When pipes burst, water leaks, toilets or tubs back up, or other sewage systems cause water damage in your home, we know that it can be an overwhelming prospect to deal with the aftermath. Fortunately, help is available, so read on to learn about how to handle water and sewage cleanup.
Take Stock and Prioritize
If you notice backup, clogs, or water damage, the first step is to take stock of the situation. Is the damage extensive? Did the flood just begin? Is it still flooding? Does the situation appear dangerous?
After asking yourself a series of questions that allows you to get a good idea of what is happening, it is time to prioritize. Safety, of course, should always be your top priority, and if you ever feel like your safety or health (or the safety and health of your family) are in jeopardy, we recommend calling in professional help and leaving the area immediately. If the scene is safe, you should still call in professionals, since bacteria and contagions can be carried in sewer water. In the meantime, you will want to turn off water sources to stop any further flooding, keep pets and children away from the area, turn off heat or air systems in the area, avoid using sinks or toilets until the area is addressed, and report a claim to your homeowner’s insurance.
Call in the Professionals
While cleaning up a small amount of sewer water might not seem like a big deal, it could be contaminated. Even once it has drained or dried, the residual bacteria could be dangerous. Rather than taking on that kind of risk with your health and safety, it is better to leave the job to professionals with the right training and equipment to make sure things are handled safely. Additionally, experienced professionals will be able to minimize the damage and help to keep it from happening again.
Dealing with Damage
Once the water has been cleared, the area has been cleaned, and the problem has been addressed, there may still be damage for you to deal with. Depending on where the leak occurred, the extent of the water released, and how long it was left standing, various amounts and kinds of damage can occur. Dehumidification might be necessary to return spaces back to normal, document restoration may be needed if important papers were damaged, furniture may need to be repaired or replaced, and remodeling may be necessary. Soaked mattresses, soft toys, and other items that could retain water should be disposed of, and steps should be taken to prevent future flooding.