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The Hazards Of Sewage Backup

Sewage backup is a frequent concern for Phoenix, Arizona.  There are many contributing factors for sewage backup, including blockages, plant root invasions, and occasional heavy rainfall.  Whatever the case, the water must be removed quickly to prevent damage, and the entire area affected must be cleaned to prevent hazardous health conditions.

However, cleaning sewage requires more than a mop and bucket.  To prevent dangerous pathogens from running rampant in your basement after a sewage backup, it must be cleaned and fully disinfected.

How To Clean Sewage Backup In Basement

The first step to cleaning your basement after sewage backup is to ensure that the area is safe.  Gas leaks and electrical shorts are a very real danger if your basement has appliances powered by natural gas, such as a furnace unit or hot-water heater, or an electrical appliance such as a washing machine.

If any of these apply to your basement area, or if the sewage backup is likely to reach an electrical outlet near floor level, contact your utility companies to pause service until the problem can be repaired.

After you are confident that the basement is safe, make sure you are safe by using disposable gloves, goggles, and dust mask.  Now proceed to the following steps.

  • Remove The Water – Small areas of wastewater can be removed with a wet/dry vacuum.  Larger areas of water may require a pump to remove effectively.
  • Discard Ruined Items – Items that cannot be cleaned and used again include cosmetics, paper products, books, magazines, toys, rugs, and carpeting.  These must be thrown away for health and safety issues.
  • Remove Cleanable Items – Furniture, clothing, canned goods, and appliances can be cleaned and used again, but they should be removed until both they and the basement are cleaned.
  • If sludge and grime remain on the walls of your basement, use fresh water from a garden hose with a spray attachment to wash it down to the floor.  If necessary, use the wet/dry vacuum or pump again to remove the water.
  • Use a disinfectant solution (such as water and bleach) to clean walls.  Ensure that you follow all safety instructions on the cleaning label.  Use scrub brushes, scratch pads, and rags as applicable.  Change your cleaning water frequently during the process.
  • Wash walls again with clean soap and water and fresh rags, brushes, and scratch pads.
  • Clean any solid waste on the floor with a broom and dustpan.
  • Scrub the floor with a disinfectant solution of a half-cup of bleach and gallon of water and a floor-scrubbing brush.  Remember again to change your water frequently.
  • Use a fresh mop to clean the floor again using anti-bacterial detergent.  Read all labels carefully to ensure that there are no hazardous reactions possible when mixed with the bleach that is already on your floor.
  • Use fans and dehumidifiers to help the area dry, and clean any items before they are placed back in the basement.

Once you have completed the cleaning process, it may be prudent to take a shower with anti-bacterial soap to ensure that you do not further spread bacteria, but you must at least wash your hands, forearms, and elbows.

It may further be prudent to contact your utility companies to inspect your appliances before restoring power and gas to your basement.

When To Contact The Professionals

There are many reasons that you might want to contact a professional cleaning and sanitation service to deal with the situation, such as:

  • The sewage backup is too large to clean effectively.
  • You have a compromised immune system that prevents you from doing it yourself.
  • You are elderly, disabled, or in poor health.
  • You have a weak stomach or excessive intolerance to the smell of sewage.

Also, remember that raw sewage is an extremely hazardous material, so the best time to contact a professional sanitation service is… always.

If you require the services of a decontamination and sanitation service in the Phoenix, Arizona area, contact BioTeamAZ today – and get the job done right.

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