Sewage removal can be stressful for any homeowner. It can be costly if the damage is at a large scale. After assessing the situation and you feel that it is safe for you to handle the problem on your own, use the following tips on how to tackle this sewage removal project safely and inexpensively.
Sewage flooding generally happens because of broken pipes, roots or excess debris caught in your plumbing system. When this occurs, backed up sewage can enter your home through sinks, drains or any other opening. When this happens, be sure to act quickly to make sure little property is damaged. As explained by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), “Too late, property owners become aware of the on-going effect of this trapped water on structural and contents materials, which may include: discoloration, warping, splitting, delamination, and musty odor and mold growth.” This can be prevented by making sure you have cleaned the area thoroughly during and after the damage has happened.
Before you begin your sewage removal, like stated before, make sure the water damage is small enough to be handled on your own. Some sewage problems are too big to be handled by homeowners. After assessing you sewage problem and recognize its severity, proceed with caution. The first thing to remember is if any electrical boxes or power lines are in or around the water source, DO NOT ATTEMPT if you feel that it is unsafe to enter the water for cleanup. Unless you know how to successfully turn off your home’s power source, call your local electrician to make sure it’s safe to proceed.
Once you know the area is safe, begin with removing any furniture or personal items. Higher ground, outside air or large industrial fans can help the items stay dry and cool. Begin with the largest area first then move to any items that may have gotten wet. Your home is a large area when it comes to water damage so beginning with the larger space first could reduce your sewage cleanup cost.
Like stated before, move all furniture and personal items to a higher ground or move outside to let the drying process start.
When returning to the damaged area, starting the sewage cleanup immediately is essential. The faster the water is removed the less likely mold and mildew will start to grow in the space. Wet vacs ($49.88) are some of the most effective machines when it comes to removing debris and water. If your sub pump is broken, a wet vac may be the only option for removing the water on your own. The old fashion way of removing sewage water with buckets may be helpful as well. Removing the water by hand can be effective in the beginning if there is large particles and debris that may clog the wet vac. By removing a bulk of the debris, the wet vac can clear the rest of the contaminated water, thus saving you time and money in the long run.
Move the wet vac in a dry area making sure the power outlet is away from any water. Starting your sewage cleanup should be less of a hassle if you have a high-powered wet vac. Place the nozzle in the area with the least amount of water, which should be by a door opening so your wet vac has a safe area to sit. As the water begins to drain, it will be safe to start bringing the wet vac further into the room. Along the way, make sure you are wearing protective gloves, masks and shoes. Sewage removal can be very dangerous for your skin and respiratory system, depending on how well ventilated the room is. Once the room has been cleared of water, the sewage cleanup of all walls and floors should begin.
Your local hardware store should be able to rent out drain rooters ($78 daily) to make sure your drains are cleared as well. By cleaning out your sewer lines, it ensures that any roots or debris that may be blocking your pipes are destroyed. A yearly cleaning of your pipes is essential. This will save you time and money in the long run.
Sewage Cleanup of Personal Items
For the items that may have been damaged during the flood, you may be able to restore them if the water wasn’t too contaminated. Begin with wiping down all surfaces. Since items like wood and upholstery are so porous, airing them out quickly is important. If you kept your items inside, air conditioning or heat generally dries out your home’s air, allowing the objects to dry quicker. A home remedy of 3 to 1 water/alcohol can be useful for harder surfaces to disinfect the area. If upholstery items that can be removed and washed, place in your washer at a higher water temperature to make sure all dirt and debris have been removed.
Once the sewage cleanup is complete make sure the room is fully dry before returning your furniture and personal items. Ensuring that all moisture has left the damaged area will prevent any mold or mildew that might thrive in a wet environment.
Changing your air filters frequently after the flood will also keep your home’s air constantly clean and keep any smells at bay.
If the sewage problem was larger than anticipated, a professional should be the one to take care of the sewage removal. Since sewage contains many contaminants, disinfecting the area is essential for you and your home’s health. Carpeting and drywall can carry diseases from the overflow making it impossible to clean on your own. ServiceMaster provides a thorough cleaning of your home and personal belongings. To receive an estimate and to find your local ServiceMaster visit RestorationMasterFinder.