Sewage backups are never fun, are disruptive to your regular routine, can cause a lot of damage, and pose significant health risks to all exposed.
They may not be as destructive as the average natural disaster, but they are a dangerous problem that should be dealt with as soon as possible.
At the first sign of a sewage spill in your home or office, you should evacuate everyone immediately and shut off electrical power and water. Depending on the severity of the sewage damage, you may be able to tackle the problem yourself. However, if the situation is mainly uncontained, it's time to call in a professional sewage cleaning company to help.
This quick guide will detail the steps to efficiently deal with a sewage cleanup should you ever have the misfortune to experience a sewage backup.
First Steps to Prepare for a Sewage Cleanup Service
Regardless of whether you are attempting to clean up the sewage backup yourself, or you intend to search Google for "sewage cleanup near me," the steps you take after first noticing the problem will be the same.
Sewage poses a serious health risk, so the first step is to get everyone away from the affected area. If you have pets, make sure they are properly contained so they can't get back into the area until it's safe.
Contact Your Utility Services
Shut down utilities or get in touch with your utility companies if it's unsafe to do so. You should have electricity, water, and gas shut down before you or a sewage cleaning service starts the cleanup process.
Most properties have the main water supply valve somewhere close to the premises, so you may be able to shut off the water yourself. If you are the one taking care of the utilities, make sure you wear appropriate PPE to prevent contamination.
Call your insurance company and notify them of the issue. Take pictures of the spill, water-damaged items, and structural damage if any, such as drywall and flooring. An assessor may not be able to get out to your property right away, so these images will be the proof you need to make your claim.
Prepare the Property for Sewage Cleanup
All windows should be open to maximize airflow. Check the area for any items that have not been contaminated and move them to a safe area to avoid contamination during the cleanup.
Do not attempt to remove the cause of the blockage, as you need to clear out the sewage water before you can fix the cause of the backup.
Should You DIY a Sewage Backup?
You can clean up sewage backup yourself if it is contained in a small area, like a shower cubicle. Regardless of the size of the spill, you should still get a plumber to examine your property to ensure the backup cannot reoccur.
While it's possible to DIY a sewage cleanup, not many people will have the equipment and chemicals required to clean up anything more significant than a shower cubicle.
It's a messy, smelly, unpleasant job, and the risk of contamination is high. Always wear enough protective gear to ensure the sewage does not contact your skin.
You will need thick rubber gloves, rubber boots, protective goggles, and a face mask. Even the briefest contact with raw sewage could cause a severe infection, especially if you have any open cuts or wounds.
Close off the area against other parts of the property to prevent contamination of the other rooms in your home. Leave your windows open, though, and if you have a ceiling vent, make sure you turn it on.
If there is a lot of water, you will need a pump to clear it. Small spills can be handled by a wet-dry vacuum with a filtration device.
Affected carpeting, wall panels, insulation, baseboards, and other construction materials will need to be removed and disposed of properly.
Use hot water and bactericidal disinfectants to wash down the area and do a second clean using detergent and lots of water. Extra attention will need to pay to the floors, as these will be the most affected. Use a scrubbing brush to remove every trace of contamination.
When you have finished the cleanup, you will still need to inspect your property for mold. Check everywhere, even surfaces that did not have any contact with the sewage spill. If you spot any mold, take care of it with an EPA-approved mold cleaner, or call your local mold remediation company.
Should You Search for a Sewage Cleanup Near Me
Even small, confined sewage backups can be tough to deal with for many people. If you cannot do the sewage cleanup service yourself, then professional help is available.
Remember, if insurance is getting involved, the cost of your sewage cleanup and restoration service will be covered by your provider.
Why go through the hassle and trauma of trying to do a tough job yourself when you've already paid your insurance premiums?
There's also a risk you might miss something, leaving the area contaminated and risking an outbreak later on. Spotting a potential mold outbreak is also challenging if the sewage has spilled over a large area.
Other Reasons to Call in a Professional Sewage Cleaning Service
Calling a professional sewage cleaning service is always a better option for all but the most minor spills. However, there are some cases where professionals are always necessary, including:
● The possibility that sewage may have contaminated your HVAC system.
● The backup may have been sitting for a while - such as when you notice the spill after coming home from a vacation.
● The spill is caused by an overflowing septic tank.
● You or are a family member have health issues that could be exacerbated by raw sewage exposure.
Don't risk the health and safety of your family when you have a sewage backup problem. If you are in any doubt about your capabilities to clean it yourself, get in touch with your professional sewage cleanup service to help you restore your property to its previous condition and prevent any future problems.