Sewage Cleanup >> How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups

Occasionally a blockage in a sewer line will result in a backup of sanitary sewage into a private home. If you experience a backup, immediately contact your city's public works department. The following information will answer the basic questions about what to do if you experience a backup and How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups how to begin cleaning. 

INSURANCE The city is not automatically responsible when a sewer backup occurs. There are many reasons for backups which the city cannot control. For example, How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups people dumping inappropriate items such as grease or diapers into the system can create a blockage. Tree roots can grow into and obstruct the lines. 

Generally, the city is responsible only if it was negligent in maintaining the main sewer lines. Sometimes, How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups your homeowners' insurance will pay for sewer backups.Not all policies have the coverage and you should check with your agent. If you feel damage occurred as a direct result of the city's negligence, you can file an insurance claim by calling the city. 

CLEANUP For large clean ups, you should call a cleaning service. Your insurance carrier might have suggestions on which service to use or you can look in the Yellow Pages. For smaller backups you can clean yourself, How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups use a solution of two tablespoons chlorine bleach in one gallon of water. To reduce health hazards, thoroughly clean the areas affected by the backup as soon as possible. 

The Minnesota Department of Health suggests the following: Use outside air to dry your home. Open windows and doors and use an exhaust fan to remove moist air from the house. If available, How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups use a room de‐humidifier. Empty it often. If your basement is flooded, pump the water in stages—about one‐third per day. 

Make sure the level of flood water outside is below the level of the basement floor. If not, How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups do not pump the basement all at once because the saturated soil could cause the basement walls to collapse. Wear a mask to prevent inhaling contaminated dust, especially if you have allergies. Consult your physician if you have questions.  

Open, clean, decontaminate and thoroughly dry cavities in walls,floors and ceilings. Release any water or mud that has been trapped in walls, ceilings or floor cavities. Allow walls to dry from the inside out. Remove moisture and How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups debris from all surfaces and get surface materials dry within 24—48 hours. Remove all interior wall finishing materials and insulation.  

Throw out any wet insulation,moist plaster, wallboard and paneling. If you think you might have materials containing asbestos in your home, call the Minnesota Department of Heal that. If any materials are still wet or moist after 24—48 hours, How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups you should assume they have mold growing on them.   

Throw out any opened food or packaged foods that are not waterproof. Commercially canned foods can be salvaged if the labels are removed and the cans thoroughly washed. The cans should be disinfected by wiping the entire surface with a laundry bleach and water mixture and rinsed in clear water. Home‐canned foods require additional care. 

After the jars containing home‐canned foods have been washed and disinfected,the jars should be boiled for 10 minutes before using. CLOTHING/HOUSEHOLD Line‐dry all articles before attempting to clean or treat them. After drying, brush off loose dirt and debris. Send "Dry clean only” items to a professional cleaner.  

Wash clothes several times in cold water. Add up to a cup of bleach per load of wash if it will not harm the clothing. Rinse and dry all items How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups as soon as possible Throw out mattresses and pillows. WET CARPETING Pull up waterlogged carpet immediately to prevent further floor damage. Carpet pads cannot be saved. Remove the pads and throw them away.  

Attempt to save carpets or How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups throw rugs only if they would be very expensive to replace. Clean and dry your floors thoroughly before re-carpeting. WET FLOORS OF HARDWOOD Remove all moisture or debris. Scrub floors and woodwork within 48 hours using a stiff brush, water, detergent and disinfectant. Allow all wood to dry thoroughly. 

WET FURNITURE Discard upholstered furniture if it has been exposed to water or contaminated material. Clean, rinse and How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups disinfect wood furniture. Place wood furniture outside in a shady area so it will dry slowly. WET APPLIANCES If your hot water heater became wet due to flooding, it should be discarded. 

The insulation typically can't be replaced and the burner or heating element might become damaged and How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups could cause an explosion or How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups fire if used. If in doubt consult a service professional before using. RECORD KEEPING Take pictures of damage for your records. Keep all receipts for all work done. Write a description of the extent of damage.  

Record date and time of occurrence and note which sewer areas surcharged— floor drain, lower level toilet, laundry tub and the like. HELP PREVENT BACKUPS The following items should be disposed of in your trash can, How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups NOT in the sanitary sewer system: Diapers Sanitary napkins Paper towels Cooking grease Food (do NOT use the disposal for all food items)  

Garage waste products such as oil, grease, gasoline and antifreeze REMINDER Property owners are responsible for the maintenance, repair and How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups cleaning of the service line from the house to the city main line. At the request of Chief Veterinarian/Operations Manager, Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH).

Bureau of Environmental Health (BEH) provided assistance and consultation regarding indoor air quality (IAQ) concerns at the MGC office, How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups located at Raynham Park, 1958 Broadway, Raynham, Massachusetts. Reports of musty odors and concerns about possible mold growth from water-damaged carpeting prompted the assessment. 

On February 22, 2013, How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups a visit was made to the MGC office by Environmental Analyst/Regional Inspector in BEH's IAQ Program. Mr. Holmes was accompanied by, Maintenance Supervisor and during the assessment. The MGC office is an interior room located on the ground floor of Raynham Park, a simulcasting racing center and gaming facility. 

The MGC office consists of painted gypsum wallboard (GW), How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups a suspended ceiling and commercial grade wall-to-wall carpeting with no padding. This office does not have windows. MDPH staff performed a visual inspection of building materials for water damage and/or microbial growth. Moisture content of porous building materials (carpeting, GW) was measured with a Delmhorst, BD-2000 Model, Moisture Detector equipped with a Delmhorst Standard Probe. 

In order for building materials to support mold growth, How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups a source of water exposure is necessary. Repeated water damage to porous building materials (GW, ceiling tiles, carpeting) can result in microbial growth. The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) recommend that porous materials be dried with fans and heating within 24 to 48 hours of becoming wet (US EPA, 2001; ACGIH, 1989). 

If not dried within this time frame, mold growth may occur. Once mold has colonized porous materials, How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups they are difficult to clean and should be removed. It was reported that the office occupant noticed a musty odor and wet carpeting on February 11, 2013. The likely source of moisture, as described by Mr. Clifford, was melting snow from the blizzard of 2013 (February 8 and 9) that was plowed against the exterior of the building in this area. 

At the time of the BEH/IAQ site visit on February 22, How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups moisture measurements showed that the carpeting beneath file cabinets remained wet (Table 1). No elevated moisture measurements were detected in other areas of carpeting or GW (Table 1). However, the carpet throughout the office appeared to be past its useful lifespan, with some areas observed to be damaged, worn or soiled. 

Since the average lifespan of a carpet is approximately eleven years (Bishop, 2002), How To Clean Up After Sewage Backups at the time of assessment BEH/IAQ staff recommended removal of the carpet. In subsequent correspondence with Ms. Lightbown, she reported that the carpeting had been removed, the floor had been cleaned and disinfected and that new flooring will consist of tiles for ease of cleaning.

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