When a sewage backup or spill occurs, it’s not the end of the world, although it may feel and smell like it! A sewage emergency is one of the worst plumbing problems one can encounter, because of the water damage that can occur as well as the toxic effects of untreated waste gathering in one’s home. This can lead to damage to the structure, furniture, and even your family’s health, making your safe haven unfit for habitation. Time is a critical concern in successful remediation of a sewage emergency, because the faster the problem is addressed, the less time it will take to fix the problem.
What causes sewage backups?
There are a number of factors that may lead to a sewage emergency. By far the most common is what is known as “solid flushes,” in which large objects or dense materials back up the plumbing between your home and the sewer line. Things such as children’s toys, dirt, kitty litter, cooking grease, and condoms and feminine hygiene products can all lead to sewer problems over time.
Other causes of sewage backups include:
- Broken, cracked, sagging or otherwise faulty plumbing
- Tree roots and other obstructions impinging upon the sewer line
- Blockage and/or flooding of sewer main lines
- Structural defects in the sewer line or the house plumbing
While all of these problems require very different fixes and may lead to some wrangling over who is responsible for the repairs, the end result is the same: a huge mess in your home or business that can lead to an unhealthy environment. Because of this, prevention is the best cure. By eliminating the potential reasons a sewage leak might occur, you can help avoid a sewage emergency. However, preventative measures only go so far. In that case, you need to know what to do to fix the problem quickly and decisively.
How To Solve A Sewage Emergency
The first step is to contact a certified plumber who can identify and fix the problem. In some cases the problem may not be on your end, but the city’s, making it imperative that you know where the problem is so it can be addressed without causing an undue hit to your wallet.
The second step is to contact Reassured Restoration. Our Institute for Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC, certified technicians will come out and assess the problem for scope, scale, and what kinds of problems the backup could lead to. Once the assessment is done, we arrange a plan of action with the active participation and input of the property owner to ensure there are no surprises. The next steps, which are undertaken in tandem, are to start the insurance claim paperwork you’ll need to demonstrate the severity of the problem, and to begin the remediation process.
The process begins with removing the water and sewage using specialized extraction equipment. After this, any structural components that have been compromised beyond any reasonable hope of repair will be demolished and removed. Drying equipment will be brought in to further eliminate residual water in the walls, floors and furniture.
At this point, cleanup procedures can now begin. Depending upon the types of materials in question, it is possible they can be cleaned and sanitized. However, this is far more likely when dealing with nonporous materials such as hardwood floors and tile, because carpet and upholstery tend to retain water and anything the water is carrying with it. This means your Persian rug or that lovely retro couch you picked up may not be salvageable, depending on how long it was exposed to the sewage leak and a number of other factors. If they cannot be safely and effectively cleaned, they will be removed from the building and disposed of in a safe manner. Disinfection and deodorization using environmentally sound, IICRC-approved antimicrobial cleansers is an integral part of our cleanup strategy.
After the actual cleanup is complete, we will back up our work with daily moisture monitoring and removal until all parties feel secure the problem won’t come back. Finally, we will provide you with complete documentation of all work undertaken, including photographic or video evidence, to help speed up your insurance claims process.
Is it really so bad?
A sewage emergency can be dangerous for a number of reasons. Not only is there the immediate biohazard involved, but black mold and various other dangerous spores seek out warm, humid environments in which to grow. It only takes 12 hours or less for an infestation to move in, and within 48 hours the infestation can become a legitimate threat to your family’s health and safety.
In a sewage emergency, minutes count. The faster the problem is arrested, the less damage your home or business is likely to incur. Reassured Restoration have the tools, knowledge and training to fix your problem quickly and correctly. Fast action can mean the difference between a minor inconvenience and a dangerous situation. Call us at (408) 630-9484 24 hours a day for fast response with real results!