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Sewage Cleanup: DIY vs Professional
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Sewage is one of the worst problems that you can encounter as a homeowner and one that most of us are ill-equipped to take care of. The average homeowners' experience in dealing with a sewage-related spill is having to clean up the occasional toilet overflow. However, sewage backups can create a major disaster, with major flooding delivering all kinds of "goodies" to every area of your home.
What's worse, sewage contains various and sundry contaminants such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, mold, and other toxins, any one of which may cause serious illness or even death if humans or animals are exposed to it. As categorized by the Clean Trust (formerly IICRC), sewage falls under the heading of Category 3 Water, or Black Water, which refers to water that is heavily contaminated at the source. The source is usually toilets or sewer lines.
Is Do-It-Yourself Sewage Cleanup Possible?
Sewage cleanup is rarely, if ever, encouraged for individuals to attempt on their own. As with every case of serious water damage, the restoration process involves a series of predetermined steps, to be taken in a specific order, and preferably done right the first time. Sewage damage doesn’t forgive many mistakes and overlooking or mishandling a step in the cleanup procedure could have long lasting and serious consequences.
The sewage will need to be pumped out of the affected area, but that is only the beginning. Everything that was touched by the sewage needs to be considered contaminated. Carpeting, rugs, clothing, textiles, upholstery, mattresses – any of these items that have come into contact with sewage-based flooding should be thrown out and replaced. True, some items may be successfully cleaned, but would you really want to wear a sweater that you know was submerged for an extended period in raw sewage?
Mold, the most common byproduct of water damage, appears even faster following cases of sewage flooding or backup. Mold aggravates the problem exponentially, increasing the difficulty of proper remediation, and adding an additional level of health risks since mold spores inhaled in large concentrations may prove extremely hazardous to your health.
Every surface touched by sewage will need to be cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized, and this procedure may need to be repeated several times to make sure that all contaminants have been removed.
Why Pros Should Do Sewage Cleanup
It is exactly for the reasons listed above that professional sewage cleanup services are recommended. The process required to clean up the problem and restore the property to its pre-loss state is simply beyond the ability of the average homeowner to undertake successfully.
Your local certified water damage restoration company will have both the personnel and the equipment necessary to repair the damage to your property caused by sewage backup, removing the sewage, treating the area properly, and returning your home to normal. In most cases, same day service is available and the job may be performed with minimal disruption to your family life. All work is guaranteed.