Every year, over 500,000 sewage backups happen, as well as between 23,000 and 75,000 sanitary sewer overflows.
We know that talking about sewage is unpleasant, and most people cringe at the thought of having any problems with their sewers. However, these numbers are big, and they show this problem is a lot more common than you probably think.
It is important to prepare yourself in case such a thing happens and be ready to take the necessary measures to ensure that your home and family are safe.
Sewage backups can bring huge property damage, as well as health issues. This happens especially when the homeowner isn’t ready to deal with the situation and doesn’t prevent it from happening.
If you find yourself in this situation, and the sewage backup has already happened, you must hire a professional cleaning company to clean up the places affected.
Sewage backup can cause harm to your property and your family if not cleaned up properly.
Professional help should be called immediately instead of trying to fix the problem yourself without the proper equipment and knowledge.
What is a Sewage Backup?
When wastewater can’t be drained properly by the drains because of blockage or obstruction, the water can overwhelm these drains and come straight back up into your property. This is called a sewage backup.
It may come back up sinks, toilets, and drains in your house. Sometimes it’s only in a single room, but in others, your entire house might be compromised.
Sewage backups occur mostly during storms and floods, but there are other reasons as well like tree roots cracking the pipes, or when the sanitary main of your city gets blocked.
You need to know that most insurances don’t cover sewage backup. You are responsible in case this happens, and we know it’s not an enjoyable experience to have.
This is why calling a professional cleaning service is the best solution for you if you ever see yourself in this situation.
What to do Immediately After a Sewage Backup?
Evacuate everyone, including pets, from the house, until it is properly cleaned. The wastewater that came back up is full of harmful bacteria and might make you and your family sick, or make an illness that already exists a lot worse.
Do not clean up the sewage yourself. The lack of proper equipment can prove dangerous, and touching the sewage without it can spread diseases.
Turn off the electricity, gas, and water from your house to avoid making the situation worse. Sewage backup can cause many hazards, and it’s always better to prevent your house from further damage.
Act quickly. The longer the wastewater sits in your house, the worse it becomes for your property. The harmful viruses and bacteria that come with sewage spread quickly and can get harder and harder to get rid of the longer they stay. This is very dangerous and must be avoided. Call a professional cleaning service as quickly as possible.
Take pictures of any damaged goods in your house caused by the sewage backup. This will guarantee that you can file insurance claims.
Isolate the room in which the sewage backup happened. If it happened in multiple different rooms, be sure to isolate each one as well as you can. This should be done to avoid the wastewater from leaking to other uncontaminated places.
If there are windows, open them. The area must be dry as quickly as possible to prevent mold from growing and causing even further damage to your home and your family’s health.
How to Avoid Sewer Backups
Be careful with what you throw into the sink or the toilet. The disposal of food, grease, paper towels, and other such items is extremely damaging to the drains and might clog them. This makes sewage backups more likely to occur in your home.
Get an inspection of your sewer line and drain with some frequency. This frequency can go from every half a decade to every decade, depending on the sewer lines you have. Hiring this service will ensure that your sewer lines are healthy and with no damage, which will make sewage backups less likely to happen.
Hire professionals to clear your sewer lines every few years.
Replace your pipes with plastic ones. This avoids the tree roots from breaking your pipes and clogging your drains.
Install a backwater valve. This valve guarantees that water only flows out of your house and not back into it. It does this by closing up in case the water overwhelms it, and then opening back up after the water goes away. The plug type of backwater valve is not recommended, as it can cause structural damage from water pressure. Some cities offer incentives to install backwater valves — check your municipality to see if there are any offers.
Don’t connect illegal flood control in your house, like French drains and sump pumps. This can clog your line and will make sewage backups more likely.
Early Signs of a Sewage Backup
The good news is that sewage backups are identifiable by paying attention to a few warning signs. By paying attention to these things, you can prevent your family from suffering possible health consequences and your home from damages.
This is one of the key signs that something is not right with the drains in your house, and must be properly addressed before something more serious happens due to it.
If multiple places in your house are experiencing the same slow draining problem, it is more than time to call a plumber and see what the problem is.
Weird Smells Coming From Drains
If you feel weird and sewer-like smells coming from kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, showers, or other drains in your house, it is a problem.
It is common, of course, to have uncomfortable smells in your bathroom, and maybe even the kitchen sink. However, if you clean them and the smell doesn’t go away, it is a clear indication that the problem isn’t in the room itself, but in the draining system.
Your sewer system’s job is to make water flow out of your house, so if the smell of dirty water is coming out, it means something is stopping it from doing its job correctly. This is a very obvious warning sign that must be fixed as soon as possible.
Regular Clogging on the Toilet
It is normal for toilets to get clogged a few times (especially if you flush inappropriate items down the drain — which you absolutely shouldn’t).
However, if you experience regular clogging or backing up from your toilet, you should get it fixed. Do not wait until the toilet is clogged enough to overflow into your home, as that can already bring enough biohazards as it is.
Noises Coming From Your Plumbing
If you hear strange noises coming from your sink and other drains from your house whenever you use water or flush the toilet, it might be a sign to pay attention to.
It is, of course, natural to hear noises after flushing the toilet or right after you turn on the sink. However, these shouldn’t sound like bubbling or gurgling, or other sounds alike. They should also stop pretty quickly, instead of going on and on.
If you are hearing noises you aren’t used to coming from your drains, contact a professional immediately.
Why Contact a Professional Cleaning Service After a Sewage Backup?
Proper Elimination of Harmful Elements
A professional cleaning service like PuroClean can properly eliminate biohazards, ensuring that your family is safe to come back to their home without worrying about their health.
Cleaning up a sewage backup by yourself, without proper equipment, can be dangerous and harmful, not even considering how unpleasant it can be for someone with no experience.
Professional cleaning services have safety protocols in place to protect themselves, as well as the proper equipment, to make sure that the sewage backup is completely out of your home. Don’t risk yourself and your family by trying to clean it up yourself.
Finding Out the Root Causes
Professional service providers can tell you the most likely cause of the sewage backup, and how to prevent it in the future. They can help you hire the right people to investigate other parts of the problem to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
Prevention of Secondary Causes of Damage
Hiring professionals can also make sure that any secondary causes of damage are eliminated promptly. This includes mold, which grows quickly after a sewage backup, and can get into places you would never think about looking (behind walls is a good example).
This ensures that not only your home is completely rid of biohazards but also that it is free of other, also damaging, kinds of problems.
Eliminating secondary problems that come with a sewage backup can diminish the amount of money you will spend fixing the damage they will cause along with the wastewater. Most of the time, this already more than covers the money spent on hiring a professional cleaning service.
Professional Drying of the Space
Professional cleaners have access to industrial dehumidifiers and other tools to dry the room where the sewage backup has happened as quickly as possible, avoiding the development of mold.
Do Not Risk Your Family and Property
Always call experts and professionals to deal with biohazardous situations like sewage backup.
A professional cleaning service like PuroClean can keep your family and yourself safe from harm even in difficult situations.