So You’ve Got a Sewage Backup
Water damage can be rough stuff in any form. Burst pipes, flooding and appliance issues all create difficult situations in their own right. But a sewage backup can be an entirely other level of both nastiness and danger.
Sewer problems can be the result of civil sewer systems that have aged past their primes, tree roots growing into sewer lines or blockages of a sanitary sewer main. Regardless of the cause, however, one thing is clear (or literally probably not clear at all)—sewer backups introduce toxins into your home, and they leave a difficult cleanup job in their wake.
When you find yourself faced with sewer damage, here are some things you should do immediately upon discovering the damage to ensure your safety and get things under control until your local SERVPRO team arrives.
Evacuate anyone vulnerable from the area. This includes seniors, children, even pets—anyone who may suffer more readily from the toxins sewage can introduce into your home’s atmosphere. Keep them safely away from the backup area until restoration is complete.
Shut off your main water supply and electricity if it’s safe to do so. If you can get to your power panel and water main safely, use them to stop the flow of water and decrease the odds of your water backup causing an electrical fire. Don’t do this if your electrical panel is under water, or if you would have to stand in water to turn it off. If you can’t safely shut off your own power and water, call your utility companies and have them do it.
Open windows in the affected area to encourage ventilation and get some fresh air flowing in.
Document your situation and take lots of photos for your insurance company. Be sure to include any items that have sustained damage, as these will be important for your insurance claim process.
Add a little bleach to standing water, if you can do so safely, so that the chlorine in it can do some disinfecting work and prevent the spread of bacteria. Don’t touch stained or affected areas, and don’t come in contact with what could be very dangerous water.
Don’t forget to call SERVPRO. We’ll be there quickly, get things cleaned and managed thoroughly, and we can work with your insurance company on your behalf.
Regardless of the cause of your sewage problem, SERVPRO has the tools and techniques to make it "Like it never even happened."
Sewage backup is a serious problem, but we can take care of it and restore your home after the damage. Contact SERVPRO anytime to get the pros on your side.