What to Do After a Sewer Overflow

frustrated woman on couch

Sewer overflows are one of the most stressful experiences a homeowner can endure. Not only is sewer overflow destructive to the home, but it can also be harmful to you and your loved ones’ health. Sewage consists of bacteria, toxic materials, viruses, and more. If an overflow occurs, these contaminants are spread throughout your home and can be pretty tricky to remove without professional help.

Although sewer overflows are murky waters to navigate, we’re here to help by walking you through the essential steps to follow afterward. Keep reading to learn more about the steps to restoring your home after an overflow.

What is a Sewer Overflow?

It’s important to understand that your home has both incoming water lines and outgoing sewer lines. The sewer lines’ purpose is to move used water from your bathtub, washing machine, toilets, showers, and sinks away from the home. When the sewer or wastewater line is blocked or damaged, water begins to flow back towards the home. This opens the door to contamination and water damage in your house.

Next Steps

When sewage is overflowing into your home, time is truly of the essence. You’ll want to act fast, as taking action quickly can prevent further damage and the spread of contamination. The second you notice sewage overflowing, evacuate seniors, children, and pets immediately. Wastewater is filled with harmful bacteria that will need to be removed from the home before their return.

Time to suit up! Grab your safety gear, including heavy-duty gloves, goggles, boots, and a face mask. Ensure all skin is covered to avoid contact with the waste. First, you’ll need to shut off any water flowing through your home’s drains (only if the water valve is safely above water). As long as the electrical panel is far from the wastewater, turn off your home’s electricity to prevent an electrical hazard⁠—water and outlets are never a good mix!

Then, you’ll want to open as many windows and doors as possible to ventilate the area thoroughly. It’s crucial to dry out the area 24-48 hours after the incident to prevent mold and mildew growth. Remove any dry, uncontaminated items to minimize damage. Make sure to take photos of the sewage spill, damaged items, and affected areas in the home for your insurance provider.

After proper precautions have been taken, it’s time for cleanup. Professional sewer overflow services are strongly recommended, as inexperienced sewage cleanup can be hazardous and lack sanitization. After experiencing a stressful overflow in your home, you’ll want complete peace of mind that your home is 100% safe for you and your family. That’s why we offer comprehensive wastewater removal, sanitization, and restoration services.

Common Causes of Sewer Overflows

No homeowner imagines their property falling victim to a sewage overflow, but they’re all too common. While there are general steps homeowners can take to prevent this headache, there are also a few instances that can unfortunately not be avoided, such as:

  • Floods: Floodwaters can overwhelm local sewage systems. Drainage from the storm can merge with the sewage system, slowing down the water flow, making it possible for wastewater to back up into the home.
  • Clogs: While you may be taking every precaution to avoid clogs in your home’s plumbing system, the city sewage system is just as susceptible to clogs, and out of your control. While this isn’t always common, it does occur. If you suspect a clog in the city drain line, contact your city’s water department to report the issue.
  • Soil settling: When heavy rains occur, soil supporting the local drainage lines can wash away, leaving little support for the drain lines and can lead them to collapse. This can also lead to an unpreventable sewer backup into your home.

Sewer Overflow Cleanup in Renton

Let our team help you restore your beloved home after a sewage overflow. Advanced Water Restoration will utilize state-of-the-art tools and practices to restore your home and its comfort levels. Give us a call at (206) 823-2252 or complete our contact form to speak with a team member.

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