When water threatens to damage the flooring in your bathroom, you must act quickly, especially if the water is coming from around your bathtub. The pipes below your bathtub are large and carry a great deal of water. If the water continues to leak from around your bathtub, it may eventually damage the flooring and other plumbing fixtures in the room. Here are things you can do to stop the leaking water temporarily until you schedule an appointment with a professional water damage contractor or plumber.

Clean Out the Bathroom

The first thing you may do is clear out the bathroom by removing anything that may be soaked with water or vulnerable to water damage, including wooden shelving and towel hangers. Moisture can attract mold and mildew and damage these items. If the items do show signs of mold growth, you can clean them with vinegar and water to try to save them. Vinegar destroys up to 82 percent of mold, so it may work well for your needs.

Next, remove all signs of water from around the bathtub and flooring with a mop or large towel. You may be able to locate the leak better if the area is dry. Once you locate the leak, you'll need to seal it with caulk. 

Seal the Bathtub

Caulk will form a seal-tight barrier between the leaking tub and flooring. But you must apply the caulk properly for it to work. Here's what you do:

  1. Remove the damaged seal with a small knife or chisel. Only apply light pressure to the bathtub to avoid chipping or cracking its surface.
  2. Use a towel to wipe down or clean the area. Caulk may stick to and seal the area better if it's free of dirt and dried soap scum or cleanser.
  3. Apply a thin line of caulk between the bathtub and flooring. Allow the caulk to dry for 30 minutes, or according to the drying time listed on the product's packaging.

After the caulk dries, examine the bathtub for leaking water. If the bathtub and flooring remain dry, you temporarily solved the issue. You can now schedule an appointment with a repair technician.

But if water continues to leak from around the bathtub, or if the leak seems worse, contact a water damage contractor or plumber for services immediately. The water may have damaged the flooring beneath the bathtub, which may place the bathtub at risk of collapsing through the flooring.