Sewage Cleanup in Basements
It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it. There’s no pleasant way to put this, a sewage backup in your basement is probably pretty gross. No one wants to come home from a long day of work to find that their basement is full of sewage, and fixing the issue can quickly become an overwhelming task to contend with. Unlike small kitchen or bathroom floods, basements present unique challenges, especially when the damage occurs from more than just a little plain water. Before you enter your basement or attempt to rectify the issue, there are a lot of things you need to take into account for your personal safety and the integrity of your home.
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As soon as you’ve noticed sewage on your basement floor, you have to act. If you’ve only noticed a small leak, don’t wait until it becomes a full-blown flood to repair it. A careful eye and some light maintenance can prevent a catastrophe. If everything happened at once and you’re dealing with a major issue, you need to act right away.
If you’re not comfortable with your ability to handle the problem or you’re ill-equipped to do it on your own, contact a professional immediately. If there’s anything you can do to start the repair process, a contractor may be willing to stay on the phone with you and walk you through the steps. If you aren’t sure what you’re getting yourself into, never attempt to start fixing the issue on your own. Not only can you potentially increase the damage, but you may also be risking your health and safety if you lack the proper equipment or the knowledge of how to handle a sewage flood.
Before entering the basement, make sure the water and the power are turned off. Basements often have exposed electrical components, and electricity and water don’t mix. Don’t enter the basement until the water and power connections have been shut off. If you hear any unusual buzzing, see sparks, or smell smoke or a potential gas leak, vacate your home immediately. Alert your family members and move people, pets, and important documents to the front lawn, where you should immediately call for assistance. Do not renter the home until you’ve been given the okay by a professional.
Exercising Proper Safety
Exposure to sewage poses significant health risks if the individual who is exposed isn’t properly equipped. Open wounds and compromised immune systems increase the potential for risks. Sewage should not be approached without proper protection, such as a decontamination suit. Gloves and rain boots won’t provide adequate protection from harmful bacteria that exist within the sewage.
Proper Sanitation and Drainage
Basements trap water. Since the sewage will have no place to go, you’ll have to manually remove all of the water. Wet vacuums can be of some assistance, but if the flooding is significant, you’ll have to vacuum up a little a time due to the limited capacity of the vacuum. During the process, you’ll have to find a safe place to dispose of the contents of the vacuum and be careful not to track the sewage water through your home as you enter and exit the basement.
It is imperative that you assure that no standing water remains. You may have to move furniture and boxes to make sure that nothing is holding reserves of water that can later re-infest your basement.
Perhaps the most daunting process of negating the damage of a sewage flood is sanitation. Everything that the flood water has touched needs to be properly sanitized to kill disease-causing organisms the objects have been exposed to. This also includes walls and floors. Porous items will have to be disposed of, as there is no way to properly sanitize them. If areas of your basement are carpeted, the carpeting will have to be removed and thrown away in order to sterilize the area under the flooring.
You may need to treat the whole area and all of the objects that are contained within it several times in order to eliminate all of the bacteria. In most cases, general household cleaners aren’t enough, especially when handling large items or walls that have absorbed water, as the damage will continue to spread this bacteria throughout the walls of your home.
Drying Your Basement
Basements are the most difficult area of a home to dry. Since they’re located underground, they don’t have a lot of windows or proper ventilation. This is why basements often have that “musty” smell – they retain moisture and mold easily because they’re dark, cool, and damp. Your basement will need comprehensive structural drying to prevent the growth of mold and spread of bacteria, which can potentially destroy your entire home if not handled correctly.
Let a Professional Do It
You’re probably handy when it comes to fixing simple things around your home, but a sewage flood in your basement is a catastrophic can of worms you may not even want to open. It’s labor-intensive and needs to be done by someone with real experience in fixing the issue. Cutting corners or using improper equipment can allow irreparable damage to occur in your home. If the walls in your basement are weakened with water and mold, the structural integrity of your home can become significantly reduced. This can lead to problems that are far more expensive and complicated to fix.
At Restoration Local, we help connect homeowners like you with top-notch contractors who are experienced in handling water damage, from the simplest of issues to the largest emergencies such as sewage overflow in your basement. It may be unwise to attempt the repairs on your own, and purchasing the proper equipment to do things by yourself can cost you an exorbitant amount. You don’t have time to learn proper drainage and structural drying techniques during an emergency. Call us at 1-888-443-3110 for a free estimate and see what we can do to help you keep your home safe, clean, and secure. It’s never worth taking a chance with something as valuable as your home.