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Sewage Cleanup 101

Of all the types of water damage that can affect your home, none are more dangerous than sewage based water damage.  Sewage based flooding is highly contaminated at the source, containing all kind of bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, and other elements that may cause serious illness or even death if exposed to or consumed by humans or animals.

The damage caused by sewage based flooding can be considerable.  No longer is it enough to simply remove the water and dry everything up.  Anything that has come into contact with sewage will need to be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized, probably more than once.  And there are a good number of items that will be beyond repair.

Worse, problems such as mold actually show up even faster in cases of sewage based damage.  The average time frame for the appearance of mold is drops from 72 hours in normal cases to about 48 in cases where sewage is present.

So what is the best way of taking care of the sewage cleanup needs in your home?

Firstly, the extraction process should begin as soon as possible in order to prevent any further damage to your home.  Sewage will continue to cause problems as long as it is allowed to remain untreated.

Anyone working in the damage area should be properly equipped with protective clothing and gear, such as long sleeves and pants, heavy duty rubber gloves, eyewear, and a filtration mask (or better yet, a HEPA respirator).

Water will need to be extracted, and all surfaces cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized, quite possibly multiple times.  All items that have been in contact with sewage will have to be treated, and many will need to be thrown away such as clothing.  While clothing may under normal circumstances be saved, sewage is a whole different ball game, and I don’t think too many of us would be that thrilled with the idea of wearing a shirt that had be saturated with material from our home sewage lines.

Any surfaces that are porous will in all likelihood need to be cut away and replaced, since it is next to impossible to completely clean out porous surfaces.  The sewage gets down inside the material and even the most thorough cleaning procedures will be unable to remove it.

Sewage cleanup is the one area of water damage that should always be handled by a professional restoration company.  The damage potential and health threats are simply too great to ignore.  Time is always of the essence when dealing with water damage, because the longer you allow it to remain, the worse your problems are going to be.  With sewage, the threat is increased.  It becomes important to make the correct choices the first time, since sewage cleanup doesn’t forgive many mistakes, and choosing the wrong course of action (such as doing it yourself or hiring and unqualified company) will only serve to make a bad situation worse.

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