How to Clean Up Sewage In a Basement
No matter where it comes from, the smell of sewage is extremely unpleasant. One of the last places you want raw waste is inside your home.
Unfortunately, sewage can make its way inside your house and cause plenty of problems. The first step towards clearing your basement of sewage is to identify where it’s coming from.
Once that’s done and fixed, the clean-up can begin.
What to Do After Sewage Backup
Before you get down and dirty, there are a few things you have to take care of.
Here are the preliminary steps to take before beginning sanitizing:
1. Increase Ventilation by Opening Up All the Windows
By opening the windows, you’re letting harmful compounds out of your property while you prep your clean-up.
However, be sure to close them after because you don’t want any excess humidity inside.
2. Keep Everyone Away From the Affected Area
Sewage is filthy, and coming into contact with it can cause severe health issues, like stomach bugs, infections, E-Coli, and Hepatitis.
Make sure nobody enters the basement unless they’re equipped to handle the mess.
3. Hire a Competent Sewage Removal Company
Removing sewage isn’t something everyone is prepared to do. Professional contractors — like us at All Dry USA — have the necessary gear and experience to remove it safely.
How To Remove Sewage From the Basement Safely
Dealing with sewage is risky business on many levels.
For starters, you’ll need to check for utility lines. Working with sewage around active electrical lines can be incredibly dangerous. If you aren’t sure, you must contact your local utility company right away.
Once you get the green light from them, you’re ready to start cleaning. Follow these steps to stay safe:
1. Get Protective Gear
Sewage water contains everything flushed down toilets, and that’s just a sliver of the nasty compounds it holds.
As a result, you need to ensure you have all the proper protective gear before you go anywhere near it.
Some essentials are rubber boots, gloves, and face protection. Wearing protective gear will prevent any harmful compounds from getting onto your skin or inside your body.
2. Close Off the Rest of the House
Sewage in the basement is already a problem, but sewage in the rest of your home is a disaster.
Make sure you close off the affected area to prevent anyone from carrying sewage water into other areas of your home.
This will also prevent any airborne microbes from breeding throughout the house.
3. Identify Where the Sewage Is Coming From
Finding out where the sewage water is leaking in from is one of your top priorities when removing it from your basement.
If you’re struggling to find the source, reach out to a professional contractor and have them come by for an inspection.
4. Remove Everything That’s Been Contaminated
Removing everything that’s come into contact with the dirty water will be challenging, but it’s necessary if you want to restore your basement.
Move out any flooring, furniture, or any goods that may be contaminated.
It’s extra helpful if you have a door leading outside from your basement, so you don’t have to move stuff through your house.
5. Shovel Out the Sludge
Here’s where you’ll have to get your (gloved) hands dirty. Whenever water leaks in from the sewer line, there’s often a ton of debris and sludge left over.
Take a shovel and remove everything before you can begin sanitizing your basement.
6. Scrub the Surfaces
Take a cleaning brush or rag and scrub down all the contaminated surfaces. For better efficiency, it’s better to clean from top to bottom.
You can use warm water along with a disinfection solution. If you have bleach, you can throw in a cup along with an additional gallon of water. (Be sure to read instructions before mixing bleach with other cleaners.)
How to Prevent Sewage Backup
Sewage backups occur when something is blocking the wastewater from flowing out. Instead of flowing down the neighborhood sewage line, the water makes its way into your home.
Numerous things can cause a sewage backup, such as:
- Damaged sewer lines
- Blocked plumbing systems
- Tree roots infiltrating the pipes
- Old sewer systems
Here are a few ways you can prevent your sewer line from backing up:
Be Careful What You Flush Down the Toilet
If you’re in the bathroom and need to get rid of something, it may seem convenient to flush it down the toilet. However, this can cause significant damage to your plumbing systems.
Try to avoid flushing thick paper towels, used diapers, makeup wipes, and anything else that’s not supposed to go in the toilet.
Avoid Putting Greasy Substances Down the Drain
Grease can be your drainage system’s worst enemy. Putting greasy foods and waste down the drain makes it easier for things to clog up, causing severe plumbing issues.
If possible, avoid putting greasy foods down the garbage disposal and put them in the trash can instead.
Clean Your Drains Regularly
You should try and clean your drains at least once a month.
While there are numerous drain cleaning solutions available, try and avoid using chemical cleaners as they can be quite harmful. Instead, opt for something like baking soda and vinegar.
No doubt, dealing with sewer water in your basement is never fun. Not only is it unsettling, but it can also cause damage to your home and health.
However, try not to panic if you find your basement is flooded with sewage. As you can see from the information above, the problem is easily fixable with a little hard work and proper preparation.
That said, the absolute best way to remove sewage water from your basement safely is to hire a team of plumbing professionals.
Here at All Dry USA, we’ve helped countless families remove sewer water from their basements. We offer a wide range of affordable home restoration services, so feel free to call one of our team members today for a consultation.