6 Things to Do When Sewage Backups Invade Your Home or Property

A sewage backup is undoubtedly one of the worst situations a homeowner can experience. Not only does it smell bad and pose a serious health risk, but sewage water can also damage your home’s foundation.

Sewer backups can occur at any time and when you least expect them. However, you need to be prepared for situations like this, as staring at it in disgust wouldn’t solve the problem. Depending on the severity of the incident, you may be able to do some things to limit the damage and protect your belongings. 

This article talks about what to do after sewage spills and other useful information about cleaning up sewage. 


What to Do Following a Sewer Backup

In the instance that your sewage backs up, here are some tips for cleaning your property following a sewage backup:

Clean Yourself Properly 

There are millions of bacteria, germs, and other very unhealthy pathogens in contaminated water that can threaten your health. Your safety should be your utmost priority. Though sewage backup may not be as destructive as a storm or a fire, it still presents a variety of health hazards. 

If you were near a sewage spill, use antibacterial wipes and soaps to clean and disinfect your body. 

Turn Off the Electricity or Gas

Even though there is a chance of getting sick from a sewer backup, the bigger risk is of an explosion or getting electrocuted. Do not access the affected area or light a flame in those areas until you’ve switched off the electricity and gas supplies.

If you find this hard to do, call your cleanup provider and ask for help turning off your gas. Better still, have a professional handle it.

Call a Plumber or Septic Company 

A sewage backup is no minor plumbing issue and may be beyond you. Have a plumber fix the source of the problem to prevent further splurging. In the meantime, make sure that no one uses any plumbing fixtures that are connected to your sewage line until the problem is fixed.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Ideally, a typical homeowner’s insurance wouldn’t automatically cover sewage backup—every policy states this explicitly. However, many insurance companies offer sewer backup as optional coverage.

When the company that will clean up the sewage and fix the damage gets there, give them your insurance information—your insurance claim number. Keep in mind that the septic company may require that you have insurance before they begin work.

Ventilate Affected Areas and Evacuate the Property 

Open windows and doors to allow cross-ventilation. Sewer backup causes foul odors. Sealing up affected areas can imprint unpleasant smells on your personal belongings. Besides, airing out your home can help prevent mold growth as much as possible before expert help arrives.

Document the Affected Area and Damaged Items

You can do this alone or alongside an insurance adjuster after your plumber deems the area safe. Take enough pictures and list the items affected by the damage. The images should highlight damaged areas, belongings, and structural damage.


Sewage Backup Cleanup Cost 

When sewage backs up, most homeowners think about how much it will cost to clean up. On average, cleanup costs range between $7 and $14 per square foot. Depending on other factors, including the amount of sewage involved, a complete sewage cleanup project could set you back between $2,000 and $10,000.


Causes of Sewage Backup

Tree Roots 

Trees with long roots that grow along or near your sewer line can break your drain pipes, which means you need to replace your entire sewer line. The roots can enter your drain pipes via cracks, clogging your drainage system.

Old or Broken Sewer Lines

Like any other home fitting, sewer lines have a life span, and it’s normal to notice malfunctions as they near their life expectancy. Consider periodic sewer line inspections to avoid unpleasant surprises, such as a sewer backup.

Other causes include clogged sewer lines, flooding, and municipal sewer issues.


Process Of Sewage Damage Cleanup

Unclog Your Drainage System

Clogged drains are among the leading causes of sewer backups. The best way to deal with this is to use treatments that use enzymes instead of chemicals. Harsh chemicals can damage your sewer line, making the problem even worse.

BioClean has solutions that are based on enzymes. These enzymes can move freely through your sewer line. Besides being practical, they’re safe to use. 

Remove the Water

Start the cleanup process with water removal. Use a wet/dry vacuum to get rid of standing water, but don’t forget to take the dry filter out of the vacuum. Check the water level before starting and consider using a sump pump if it’s too much for a vacuum.

Browse your belongings and sort the badly damaged items from the salvageable ones. These include furniture, clothing materials, and food products. Don’t hesitate to discard items soaked in wastewater; restoring them might be costly.

Blast Off the Surge

After clearing your belongings from the area, use a garden hose to blast the sludge in the direction of an exit. After blasting, check the water level, as you may need to vacuum or pump out water.

Prepare a bucket of cleaning solution for disinfection. Consider adding small amounts of chlorine bleach to the solution for effectiveness. Get some rags or dedicate a few towels to washing the affected area.

Dry the Area Out

Drying out the contaminated area is critical, or else mold will grow and cause serious health problems. If you experience this unfortunate situation during humid conditions, you must act even faster, as moist environments conveniently support mold growth.

Ventilate your home by opening all doors and windows. Accelerate the drying process with dehumidifiers, running fans, or air conditioning. Remember to wear protective gear as you go about these steps.

Avoid skin contact with sewage, especially if you have an open sore.


Let Environment Control Help You Clean Up Sewage Backup

Sewer backups can indeed be frustrating. If you ignore the early signs, the consequences of sewage backup are often messy and costly. Environmental Control can help you with sewage cleanup and other plumbing needs in Colorado Springs.  

Email us at restoration@ecsoco.com or call us for more information regarding our service offerings. We offer precise, quality, and affordable plumbing solutions.

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