Sewage Mitigation

Sewer Backup/Overflow In Homes

Sewage backups not only present unpleasant odor problems, they may cause property damage and present unhealthy living conditions. Untreated sewage contains disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, viruses and parasites. Contact with contaminated water can causes skin infections and rashes, and if ingested accidentally via improperly cleaned hands or food preparation surfaces, these contaminants can cause nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Respiratory infections and allergic reactions may also result from inhaling associated airborne microorganisms. The drying out process can take several weeks in an enclosed area such as a basement or crawl space, and growth of microorganisms will continue as long as the humidity remains high. If the damaged area is not cleaned and dried out properly by a professional, then a musty odor, signifying the continued growth of microorganisms, can remain long after the sewage overflow.

Contaminated materials in the home

When sewers back up into homes, the damaged area must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to reduce the risk of disease. AssureClean Restoration Contractors immediately controls the humidity in the damaged area which should be lowered by opening up the house and removing standing wastewater with a specialized extraction machine and discarded in a sanitation facility or sewer line. Interior closets and cabinet doors will be opened to allow circulation. Fans and dehumidifiers will be used to circulate the air, not just the area affected but whole house, however air conditioners or furnace blowers would only be used if the air ducts were not impacted by standing wastewater.

Wallboard acts like a sponge, drawing moisture up above water level. It becomes very fragile if it stays wet for long and will fall apart when bumped. Even if the area is dried out, contaminants may have gotten up behind the drywall and dried inside. Microorganisms can penetrate deep into soaked porous materials such as wood, insulation and drywall and continue to damage these materials long after the overflow event is over. Even after everything has dried out, microorganisms can later be released into the air and trigger allergic reactions when inhaled. Wooden wall studs and sills probably won’t need to be replaced if they are thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and allowed to dry properly. Since the studs and sills will be covered by new wallboard and painted, they will be removed from direct human contact. Wastewater won’t damage concrete like it will wood or wallboard, but it will still soak in to some extent. Concrete walls and floors should be washed thoroughly and allowed to dry out.

The contents of the damaged area would be sorted to separate salvageable furnishings from unusable debris. As a professional cleaning company we would steam clean and disinfect salvageable furnishings. Materials that were exposed to the wastewater that cannot be thoroughly steam cleaned or disinfected would be disposed of. All potentially contaminated food items, cosmetics, stuffed animals, and baby toys would be discarded. Contaminated mattresses, pillows, foam rubber items, upholstered couches and chairs, books, and most paper products would generally be discarded because they soak up contamination and are difficult to disinfect. If the furnishings are of particular value, we would give a cost estimate to help determine if they are worth saving.

Soiled clothing and small throw rugs may be thoroughly washed in warm or hot water, with a bacterial killing agent if possible. Larger rugs and those with foam backing may have to be discarded, as well as wall to wall carpeting. After getting wet, wall to wall carpeting usually will not return to its former size and has to be thrown away. The foam padding will likely also have to be replaced.

Discarded items would be sealed in 6ml heavy plastic garbage bags before disposal and taken to a facility that accepts contaminated items.

If there is minimal damage to the home and the overflow can be cleaned up promptly, then the damaged area may simply need to be cleaned and disinfected. Disinfectants and sanitizers often contain toxic substances, Therefore AssureClean Restoration Contractors do not mix household cleaners and disinfectants together, since some can produce harmful vapors. For example, mixing bleach and ammonia forms the toxic gases chloramine and ammonium chloride.

If you need a professional to come and clean up any sewage or septic tank back up, then please feel free to call us and we will be more than happy to help during this emergency situation.

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