How Children Can Create a Plumbing Disaster That Leads to Water Damage
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto explains some of the ways that young children can cause a water damage disaster in the home.
SERVPRO of Palo Alto is dedicated to helping homeowners recover from a water damage disaster or sewage backup. The team of professionals is available 24/7, 365 days a year, to help homeowners and businesses recover and resume life as usual without the disruptions and inconvenience that accompany a property damage disaster.
Playing with Plumbing: A Potentially Risky Pairing
An article featured by the American Academy of Pediatrics points out that playing is how young children learn.??? “Play is how your toddler explores and learns about the world as they grow and develop. As a parent or caregiver, you can support and encourage this play. Allow your child lots of time to play and join in the fun when you can! Play is how young children start to get ready for school…TIP: Make the places in your home where you spend a lot of time safe places where your child can play and be supervised easily. Give your child lots of time to explore with things like water, sand, boxes, or any other safe item that your child finds interesting.”
Toddlers are very curious. They like to taste, touch, turn, pull, open, close, listen, smell, watch, and experiment. With loud noises, moving parts, and rushing water, toilets are a source of fascination for a young child. However, serious water damage can occur if an inquisitive young child experiments with the plumbing. Listed below are some ways toddlers and young children can cause damage to pipes and other plumbing fixtures.
#1. Foreign Objects Down the Toilet
The most common toddler-induced plumbing problem is the flushing of foreign objects down the toilet. The reasons for the frequency of this plumbing problem are easy to understand.
- The toilet is easily accessible to toddlers and small children.
- It has the largest drain in the home and can devour toys and action figures.
- The swirling water can be fascinating for a child to watch.
The toilet can swallow countless toys, entire rolls of toilet paper, food, clothing, hats, socks, shoes, and even pets. One small object lodged in the drainpipe can create a clog that is so severe a plumber may need to dig into a wall or excavate a pipe to dislodge the stuck items.
#2. Climbing on Plumbing Fixtures
Many plumbing fixtures are set at heights that accommodate taller people. Children who need to grab something out of their reach may hoist themselves up by a faucet or showerhead or stand on the toilet seat or toilet tank. In the process, a child may fall and be injured, and the fixtures, plumbing connections, or toilet may break or collapse. Water flows out of a broken supply line or faucet at a rate of 5-7 gallons per minute. Over a period of an hour, hundreds of gallons of water can flood a bathroom. If the child is afraid to inform a parent or caregiver of the mishap, the delay can cause extensive water damage to ceilings, walls, baseboards, flooring, and furniture.
#3. Overfilling Sinks and Tubs
A tub or sink faucet has a flow rate of four to seven gallons a minute. A standard tub can hold forty-two gallons of water just below the overflow valve. If children start the water in the bathtub without the knowledge of parents or guardians, the tub can overflow, causing a flood damage disaster.
Quick Tips for Child-Proofing the Plumbing
Only so much can be done to child-proof the plumbing. Here are some tips on how to reduce the risk of a water damage disaster or sewage backup related to the actions of curious children:
- Do not leave small children unattended in the bathroom. Vigilance will prevent most child-related water damage disasters.
- Install locks on the toilet lid if necessary.
- Purchase step stools to help children reach the sink or toilet without having to climb.
When a water damage disaster or sewage backup occurs, call professional water damage restoration specialists who have the equipment, training, and expertise to remediate the damage. Water damage disasters where gray water or black water are involved necessitate that the technicians wear special protective gear to ensure their safety. Gray water and black water are harmful to humans and pets, and areas, where these hazards are present, must be professionally cleaned, disinfected, sanitized, and deodorized immediately.