Are you or someone you know experiencing a sewage backup in your basement? Unlike regular basement flooding from rainwater, a leaking pipe, or melting snow, sewage backups are highly toxic and dangerous to your health. Cleanup for a sewer backup in your basement should be sought out immediately, and there’s no one better for the job than trained professionals. If you’re wondering how to fix a sewer backup in your basement or want professional sewage cleanup in Scarborough, here’s what you need to know.
The Dangers of a Sewage Backup in Your Basement
Sewage contains water and waste products, both organic and inorganic. This waste may include human waste, mineral salts, or garbage, and as it decomposes, it emits odorous gases that are extremely dangerous to human health. The decomposed organic material will contain disease-causing pathogens, which is why it is vital that sewage be completely removed and cleaned after a backup. Sewage water is classified as Category 3 water or black water.
How to Treat a Sewer Backup in the Basement
Wear Protective Clothing
One of the first steps in cleaning a sewer backup is to wear protective clothing if you need to go into the area. Dress in long sleeves, heavy jeans, an old jacket, tall rubber boots and gloves, a nose mask, and eye goggles. Your jeans should be tucked deep into your boots, and you should be completely covered to prevent any sewage from touching your skin. Ideally, a rain suit or full-body Tyvek suit is preferred.
Stay out of the Sewage Water
You should be extremely careful when preparing to access a basement that has been water-logged from a sewer backup. Either call the professionals immediately, or, if you have experience in dealing with situations like this, make sure you wear protective clothing to prevent the water from contacting your skin.
Turn off Gas or Other Fuel Lines
If you have any gas or fuel lines leading to your furnace, heater, or hot water heater in your basement, turn it off as soon as possible. You may even need to turn off the gas line from the hookup outside your house. If you do not have the appropriate tools needed, you can call your local gas provider or fire department. Notify your family members immediately and ask them not to use anything connected to these devices.
Turn off the Electricity
In addition to turning off gas or fuel lines, you should trip the breakers on your main power panel to isolate the basement. If this is not possible, you may consider pulling out any electrical devices that are plugged into outlets in your home, once the water has been removed or extracted. You can do this by using a broom to wrap around the power cable, and gently pull. Ensure you are not standing in any water when you do this to prevent electrocution. If there is a substantial amount of standing water, please be advised that the water may already be electrified and stepping into it, could be catastrophic.
Take Pictures of the Damaged Area
One simple way you can help yourself after a sewage backup in your basement is to take pictures of the damaged area. It is not advisable to clean up the area or even go near it on your own, but you can take pictures for insurance purposes. You can also request the professionals to take pictures for you, so you can make a claim.
Do Not Run Any Water Appliances
Make sure that in the event of a sewage backup, you do not use any water appliances or devices including showers, the washing machine, or hoses. Use of these appliances or devices will intensify the issue by adding unnecessary water pressure. If you refrain from using any running water until the situation is resolved, you will lessen the issue.
Circulate Clean Air into the Area
Circulating clean air into your home will help filter out the surge of strong, unpleasant odours from the sewage backup. If you do not air out your home, the air inside will become toxic from the spread of bacterial growth in the sewer water. Open windows and doors to help remove some of the toxic air.
Contact Sewage Backup Cleaning Professionals
Instead of trying to manage the situation on your own, contact your local sewage backup cleaning professionals and sewer or public works department immediately and report the problem. If your home has its own septic system, you need to find out if you can dispose of the sewage on your own or if you need help from a professional sewer backup cleaning service. In some cases, you may be able to get some of the cleanup cost covered by your insurance provider.
As previously mentioned, sewage backups can be extremely hazardous to your health and the health of your family. If anyone comes in contact with sewage, they could experience gastrointestinal illnesses, restricted airways, respiratory inflammation, rashes, skin infections, and other serious issues. This is why it is always best to immediately call a professional sewage cleanup and restoration company to handle the mess. They are equipped and trained to face the danger and provide you with solutions to hopefully save your home.
Sewage Cleanup and Restoration in Scarborough, Ontario
Drain and sewer backups can cause damage to your home and personal property, and they can cause health risks to you and your household. Illnesses from sewage backups may include E.coli, hepatitis, leptospirosis, salmonella, helicobacter pylori, acanthamoeba, and more. Standing water can also lead to infection and disease through the spread of sewage bacteria.
If you require immediate sewage backup cleaning services in Scarborough, Flood Services Canada can help you. It may be possible to handle a situation such as an overflown toilet on your own, but serious forms of sewage backup such as a flooded basement require professional remediation. Our 24/7 service teams are ready to provide you with quick-response action to minimize damage. We provide thorough structural drying, decontamination, deodorization, and debris removal to get your home back to a safe and functional environment. Contact us at (416) 302-2107 to learn more about how to protect your property, or if you are experiencing an emergency, call our hotline at (416) 999-3930. Our rapid response team will quickly deploy to your area to assess the situation and get you the help you need.