Water in the basement is most likely to occur when there has been heavy rainfall, melting snow or in times of a spring thaw. While these scenarios are possibly foreseeable, there can also be the mischance of basement flooding due to a sewage backup. Unfortunately a sewage backup in basement is neither calculable nor predictable and often needs emergency intervention.
What Causes A Sewage Backup in Basement?
In many instances, a sewage backup in basement happens when waste water from the sanitary system backs up in the property. The same can also happen when waste water along with storm water combine and make its way up into the property through fixtures such as the floor drain, sinks, toilets, showers and other laundry fittings that may be located in the basement.
At the same time the sewage backup may also happen from a blocked connection between the home and the main sewer in the street. These backups not only bring about damage that is difficult and costly to repair, but also trigger acute health hazards.
Hazards of Basement Flooding
Sewage contains a lot of bacteria, viruses and other pathogens which have the potential of making a contaminated basement unfit for daily use or living. The health risks posed by sewage backup depends upon the amount of sewage, the types of germs, as well as the duration for which it may have been in contact with materials in the basement.
Sewage at home can also destroy valuables, damage the property and even result in unsafe mechanical systems and electrical malfunctions. Prompt cleanup of the affected basement can help minimize the inconvenience and prevent mold growth and further damage.
If sewers backup into the basement, the most important thing to remember is to not walk in or touch the contaminated water. The reason why sewage backups need immediate attention is because they can often involve what is known as “black water”, the most severe categorization of contaminated water. This type of water is terribly contaminated and presents significant risk of sickness or even death.
Sewage Backup Cleanup Tips
It is critical to minimize the contact between individuals and the actual waste products. Clean up personnel dealing with sewers and sewage treatment should wear heavy duty gear that covers them completely including rubber gloves, rubber boots and a face mask to prevent inhaling fumes from the waste. When cleaning the premises, good ventilation is important, so make sure to open all windows and use fans to create air circulation.
Switch off electrical power in the flooded basement if there is any likelihood of electrical outlets and wires, extension cords or electrical fixtures and appliances coming in contact with wet materials or standing water.
All porous objects that may have come into contact with the waste need to be disposed since these objects cannot be effectively sanitized. This includes paper, cardboard, sheetrock, carpeting and pressboard furniture.
When professionals come on the scene they can treat the premises with complete structural drying, decontamination, deodorization and debris removal.
Minimizing the Possibility of Sewage Backups
If the basement is prone to periodic sewage backups, both proactive as well as preventive measures need to be taken to minimize the risk of associated health hazards and property damage. This means taking measures such as:
- Ensuring that roof gutters and down spouts are not connected to the property’s sanitary sewer line since they carry clean as well as rain water which can easily overload the capacity of the sanitary sewer pipe.
- Also it is important to make sure that gutter downspouts and drains are directed away from the foundation and toward low points away from the structure.
- Property owners can also consider cutting down large trees or bushes near the sewer line to prevent it from plugging.
- Raising or even removing any sinks, or toilets in a basement subject to sewage backups is also a good idea.
- Avoid using carpet flooring in basements since carpets will need to be discarded after a sewage backup.
Sewage removal after a sewage backup is not a pleasant job. The decision whether to hire a professional remediation company or to the job personally often comes down to time and money constraints for many property owners. Where the property owner’s insurance policy pays for a professional to do the cleanup, most people will opt for that alternative, but when the policy does not cover sewage backups, then the owner will either have to hire a professional on their own or do their own clean up.
For residents and property owners located in the Atlanta, Georgia area, professional sewage back up remediation services can be provided by experts like Tidal Wave Response. Our staff can not only remove the contaminated water on site but also perform complete cleanup, restoration and reconstruction services.