Sewer Backup in Your Basement
Water damage is messy enough on its own, but combined with sewage; it becomes both a mess and a health hazard. The cleanup process becomes almost exponentially more difficult and urgent, and the living quality and overall value of your home may be seriously affected by this particular problem.
Unlike regular water damage, which just gets everything wet, and can be remediated by drying it all out, sewer backup becomes a problem because of the various parasites, fungi, bacteria, and other harmful elements that are commonly found in sewage. Allowing it to remain in your home for any length of time is begging for trouble, namely health related issues that may run from the slight to the severe. It therefore becomes doubly important that you get the sewage flooding removed and cleaned up as soon as possible.
First off, contact the utility companies to shut off all gas and electricity to the damaged area. This is especially important in cases of basement flooding where electrical boxes and power outlets may be located.
Anyone working in and around these conditions should be properly dressed, with long pants and sleeves, waterproof boots, heavy duty gloves, as well as a face shield. It is important to prevent any part of your skin from coming into contact with the sewage.
Use a wet/dry vac or a pump to remove the excess water from the area. Unlike normal water damage, where wet items may be replaced, items that have been exposed to sewage need to be considered contaminated and discarded. True, there are some heavy duty cleaning processes that might be able to save clothes or other items, but given the nature of the flooding and the type of damage, done, would you really want to? It is better not to take chances and simply replace damaged items.
All surfaces exposed to the sewage will need to be properly cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized, in many cases more than once. Carpets will need to be taken up and replaced, and the flooring beneath will need to be properly washed down and cleansed before any new carpet is put down.
When working in these conditions, wash your hands thoroughly and often, and take a good shower after every period of time spent cleaning up the sewage. Remember that many of the elements found in sewage can be harmful if ingested.
No doubt there will be elements of solid waste remaining in the aftermath of sewer backup. This should be cleaned up and placed in disposal bags. Double bag the sewage and discard properly.
Sewer backup is one of those water damage cases where professional help is always recommended. This is due in large part to the health hazards presented by such a problem. Your local water damage restoration company can be of invaluable service to you in cases such as this, able to provide timely, quality work and get rid of the sewer backup and damage that has been inflicted on your property.