Owning a home comes with its own risks and responsibilities. There are numerous things that require regular maintenance, and if you are not paying enough attention, you might be increasing the chances of an incident.
Amongst the other things that can happen in a home, a sewage backup is probably the trickiest one to deal with. It can cause a lot of property damage as well as some serious health problems if it is not treated immediately. Besides, it is very hard to deal with and probably the least pleasant one out of all other home incidents that can occur.
Luckily, we have a few tips for you, so if you’ve just suffered something like this, or you just want to be ready in case it happens in the future, make sure to read until the end. Let’s take a look.
What is a sewage backup and what causes it?
This happens when your pipes get clogged and the water has nowhere to go, so a sewage backup happens and all of the waste is suddenly on your bathroom floor. These things don’t always happen because of the regular clogging though, and there are quite a few other things that can cause a backup.
One of them is tree roots. Yes, it might sound strange, but this is probably the most common reason for the accident. Here’s how it happens.
The trees that are either in your backyard or your neighbor’s backyard are growing deep into the grounds beneath, and sooner or later they can either grow into the pipes and cause holes or blockages, or they can completely crush the pipes by wrapping around them like a python snake. Pretty fascinating, but when it happens it’s actually not pleasant at all.
There is nobody to blame for this, so if it ever happens to you, just talk to your neighbor and take the required actions to fix the problem together.
Last but not least, the final reason that might cause a sewage backup is a very old sewer line that wasn’t upgraded for a very long time. If you are living in an older rural area, this might be the problem.
What to do after it happens?
First of all, you’ll have to evacuate your children from the area where the backup happened. You don’t want anyone that’s not experienced with this scenario to be near the waste that came through the holes.
Next, it is time to go to the nearest store as quickly as possible and purchase the safety gear required for the task. If you already have this gear somewhere in your home that’s even better, go get it and give a pair to anyone that will be participating in the cleaning process.
This step is very important. Make sure to turn off all of the electricity in your home. You don’t want any of the backed-up water reaching devices and/or cables through which there is a current. Remember to wear the required rubber gloves and boots when attempting to reach the electricity box. Maximum safety is required when you’re doing tasks like this.
Now, before you start dealing with the mess, it is advisable that you turn off the entire water supply that goes to your home, and keep it that way until you’re sure that you’ve replaced all of the broken pipes and completely fixed the problem.
Usually, when something like this happens, the air you’re breathing near the accident is polluted and highly toxic, so make sure that you open all of the doors and windows to your home and let the air circulate as much as possible. You can even leave it like this for a few minutes before entering the bathroom.
If you seem to be “freaked out” of the situation, and you’re unable to do all of this because you’re in shock, it is best to contact a professional restoration company that can take the matter into their own hands, according to www.GTARestoration.com.
While doing all of this, you should also contact your insurance company and tell them about the problem. Before cleaning all of the mess, it is advisable to take pictures that will serve as proof. You might need them later for claiming your property damage cover.
You can start cleaning in your most preferred method, but it is advisable that you grab all of your buckets and labors because there will be a lot of polluted water to take out of your bathroom. Remember to wear your protective gear at all times. Some people do not consider this problem to be very serious, but it can cause some pretty dangerous infections on your skin if you are cleaning the mess with no gloves.
If you are sure in what the cause for all this was, you can immediately call a professional service to replace your damaged pipes or unclog your already existing ones. While cleaning, avoid using strong chemicals because most of the modern pipes nowadays are made out of plastic, and the chemicals can damage them and cause an even bigger problem that will cost you more money.
You can use chlorine bleach in order to create some sort of disinfection if that’s what you want to do, but stick to it and don’t use other strong acids.
Until professional help arrives, make sure to keep your kids outside of your home and do everything that you can in order to neutralize the smell. Sometimes circulating air is not enough, so try to use air refreshers and other things of that nature.
You’ll also need a few shovels in order to get all of the sand and other solid remains into a bucket and out of your home. After you’re done with that, start taking the polluted water out as well, and then clean up your entire area a couple of times with some type of an antibacterial mixture.
When you are done with all of the cleaning, there is one final step that you have to take in order to avoid getting mold inside your bathroom. Make sure that you dry the area as fast as you can, and neutralize all of the factors that promote the growth of mold. You can even power up a dehumidifier if you are living in an area where the air is pretty “wet”.