You might think that the most devastating water damage could be caused by a flood in your home, and it’s true that that is devastating. But the most dangerous type of water damage is the kind that is caused by a sewer back up. The amount of bacteria and disease that could be spread from untreated sewage is incalculable and almost everything will need to be discarded that came into contact with the refuge. Here is the process that a restoration company goes through to clean up sewer backups.
A water damage restoration company will arrive on the scene and immediately request that everyone leave the premises. It is important that you do not try to clean up your sewer damage by yourself. Only trained professionals should deal with sewage clean up. These trained professionals will suit up with coveralls, masks, and heavy-duty footwear to protect them from the bacteria.
The professionals will then identify hazards that are at the site. This could be the content of the spill or it could be outlets that have been compromised. The crew will likely turn off the electric breakers for the specific rooms that are affected before they start working. Any kind of moisture that comes into contact with electricity could be a safety hazard. They will also identify where the sewage is coming in from and cut off the supply to eliminate further issues.
Once the source of the sewage has been cut off, the crew will set out to pump all the sewage out of the room and into a truck. They will simultaneously try to recover items or take them out for documentation or to discard them. Anything that can be saved will be saved, however, there is usually very few items that can be kept after they come into contact with sewage. It is likely that you will have no desire to keep your items that have been contaminated as well.
With sewage water damage, you cannot simply dry things out and expect no mold to grow. If the sewage has had contact with drywall, carpet, padding, or any other surface, the crew will have to take things down to the studs. Sewage has to be dealt with differently than water and the cleanup crew will determine all the surfaces that will need to be removed and replaced. Your restoration company will also inspect your HVAC system if necessary to make sure that it has not been compromised as well.
Even if things are taken down to the studs, there will be a lot of residual moisture that will need to be dried out. The water damage clean-up crew will follow typically drying methods to make sure that there is no moisture that will develop into mold. Many companies have an infrared moisture finder that will ensure that everything is completely dry. After the company is satisfied that everything is dry, they will start the repairs and restoring.