CLEANING UP THE MESS AFTER A SEWAGE BACKUP
What Is A Sewage Backup Cleanup?
Sewage Backup is a problem that one would never want to face. It occurs when an obstacle or sewer line damage prevents the wastewater from draining down from your house resulting in flooding water.
Furthermore, to perform sewage backup cleanup, start by removing all types of waste and debris from your property so that it can be disposed of properly. This also gives you an opportunity to make sure that your drains are clear before more waste builds up in them.
It is not big destruction, but it can lead to many health hazards and sanitation issues, as well as result in major property damage and human injuries.
Therefore, in the event of sewage backup in your house, the sewage backup cleanup must be done immediately. You can do this yourself if you’re familiar with plumbing and have a blueprint of your house, or you can utilize sewage backup cleaning services in your town.
We've put together a guide on everything you need to know about how to prevent, clean, and handle a sewage backup in your home!
Note: Sewer Backup Cleaning is a back-breaking and dangerous job. Hence, spectating the backup spill is a good forward step when trying to handle the situation on your own.
What To Do Immediately After A Sewage Backup
There are important measures that should be taken in order to prevent the problem from spreading. The first couple of things that you should do immediately after realizing signs of sewage backup are as follows:
- Remove any children, pets, and seniors from the home to prevent any emergency. Do not allow them back indoors until the damage is completely fixed and it is safe!
- Keep yourself safe by putting on any protective clothing such as rubber boots, rubber gloves, eye protection, a face mask, and more.
- If the distribution panel is above water, switch off the electricity by using a dry wooden stick and rubber gloves.
- Turn off the water in your home, and do not use any water for bathing, drinking, washing hands or dishes, and others. Sewage backup leads to contaminated water which is hazardous for health.
- You may need to contact utility companies and have them shut off the main water supply to your home if you cannot safely turn them off yourself.
- Open your home's doors and windows to allow proper air ventilation. You won't want to use your home's AC as this will spread contaminated air throughout your home.
- Remove any items from the area that are dry and not contaminated.
- You can add small amounts of chlorine bleach into the standing water to disinfect.
- Contact your insurance company and notify them of the backup. You'll want to take pictures of any damage that the sewage backup caused. This will come in handy as proof when filing your claim.
- Never attempt to unclog the drains. You will need to clean up the sewage spill before taking any further action.
What Causes A Sewage Backup?
The most common cause of a sewage backup is clogged pipes. Another common cause is a septic tank that is not functioning properly or has become weak from years of use and can’t manage the overflow of water anymore. Besides this, there are some other causes that are discussed below.
Clogged Sewer Lines:
Some people think that a sewage backup is caused by a clog in the pipes. In reality, a clog is not the only reason for a sewage backup. A clog can be caused by grease or a piece of garbage. Disposable wipes are also another reason for clogged drains.
Leak in The Sewer Pipes:
A more likely cause of a sewage backup is a leak in a pipe. There are a few reasons this can happen. For example, a pipe may have been damaged during a construction project. This type of malfunction is not caused by a clog.
Aged Sewer Systems:
Sewer pipes are generally made of strong Cast Iron, PVC, or Clay Piping. Just like humans, these sewer pipes get old. Aging sewer systems can get damaged with time and can be a reason that invites sewer backup problems. Trenchless pipe repair can solve most of the common problems with sewer, but in some situations, installing new sewer pipes can be a lifesaver for the sewer systems and can prevent sewage backup Issues.
Tree Roots in The Sewer Lines:
Tree roots in the sewer lines is another casual reason that results in a sewer backup. Moreover, tree roots can enter through sewer line cracks, though can damage the pipes causing sewage backup problems. You can prevent the tree roots from getting inside the sewer system by installing new plastic pipes in place of the old and leaking ones.
How To Handle A Sewage Backup?
There are key things to remember when handling a sewage spill in your home. Remembering these treatments will help keep your home and family safe, prevent further damage, and ensure that your insurance company has all the documents that they need.
- Along with providing your pictures, the insurance company will also want you to provide receipts of any work that had to be done due to the backup, of any materials brought to aid in the cleanup and fixing your home, and of any replaced items that were damaged.
- Keep the infected area shut off from the rest of the home as best as you can. This includes shutting all doors that attach to the infected area. By keeping the doors shut, there is a less likely chance of contaminated air spreading into the other rooms.
- Do not use harsh chemicals in your pipes to try to fix the problem. This can cause great damage to your pipes. Instead, you can hire Fischer Plumbing to prevent further damages. Our professional plumbers know how to properly clean out the pipes.
How To Start Cleaning And Sanitizing Sewage Backup
Before beginning to clean up the area without a professional, be sure to wear all of the proper protective gear. You'll also want to consider the risks of beginning the cleanup on your own. It's always best to call in the professionals to ensure that the job is done correctly.
Here are some ways you can begin cleaning up the mess:
- Wear Protection Gloves - Rubber gloves will prevent any direct contact with the contaminated water.
- Drain Sewage Backup Water - Drain the Water using natural draining or a pump to remove any of the backed-up water and sewage. You'll need to contact the authorities to ask where to properly drain the sewage.
- Remove Clogged Residuals - Remove and clean any dirt, or debris from the surfaces that the sewage came into contact with.
- Clean the Walls - Properly wash any walls, floors, and other surfaces that the sewage water may have touched. Use a low-suds detergent and clean hot water after you drain all the flooded water.
- Use Warm Water - Rinse these surfaces with warm water after cleaning.
- Do Sanitization - Sanitize all surfaces with a sanitizing solution. And be sure not to contaminate other rooms by walking into them with dirty shoes.
- Let The Bad Odor Out - Open any windows and doors leading outside to air out the room.
- Check the Electrical Appliances - If your gas and electrical appliances got in contact with the wastewater then it will be better to get them professionally checked and repaired if required.
How To Prevent A Sewage Backup?
If you've experienced a sewage backup in your home, then you understand the importance of taking all appropriate measures to prevent it from happening again.
In contrast, if you've never experienced a sewage backup in your home, trust us when we say that you'll be happy you took the time to read through the steps on preventing it.
Here are some steps you can take to prevent a sewage backup:
- Have a regular inspection done on all pipes and valves in your home and on your property. Make sure they're in good condition and receive any needed repairs.
- Don't spill large amounts of chemical products down into the sewage system.
- Don't flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilets.
- Don't allow grease to go down the kitchen drain as it may harden in the pipes.
- Avoid planting trees near the pipes as their roots may cause the pipes to break.
When To Call The Professionals?
If you are not able to clean up the sewage backup in your house, calling professional sewage backup cleanup services providing company is the best thing you can do, It gets necessary if:
- The spill has spread to the whole house.
- It has been more than 24 hours since the sewage backup occurred. Until that time the wastewater will get contaminated with bacteria and viruses that can cause severe threats to your health.
- The backup is caused by a septic tank.
- Somehow your electrical appliances get in contact with the sewer water. Calling a duct repair professional to check the appliances will be crucial.
- You or someone in your family got impacted by the contaminated water.
On a serious note, you should get the backup water cleaned immediately. The longer it stays in your house, the more your health will be at risk!
Sewage Backup Cleanup Cost
While you were dealing with the sewage backup. You may also be wondering what the average cost of cleaning the sewage backup will be.
The average sewer backup cleanup cost about $7 per square foot, excluding other factors that can impact the overall cost.
The cost can rise up depending on the area of sewage, size of the area impacted, how long the spill sits, property damage and restoration, the material gets harmed due to the sewage backup.
Call us at Fischer Plumbing!
When dealing with a sewage backup, it's always best to call in professionals. There are some steps that you can take to ensure everyone's safety and to begin clean up after sewer backup, but leave it to the professionals to come in and get the job done correctly and safely.
Here at Fischer Plumbing, we'll take on the job while giving you peace of mind knowing it's being done properly.
If you’re in the Seattle area, contact us today to see how we can help you and all your plumbing needs!
Frequently asked questions
Sewage backup in the basement is usually due to a basement wall or floor failure. So, the best way to clean up sewage backup is to locate where the water is coming from. After that, pump out water and your sewage backup repair.
Honestly, a sewer line backup makes a lot of mess. Sometimes, it can be an expensive problem, though. To start sewage backup cleanup, first you need to check for clogs, grease, or soap scum in bathtub drainage specifically. If you locate any issue, use a plunger to clear the clog or call a plumber if the plunger doesn't work.
Sewer backup smell can be a real nuisance, and can cause illness as well. Pouring a combination of ¼ cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar down your drain will do the trick! Let the mixture settle down for about 10 minutes. At last, turn on the water to your sink and run it until you no longer hear a bubbling sound.
Sewage can contain many types of bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. Most are harmless to humans, but not all. Moreover, this contamination can cause headaches and fatigue, nausea, and vomiting, vomiting blood (hematemesis), intestinal and other infections.
The simplest way for the removal of dried sewage is to use a granular cleaner product. It contains antimicrobial that will break down the raw material into a more manageable size, so it can be disposed of in a more effective manner. You can also install a filtration system that can remove the solid particles in the dried sewage.
Depending on the type and amount of bacteria present in soil (as well as other factors), it can take anywhere from 2 to 3 months to more than a year for enteric bacteria levels to drop significantly.