Sewage Cleanup >> How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup

Sanitary sewer overflows can be caused by too much precipitation infiltrating leaky sewer pipes, inadequate system capacity to handle newly-developed residential or commercial areas, blocked or broken pipes, or improperly designed and installed sewer systems. Sewage backups not only present unpleasant odor problems, they may cause property damage and How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup present healthy living conditions. 

Untreated sewage containsdisease-causing organisms such as bacteria, viruses and parasites. Contact with contaminated water can causeskin infections and rashes, and How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup if ingested accidentally via improperly cleaned hands or food preparationsurfaces, these contaminants can cause nausea,abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. 

Respiratoryinfections and allergic reactions may also result frominhaling associated airborne microorganisms.The drying out process can take several weeks in anenclosed area such as a basement or crawl space, andgrowth of microorganisms will continue as long as thehumidity remains high. If the damaged area is notcleaned and How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup dried out properly, a musty odor, signifyingthe continued growth of microorganisms, can remainlong after the sewage overflow.

Contaminated materials outside the homeIf there is a broken sewer line outside the home or in acrawl space under the home, the first step is to put onprotective clothing such as waterproof boots, gloves, eyeprotection and How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup clothes that are either washable or disposable. A dust mask should be worn when cleaningto avoid breathing airborne microorganisms.

Plastic ground liners, surface contamination, and heavilycontaminated soil should be removed from the impactedarea if possible. The remaining contaminated soilshould be treated in place with a liberal application ofgarden lime to reduce odor and enhance degradation ofthe organic matter. If the contaminated area is in the open, How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup it should either be covered with clean dirt ortemporarily fenced off to prevent accidental contact withthe lime and any remaining contamination. 

After a dayor two, mix the lime in with a rake and use a sprinkler orhose to water the lime and How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup any remaining residues intothe soil. Let the area dry in the sun if possible beforeallowing access.Excavated soils may be remediated onsite by treatmentwith garden lime and should be turned over frequently toprovide oxygen to the naturally occurring microbes inthe soil that degrade the organic material. 

If onsitetreatment is not possible, or if it can't be accomplished without creating a nuisance condition, How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup contaminated soils and other materials removed from the impactedarea may be disposed of at any landfill willing to acceptthem. When sewers back up into homes, the damaged areamust be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to reduce therisk of disease. 

Again, the first step is to put onprotective clothing as noted previously. The humidity inthe damaged area should be lowered by opening up thehouse and removing standing wastewater with a mop,wet vac, How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup or squeegee. Interior closets and cabinet doorsshould be opened to allow circulation. 

Fans, dehumidifiers, How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup and window air conditioners can be usedto circulate the air, but whole house air conditioners orfurnace blowers should be used only if the air ducts werenot impacted by standing wastewater. Moistureabsorbing products can be purchased in home repair/lumber stores and should be placed in enclosedareas where air can't move through.

The contents of the damaged area should be sorted toseparate salvageable furnishings from unusable debris.Hire a professional cleaning company to steam clean and How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup disinfect salvageable furnishings. Materials that wereexposed to the wastewater that cannot be thoroughlysteam cleaned or disinfected should be disposed of. 

Allpotentially contaminated food items, cosmetics, stuffedanimals, and baby toys should be discarded.Contaminated mattresses, pillows, foam rubber items,upholstered couches and chairs, books, and How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup most paperproducts should generally be discarded because they soak up contamination and are difficult to disinfect. 

Ifthe furnishings are of particular value, How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup a cost estimatefrom a professional cleaner can help determine if theyare worth saving. Soiled clothing and small throw rugs should be thoroughly washed in warm or hot water, with bleach ifpossible. Larger rugs and those with foam backing mayhave to be discarded, as may wall to wall carpeting.

After getting wet, wall to wall carpeting usually will notreturn to its former size and has to be thrown away. Ifonly a portion of the carpeting is damaged, it may beadequately cleaned by a professional carpet cleaner. Thefoam padding will likely have to be replaced, How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup however. Discarded items should be sealed in heavy plasticgarbage bags before disposal. 

Your trash collectioncompany should be contacted about removing furnitureand bulky furnishings, How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup or these items can be takendirectly to a landfill by the homeowner.Minimal DamageIf there is minimal damage to the home and the overflowcan be cleaned up promptly, then the damaged area maysimply need to be cleaned and disinfected. 

This involvesthoroughly washing and disinfecting the walls, floors,closets, and other washable contents of the damagedarea. In most cases, How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup common household cleaningproducts and disinfectants will do the job if usedcorrectly. Disinfectants and sanitizers often containtoxic substances, so be sure to read and follow all labelinstructions carefully. 

Be careful about mixinghousehold cleaners and disinfectants together, sincesome can produce harmful vapors. For example, How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup mixing bleach and ammonia forms the toxic gases chloramineand ammonium chloride. Fresh air should always beprovided by opening windows and doors and using fansto circulate air both during and after the use ofdisinfecting, cleaning, and sanitizing products.

A mixture of one-quarter cup chlorine bleach in 1 gallonof water is an effective and readily available cleaningsolution. This solution should be kept in contact withthe item to be cleaned for at least one minute. After anitem is cleaned in such a manner, it should be rinsedwell, and gone over again with mild soap and water and How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup thoroughly rinsed again. 

Since most fabrics can't becleaned with bleach without fading, they may instead becleaned with a quaternary ammonia product such asLysol. If damage was extensive or How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup the overflow could not becleaned up promptly, removal and replacement ofdamaged wallboard and wall insulation should beconsidered to avoid indoor air quality problems later.

Wallboard acts like a sponge, drawing moisture upabove water level. It becomes very fragile if it stays wet for long and will fall apart when bumped. Even if thearea is dried out, How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup contaminants may have gotten upbehind the drywall and dried inside. Microorganismscan penetrate deep into soaked porous materials such aswood, insulation and drywall and continue to damagethese materials long after the overflow event is over.

Even after everything has dried out, microorganisms canlater be released into the air and trigger allergic reactionswhen inhaled.Wooden wall studs and sills probably won't need to bereplaced if they are thoroughly cleaned, How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup disinfected and allowed to dry properly. Since the studs and sills will becovered by new wallboard and painted, they will beremoved from direct human contact.

If the walls are paneled, the bottom of each panel shouldbe carefully pried away from the wall. A block orsomething similar should be used to hold the panelingbottom away from the wall sill so that the area betweenwall studs can drain and How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup dry out. The paneling may haveto be completely removed in order to take out any wetinsulation or extensive contamination behind it. 

Once disinfected and dried out, the paneling can often benailed back into place. Wastewater won't damage concrete like it will wood orwallboard, How To Clean Up From A Sewer Backup but it will still soak in to some extent. Concrete walls and floors should be washed thoroughlyand allowed to dry out.

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