Any kind of plumbing problem around the house can turn into a homeowner’s headache, but sewage water dripping behind a wall or flooding across the floor creates a serious situation that needs attention right away.
Initially, you might think that you can take care of it yourself, and there are things that you should do. However, it’s important to understand the hazards of DIY sewage backup cleanup. It can threaten your health, leave behind unseen damage and greatly increase the cost of final restoration.
Why It’s So Dangerous
Most sewage backups occur when the lateral line between your home and the main sewer becomes blocked. Tree roots are often the problem, but aging pipes can split and crack. Rains that soak the yard cause soil to shift, and that can buckle the lateral line.
When sewage backs up in your home, you’re exposed to contaminants ranging from parasites and viruses to bacteria and fungi. More than a dozen serious diseases can result from contact with sewage water including hepatitis A and encephalitis. It’s important to address the situation as quickly as possible, but you have to be very careful.
What You Can Do
Always be extremely cautious around water leaking or flooding in your home. Turn off the electricity, and shut down the water lines. Don’t run the AC or heater because the equipment can circulate contaminated dust and moist air throughout the house.
Before you attempt any cleanup, make two phone calls. First, check with your municipality to make sure that the problem isn’t system-wide. Next, call a water damage restoration professional that specializes in sewage cleanup. Have the name and number of your insurance carrier handy so that the contractor can help you with the claims process.
If dirty water and contaminants aren’t spread over a wide area, you can begin initial cleanup while the contractor is on his way. The work is dangerous, so wear protective gear including rubber boots, gloves and a N95 face mask.
1. If possible, use a shovel to deposit solids into heavy plastic trash bags.
2. Mop up liquid with old rags or newspapers, and safely dispose of all cleanup materials.
3. Before using a wet/dry vac, confirm access to an unclogged drain nearby for water disposal.
4. Clean all hard surfaces with a mild detergent and hot water.
5. Sanitize contaminated surfaces with a solution of equal parts water and bleach.
6. Always dispose of used protective gear when you’re done.
How Professional Sewage Backup Cleanup Works
Homeowners often think that they can save money by taking care of sewer cleanup by themselves. However, this type of water disaster at the house poses unique challenges and very real dangers.
By trying to handle it on your own, you expose yourself to serious health risks. Soaked floors and sheetrock often sustain structural damage that you can’t see, and materials becomes a breeding ground for toxic black mold.
It all adds up to additional repair and restoration expenses later on that complicate dealing with your insurance company. Sewage cleanup is a job for certified professionals who get the work done quickly and safely.
1. Cleanup begins by pumping out contaminated water and removing debris.
2. The origin of the sewage backup is identified and addressed.
3. If necessary, damaged sheetrock and floors are removed and replaced.
4. Industrial dehumidifiers and air scrubbers speed up drying and sanitation processes.
5. Mold remediation techniques help preserve infrastructure and belongings.
An experienced restoration contractor can also help with the insurance claims process. This specialized service often results in a better outcome than you might reach by negotiating with the insurance company on your own.
We Want You to Be Safe
We enjoy posting tips here on everything from fixing the toilet to unclogging drains, and we appreciate it when you share your ideas through our Comments Section. However, we want you to be safe, so we strongly recommend that you leave sewage cleanup and water damage restoration in the hands of professionals.
You can count on our experienced teams 24/7 for certified water damage repair services that include industry-proven techniques and the latest equipment for addressing sewage cleanup. When you need the best water damage restoration in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, give us a call here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba at 773-647-1985.