and causes the toilet to fill and overflow more quickly. To prevent this kind of flooding, use a plunger or auger to clear the clog so water can flow down the toilet easily. Once the level goes down, you can flush the toilet again to send more water down the pipe to completely clear the line.
One of the most serious bathroom flooding problems is burst pipes. The reason it is such a disaster is because it often happens when no one is at home. During cold weather, the water pipes in your home can freeze. The water inside turns to ice and expands, causing a rupture in the pipe. When the ice melts, the pressure release sends water flowing directly into the home. This is a problem likely to strike exposed pipes, such as the ones under the sink, if the heat in the home is left off during cold weather when no one is at home. To prevent this flooding, leave your heat on with the thermostat set no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Opening cabinets to let in the warmer air may also help.
One potential cause for bathroom floods is simply negligent behavior. If you are running a bath for yourself or a child and the phone rings while it's filling, for example, the water will not stop running just because the tub is full. This or hundreds of other potential distractions could cause flooding. Likewise, not keeping tabs on children who are brushing teeth, washing hands or even stuffing toilet paper in the toilet can lead to flooding in the bathroom. It may not seem malicious at all to a small child to drop a wet washcloth in the sink and leave the water running. That cloth could clog the drain and the water will continue to fill the sink until it forms a waterfall onto the floor.