The consequences of a sewer line backup can be disastrous, especially if your system backs up into your house. In extreme cases, raw sewage can overflow from toilets, back up through sewer pipes, and fill up tubs and sinks. It's a disgusting problem and a serious one to clean up. If you've experienced a sewer catastrophe, your first impulse may be to just get it cleaned up. However, it's not that simple. The following are four things you may not think about in the aftermath of a sewage backup.
Some Things Can't Be Saved
All absorbent materials can't be saved, period. This includes furnishings, carpeting, drywall, clothing, plush toys, etc. If sewage gets on anything absorbent, you have to throw it out. However, you can't simply chuck it in the trash. You have to take measures to contain the mess. Place all soiled items into heavy-duty contractor-grade plastic bags and double bag them just to be safe.
Your Family May Be at Higher Risk
While everyone can get sick from sewage, some people in your family may be especially susceptible. People who have asthma or a compromised immune system are more likely to get sick as are the elderly and infants. Make sure that everyone's vaccinations for tetanus, diphtheria, and hepatitis A are up to date. If anyone comes into direct contact with raw sewage, have them checked out by a doctor. Direct contact includes touching sewage with your skin, breathing it in, or touching your eyes while working in it.
Your Home Has to Be Tested
Regardless of how clean your home looks, you have to have it tested before you can return to it. Hire a professional disaster cleanup crew or hazmat team to come in and evaluate your home. If your home doesn't meet certain standards, they will not let you live there. For this reason, it's a good idea to think about letting your insurance company pay for a professional crew to handle the cleanup rather than doing it yourself.
Mold Is A Real Problem
After your place is clean, you still have to watch out for mold development. Whenever anything in your home gets wet, mold growth can occur. Be sure to check your home frequently for obvious signs of mold and musty smells.
When sewage backs up into your home, the mess can be tremendous. Make sure you deal with it in the appropriate manner and take all steps necessary to ensure your family's safety. If you're concerned that your home might be at risk for a sewer back up, contact a sewer cleaning service right away.