Sewage can be a nuisance and a hazard. It can be difficult to clean up a backup in your crawlspace. It can cause mold, bacteria, or structural damage. This guide will help you clean up any sewage from your crawl space. This guide will provide tips and information on how to stay safe as well as the crawl space sewage cleanup procedure.
How Sewage Spills Can Occur in a Crawl Space
There are only two possible ways that sewage can leak into your crawl space, except in exceptional circumstances.
- Sewage Backup A sewage backup could cause damage to your crawl space if the sewer line is blocked. The sewage will then back up into your crawl space and fill the pipe.
- Drain pipe Leak – If a drain pipe is damaged, sewage can back up in your crawl space. This is a less common problem, but it can still be an issue for older homes. Instead of draining away from your home the sewage will build up in your crawl space.
Are Sewage in My Crawl Spaces Dangerous?
Sewage is the water that comes out of your home. It can contain some unpleasant things. These are some of the risks associated with a sewage backup:
- Sewage smells – The foul odor of sewage can overwhelm and even make you sick.
- Bacteria – It can also be a breeding ground of bacteria and other contaminants, which can cause a wide range of illnesses and diseases.
- Mold– Mold can also be found in sewage. This can cause allergic reactions or other illnesses as well as damage to your house.
- Structural damage – Most sewage can cause structural problems in your home.
How to clean up sewage in your crawl space
These steps will help you clean up sewage, no matter if you hire a company to do it.
- Get rid of the Sewage Using a submersible pump, remove the sewage. You can also use a shop vacuum. For easier cleaning, floor squeegees can be used to collect solid material.
- Inspect Damaged Materials – If you have used crawl space as storage, or if there are appliances within the area, check for signs of damage. Use heavy-duty plastic bags to dispose of any items. Other items can be left aside for cleaning or disinfection.
- Dry the Area Use high-volume fans or dehumidifiers in order to quickly dry the affected area. This reduces the chance of mold growth and structural damage. Rent equipment at your local rental agency for the best results.
- Clean the Area – Clean out your crawl space to get rid of any sewage, dirt, or other debris. If possible, use mold-removing products or scrub the surface with warm water and soap. Let the area dry completely before you move on to the next step.
- Use bleach to kill bacteria and mold. Use 1/4 cup to 1 gallon of bleach. You can wipe the surface with a rag but it is much easier to use a spray bottle.
- Use To Remove Smells – The smells can last for days, or even weeks. As much air as possible is allowed to circulate the area. Fans can be used to draw in fresh air. Sprinkle baking soda all over the area, and let it sit for at least one night before vacuuming it up.
- Replace or Repair Damaged Items – Make repairs to any structural supports or appliances within your crawl space. The extent of the damage will determine how long it takes to complete.
Tips for Staying Safe during Crawl Space Sewage Cleaning
Although you can do the job yourself, it is recommend to follow these tips to ensure your safety.
- Wear protective equipment – Wear thick boots, long sleeves, long rubber gloves and goggles. Consider wearing rubber waders or a face shield.
- Clean and Bandage all Wounds Immediately disinfect and bandage any wounds, regardless of how minor. To prevent infection, make sure that the wound is fully covered with a waterproof bandage.
- Use a Barrier – Because of the tight space, you’ll need to crawl or crouch in the crawl space. You can use a tarp, or plastic sheeting to block sewage from getting into your crawl space.
- Take frequent breaks – To avoid being overwhelmed by the stench of sewage, take frequent breaks. You can take a 5-minute break after each half hour of work, or whenever you feel overwhelmed by the sewage smell.