A sewage backup often occurs when it’s least expected, and in many cases, there’s little a homeowner can do to stop it from happening. The only thing they can do is focus their efforts on cleaning up the mess as quickly as possible.
Time is of the essence when dealing with any type of water damage, but it’s even more important when dealing with blackwater because of the additional risks. Therefore, homeowners should carefully follow these steps to get their property restored to its pre-loss condition right away.
1- Take Safety Precautions
One of the most important things to remember when dealing with a sewage backup is that there are several health and safety risks. There are far too many contaminants in blackwater that are hazardous to human and animal health. For that reason, homeowners need to take special steps to protect themselves, their families, and their pets.
If a homeowner is cleaning the house on their own, they must have personal protection equipment. Rubber gloves and boots are essential. However, they also need to make sure that they are wearing a face mask, water-resistant coveralls, and goggles.
2- Contain the Backup
If the basement sewage backup is isolated to one room or part of a house, it’s crucial that it be contained so that the damage doesn’t spread. Plastic can be used to divide rooms and minimize the spread of any contaminants in the air. It can also help prevent tracking debris through the house while cleaning.
3- Extract Standing Water
Once the area has been prepped, the actual clean up can begin by extracting the majority of the standing water. If the home has a sump pump, it can take care of the majority of this work. Otherwise, the homeowner may need to call in professional help.
A sewage cleanup crew can bring in truck-mounted pumps to extract large amounts of blackwater at a time. They can also use their wet/dry vacuums to eliminate moisture. It’s important that homeowners never attempt to use their own vacuum because of the electrical shock risk and contamination.
4- Remove Solid Waste
After the majority of the water has been removed, it’s time to focus on any debris and sludge that was left behind. It’s important to clear away as much as possible to expose all of the surfaces. Not only will this make it easier to sanitize, but it can also reduce the risk of secondary damage.
Homeowners can use push brooms and shovels to clear the waste, but they need to be bagged and sealed properly for safe disposal. Hiring a contractor can ensure that this step is done right.
5- Pull up Contaminated Flooring
Any flooring, such as carpet and padding or vinyl, will need to be removed if it has been contaminated. Homeowners will have to carefully pull it up to expose the subfloor. It’s important that this step be done as quickly as possible to mitigate damage to the subfloor as well.
This can be a huge undertaking, so homeowners may want to consider calling a contractor. If they have already hired a sewage cleanup crew, they can let the experts handle this step as part of their full-service solutions.
6- Extract Remaining Water
If there is any remaining water or moisture left underneath the flooring, the homeowners will need to use a wet vacuum again to remove it. It may take a few passes over the area to get it as dry as possible.
7- Sanitize the Property
Next, every surface exposed to the basement sewage backup will need to be sanitized thoroughly. This includes floors, walls, steps, counters, baseboards, and more. Hot water and a low-sudsing detergent can be used on the first pass to scrub and rinse. Bleach can then be mixed with water to treat and sanitize.
8- Start the Drying Process
Finally, homeowners need to make sure that the entire basement or affected area dries out after the sanitizing process. If the weather is warm but not humid, they may be able to simply open the windows. However, fans can make this method more effective by creating crosscurrents.
In most cases, homeowners may want to consider renting a dehumidifier, or they can hire a sewage cleanup crew to use their industrial-grade air movers and dehumidifiers.
Find out More About the Steps for a Professional Sewage Cleanup
Homeowners who would like to learn more about how professionals handle a basement sewage cleanup should contact Pride Cleaning And Restoration, Inc. Their highly trained professionals know how to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Customers can reach their crews by calling the 24/7 emergency phone number, or they can submit the online form to request a free quote.