Dealing with a sewer flooded home is unexpected and costly. It is not only repulsive and a hassle, but it poses severe dangers for your family. Along with water damage to furnishings and the potential of mold growth, when a sewer overflows and floods a home it should be treated as a health hazard. Over 120 different viruses can be carried in sewage and some are life threatening. Some potential viruses and bacteria include:
Rotavirus – causing severe, life-threatening diarrhea in children
Adenoviruses – causing eye and respiratory infections
Norovirus – causing gastric and stomach flu
Giardia and Cryptosporidium – causing severe intestinal disease
Salmonella, Shigella, Escherichia – causing respiratory inflammation and negative outcomes on the central nervous system
It’s safe to say thorough and knowledgeable clean up is necessary to keep your family safe. If you aren’t confident in thoroughly cleaning your home, consider hiring a professional to do it for you. Well-trained, water clean-up specialists will be certified and experienced in home restoration for a sewer flooded home.
First Steps When Dealing With a Sewer Flooded Home
To begin, there are practical measures you need to take when you are facing the reality of a sewer flooded home. Since the water can contain bacteria, virus, and fecal matter, it’s important for you to limit your contact with the water. Do not allow children to play in contaminated areas. Dispose of any food or drink that has been exposed to sewage material. Wash your hands frequently, especially before eating.
After the initial cleanup has been taken care of and the sewage overflow has receded, specific clean up is necessary to keep your family healthy and safe. In addition to drying up and restoring your home, your furnishings, walls, and floors will need to be decontaminated. You’ll need to look beyond bleaching your surroundings to overcome this issue. Bleach is known to “kill 99.9% of common household germs.” The bacteria and viruses encountered after a sewer flood, also known as contamination category 3, can still be detected after bleaching. Bleaching after a sewer flood will remove water stains and common germs, but not do a thorough job of removing bacteria from the sewer.
Prevent injury and protect your family by taking the following precautions after discovering a flooded home:
Wear rubber gloves, rubber boots, and a HEPA respirator mask during the cleanup and removal process.
Open windows to help ventilate and dry the area before the clean up crew arrives.
Turn off main power switches.
Before using appliances, be sure they are fully aired out and wiped dry.
Secure all tanks if you have fuel oil or a gas system. Also, check lines for breaks.
Initiate Clean Up a Sewer Flooded Home
Even if you have decided to hire a professional service to handle the cleanup and restoration process on your property, it’s still a good idea to inform yourself. Each area and surface of your home requires a specific cleaning process to be certain your home is completely decontaminated and safe for your family. Overall, contaminated objects that cannot be laundered or disinfected need to be discarded.
Carpets and Rugs – If the damaged area is small you may be able to save the carpet with mild detergent and the help of a professional home cleaning service. However, any fabrics that cannot be thoroughly cleaned and completely dried should be replaced.
Hardwood Floors – Typically wood floors need to be dried out, disinfected, sanded, and stained to ensure complete restoration.
Furniture and Decor – Hard surfaces may be able to be cleaned and restored. However, anything that has absorbed sewer water typically needs to be disposed of. Items with electrical components need to be replaced if they are unable to be thoroughly cleaned.
Basement – If your home includes a basement, standing water needs to be pumped out first. If wallboard and paneling cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried within 72 hours after the flooding, they need to be replaced.
Food – Any food or drink items that have been exposed to the flooded waters need to be disposed of. Discard foods prone to spoilage, such as cheeses and milk. If water entered your refrigerator or power was lost to the appliance, food stored inside should be discarded. Canned foods that are dented, bulging, or leaking need to be discarded. Disinfect undented cans thoroughly before using. Also, use disinfected or bottled water for cooking, tooth brushing, drinking, and bathing until you have been notified your water supply is safe.
Tips to Prevent Sewer Backflows From Flooding Your Home
Whether you are overcoming a current sewage backup or you are simply being proactive, protecting your family from a sewer flooded home is a great idea. Successfully preventing your home from sewer backflows will protect your family’s health and save you the hassle of dealing with a costly and time-consuming cleanup.
Install a backflow value. Backflow controls can prevent sewage from backing up into your home by closing when water comes in from the wrong course. Regular cleaning is required to keep it functioning properly.
Prevent pipe build up by disposing of oils and fats in your trash can and not down the drain.
Never connect flood regulatory systems to your sanitary sewer. Not only is it illegal, but also it can potentially cause sewer to flood your home.
Be aware of your sewer lines and grow trees and large shrubbery away from them. Roots can cause breakage, cracking, and blocking of the line.
Check your insurance coverage to see if it includes sewage backups. While this may not prevent future damage to your property, you’ll be protected in case of emergency.
What to Look for In a Clean-Up and Restoration Professional
Hiring a professional to handle your sewer flood is the best way to ensure the health of your family and the restoration of your home. As soon as you know your home has been contaminated by sewer water is the best time to contact a cleanup specialist. Don’t waste any time! The first 72 hours is a critical time to dry out and decontaminate your furnishings. Giving the clean-up crew as much time as possible to react will allow them to do everything they can to recover your walls, flooring, and furnishings.
Choosing a water removal specialist over handling the cleanup on your own will also ensure the prevention of spreading contamination to other areas of your home. Trained water removal and sewer certified cleaners will come outfitted in goggles, liquid-repellent clothing, waterproof gloves, protective face shield, and rubber boots to prevent exposure to human waste. Professionals are certified and trained in how to properly disinfect your home and prevent further contamination.
Accutech is staffed with professionals certified and trained to handle all the details surrounding a sewage flood, including trash disposal, drying out, decontamination, and home restoration. We know dealing with a sewer flooded home can disrupt your everyday life. Kids may need to stay with relatives, personal objects may need to be disposed of, and restoration of your home can be costly. Our staff at Accutech is dedicated to getting your life back to normal as fast as possible.
Along with recovering from a sewer flooded home, consider Accutech to handle fire or smoke damage, natural disaster home recovery, hardwood floor restoration, broken water heaters, carpet cleaning, leaking pipes, roof repair, wet drywall, and mold prevention. Our services all point to restoring your home to its original, or even better, condition!