Raw sewage can be very disgusting. It is disgusting. There is no other way. You probably don’t think about what you are looking at when you deal with raw sewage backup. The sewage backup cleanup process can be very unpleasant, regardless of whether your basement is finished or used for storage.
How to clean a basement sewer backup
Sewer backup cleanup is likely to be unpleasant. Not only is it messy, but sewage can also produce strong odors. You may also get sick from sewage. These steps will help you clean up a basement sewer backup.
1. Protect your pets and children
Keep your pets and children away from raw sewage backups if you have small children. This will prevent them from getting sick. Young children and toddlers should be supervised by an adult or an older child. Place pets in a kennel, pen, or cage and keep them away from sewage backup.
2. Use safety equipment
Safety equipment should be worn by anyone who is working with raw sewage. When cleaning up sewage backups, you want to keep as much skin as possible.
Rubber boots, rubber pants, rubber gloves, rubber waders and rubber pants are all good options for cleanup. To prevent sewage from getting into your ears, nose, or mouth, you should wear goggles, a face shield, or a ventilator.
All open wounds should be cleaned, disinfected, and bandaged immediately. Wash your hands, neck, wrists, and face well. Below is a complete list of safety equipment.
3. Get rid of your basement
It can be very overwhelming to smell raw sewage. To help with air circulation, open windows and vents in basement. To draw fresh air in from the above, fans can be placed at the top of stairs. You can also take frequent breaks if you are unable to ventilate your basement. This will ensure that the smell doesn’t cause you any health problems.
4. Get rid of raw sewage
A pump is the best tool to remove sewage backups. A pump will quickly clean up raw sewage and limit damage. A rental company can rent a pump if you don’t own one. You should always be on top of the pump when it is running. Solid waste can block the inlet, slowing down the cleanup.
You can also clean up sewage backups with a dry-wet vacuum. The biggest problem with a shop vacuum is its inability to quickly absorb sewage. You may have to empty the vacuum several times depending on how large the backup is before you can get rid of the sewage.
You can also use a mop or bucket to clean up sewage. This can be very time-consuming. This should be used only as a last resort, or while you wait for a restoration company arrive. You can use the mop to absorb the sewage, and then you can wring it out with the bucket. Continue this process until all sewage has been removed.
No matter what sewage backup cleaning method you use to clean up the area, do not pour anything down the drain. You could cause another backup. You should bag or dispose of it outside. You can then use your garden hose for removing sewage and breaking down solid waste.
5. Toss the damaged materials
After a sewer backup, it can be difficult to disinfect and clean carpeting, walls and cabinets. Anything contaminated by sewage should be disposed of immediately.
After a basement sewer backup, carpeting and padding will most likely need to be thrown away. Fabric furniture is the same. It’s not easy to clean the furniture’s exterior, but it is much easier to clean the interior.
You should also throw out any items that have been damaged by the sewage. This includes wall and cabinet damage, as well as paper products such as magazines, newspapers, and cardboard boxes. If in doubt, it is best to throw it away.
Place smaller items in heavy-duty bags. Then, cut the carpet into smaller pieces and roll it up. For pickup, move furniture and cabinets directly to a tree lawn.
6. Use soap to clean your basement
You can now clean your basement after most of the damage has been dealt with. Use a mild soap to clean your basement. Use a mop to clean non-carpeted floors. For all other surfaces, a sponge or rag can be used. Mix up a new batch of soap by dumping out any soap that makes suds.
7. Dry Your Basement
To prevent mold growth, dry your basement. Although regular house fans can dry your basement, high-volume fans and structural drying humidifiers will do the trick.
They are designed to dry your home faster than traditional fans. You can rent fans or dehumidifiers at most equipment rental businesses. Two to three fans and one humidifier are sufficient for small basements. You will need more equipment to dry larger basements.
To speed up drying, make sure to check the fans every hour and move them as necessary. Most homes can be dried in 12 to 24 hours. The greater the chance of mold and other odors, the longer your home takes to dry.
8. Clean Your Basement
You must disinfect your basement after drying it out. Use a cup bleach to 1 gallon of water, and then wipe down any sewage-contaminated areas. Spray bottles are better for large flat surfaces and walls. Allow the bleach to dry, then use the spray bottle again to ensure that the bacteria and mold are dead.
9. Rebuild if necessary
After disinfecting, remove any carpeting and other building materials. The extent of the damage and the amount sewage involved will affect the cost of renovations.
What are the health risks of cleaning up a sewer backup?
A sewer backup in your basement can pose a number of health risks. It’s difficult to talk about sewage without making it seem gross. However, it can contain anything you flush down your toilets or down your drains.
All of that waste can become a breeding ground to bacteria, viruses, and parasites that could make you very sick. You need to be careful when cleaning up all the sewage that has backed up into your home.
What safety equipment should you use for sewage backup clean-up?
- Rubber Boots and Waders – At the minimum, you should wear thick rubber boots that reach your knees. Rubber waders should cover your entire chest if possible.
- Pants – To prevent sewage from reaching your lower body, you should always wear pants. To protect your lower body, you can tuck your pants in your boots.
- Long Sleeves – Wear a shirt with long sleeves that covers your upper body. Wear something thicker or water-resistant.
- Long rubber gloves – Choose long rubber gloves that cover your wrists. To prevent sewage from reaching your skin, wear them over your long-sleeve shirt.
- Safety glasses or goggles – While safety glasses are acceptable, you should use goggles to protect your eyes from sewage splashing into them.
- Ventilator – Wear a ventilator that covers your nose and mouth. You should avoid cheap ventilators made of fabric and opt for one that has a hard exterior.
- Face Shield – While it is optional, you should also consider wearing a shield. This will give you additional protection against sewage.