A few months ago, we talked about the possible signs of sewage backup. They are pretty straight forward like a foul odor coming from drains, clogged drains, gurgling and bubbling, and so on. Now, we want to talk a little bit about the hazards lurking in that brown water than comes with sewage backup. After all, that water that has unfortunately made its way into your home is anything but sanitary, which is why it is very important to have the affected areas properly cleaned and disinfected by a sewage cleanup services – like the crews at A&J Specialty Services. But, we digress.
Danger #1: Highly contaminated water
Biohazard simply means there is a biological substance present that can be dangerous to humans and perhaps even the environment. In the case of a sewage backup, you’re talking about human waste. Exposure to this infected water can cause people and animals to be very sick and requires very careful cleanup protocols.
If there is a sewage leak in your home, there are a few things you need to do right away:
- Keep children and pets out of the affected area until everything is properly cleaned and disinfected.
- Call your insurance company and a reputable local restoration company, like A&J Property Restoration. Using a good local restoration company will likely mean having a crew on site to fix the problem and begin the sewage cleanup and disinfection process within just a few hours – if not sooner. Plus, restoration companies should be able to work with your insurance company to hopefully get this loss covered by your homeowner’s insurance.
- If, for some reason, you do go into the contaminated area, wear protective clothing – including gloves, boots, and a mask. Make sure the water does not come in contact with your skin, especially any open wounds.
- Wash your hands a lot.
- Wash any clothes contaminated by the water separately from other clothing.
- If you or someone else in the home starts experiencing gastrointestinal issues, you should call your doctor.
Danger #2: Contaminated possessions
It can be very tempting in these situations to try to remove items from the affected area as quickly as possible. And while this is important, it is also important to realize these items are covered in sewage. They cannot simply be rinsed off and used again.
Anything porous will likely need to be thrown out; hard surfaces can be cleaned using a professional grade disinfectant. Carpeting and furniture might be salvageable with a good steam cleaning, but any carpet and padding will almost certainly need to be replaced as well.
Danger #3: Improper disinfection
It might be tempting to try to clean up after a sewage overflow yourself, but it’s likely there will be a lot of areas to cover and a lot of items to clean. In the long run, hiring a professional to do the cleanup job will save you time, money, and your health.
The disinfection process includes cleaning all the hard surfaces, then using a product that is proven to kill bacteria. It is not wise to mix household chemicals to use as a disinfectant because some can react, and cause deadly fumes.
Bottom line: if there is a sewage problem in your home, just get your family out and call us for help!