Meta-description: Cleaning up sewage is disgusting, but it’s also dangerous. Here’s what you need to know to take care of the problem safely and avoid it in the future.
Sewer Cleanup: What You Can Do to Protect the Health of Your Family
Have you had sewer problems in your home, and you’re wondering how to handle the cleanup? It’s a difficult situation – personally distasteful, of course, but also dangerous to your health.
It’s important to handle all aspects of cleaning up after a sewer backup or pipe break in a way that protects the health of you, your family, your pets, and anyone else who frequents your home. Fortunately, there are things you can do to clean up quickly and safely.
Keep Everyone Away From the Affected Area
The first step to keeping your family safe is to keep everyone away from the flooded or backed up area. Anyone who is not directly involved in the cleanup should stay clear of the rooms where the mess happened. If you have significant damage throughout your home, consider sending children or pets to live with a family member for a few days until the problem can be handled.
Remember, you may not immediately know all the areas affected. It may be obvious that there’s been a sewer backup in the basement, but there could also be damage in your yard, your bathrooms, or a variety of other places.
To fully assess the damage, be sure to bring in the best plumbers in Toronto to do a full inspection.
Turn Off Electrical Power
Standing water, even if it’s not very deep, can be extremely dangerous if there’s electricity in the area. Once you know what parts of your home are impacted, turn off electrical power to those rooms. If your entire home is affected, be sure to turn off the main switch.
Of course, if the distribution panel is not safely out of the mess, you don’t want to try to turn it off yourself. You may need the electrical company’s help. If it is safe, wear rubber gloves and use a wooden stick to turn off the power.
Once the power is off, you can safely start working on cleanup.
Avoid Cross Contamination
You’ve already seen the mess and damage that your sewage issue has caused in the immediate place where it happened. Now you need to avoid having it spread.
Don’t turn on the air conditioner or heating until the area is completely clean. Sewage-contaminated dust and droplets can enter your HVAC system and contaminate it. Instead open windows to let in fresh air.
Also, keep doors closed between the contaminated area and other parts of your home. Rope off any section of your yard that was impacted by the backup, and take care during cleanup not to track grime or contamination into other areas of your home.
Wear Protective Clothing & Clean
You definitely don’t want to touch sewage with your hands or have any risk of getting the mess in your eyes. You’ll need rubber gloves, rubber boots, waterproof coveralls, safety glasses and a face mask.
Use a pump to remove water and shovel solids into strong plastic bags. They should be immediately disposed of. You’ll also need to dispose of any sewage-damaged items, including rugs, curtains, upholstery, personal items, and anything else that was affected.
Be sure to remove any saturated carpeting, baseboards, paneling, insulation, and anything else that has held water or sewage. You’ll probably need to strip the area down to the studs and concrete.
If this sounds like a lot, you may want to work with a professional sewage cleanup service. They can take care of everything without you being at risk, while also giving you high-quality repairs, odor removal, and other services you need.
Take Pictures of the Damage
If you have specific sewage backup coverage, you may be able to get the damage covered on your homeowners insurance. If this is the case, you want to carefully take pictures of the damage throughout your home. Don’t overlook the yard or other areas you might not immediately think of as affected.
Take pictures of the initial situation, and take additional photos of damaged property, carpets, walls, and other items before you dispose of them. Whether you hire a cleanup service or take care of repairs yourself, keep your receipts as part of your claim.
Work With a Plumber to Avoid Future Problems
Most sewage issues can be prevented if you take proper care with your pipes and perform regular maintenance. Once the sewage problem has been cleaned and immediate issues have been repaired, contact a high-quality plumber.
You can have the plumber do a full inspection and take a look throughout your system to see if there are any other areas of concern. You can detect any cracks, leaks, or other potential problems and have them repaired before you face another major mess.
It takes a little bit of an investment to maintain your plumbing, but it’s far less than cleaning up a sewage spill!