Sewage backup can do considerable damage to your property, your possessions, and in worst cases, your health. Sewage is an entirely different problem from a standard water leak. If you see that a sewage backup has affected your home or business, don’t hesitate: call the professionals right away.
The first thing you should know about sewage backups is that the water that comes out is not safe. Touching the water in any way poses a risk. Sewage is full of human waste and the germs that go with it. Depending on your sewage system, it may also be full of strong chemicals from a sump pump or septic tank. This mixture can be very hard on your skin. It can be dangerous to get any of your mucous membranes (eyes, mouth, nose), or in any small cuts or scrapes on your skin. You shouldn’t try to clean sewage backups yourself. Professionals have the equipment necessary to safely clean these hazards.
Anything that a sewage backup has touched is contaminated. You will have to work with a professional to determine what can be safely sanitized and what should be tossed. With regular, clean water damage, the majority of items with water damage can be repaired. This is unfortunately not the case with sewage backups, and you may have to part with items.
Germs are the cause of all the breakdown that happens to items exposed to sewage. Germs feast and the destruction in their wake is decay. The high prevalence of germs in sewage causes advanced decay quickly. Sewage backups can cause advanced damage to other areas around them. The floor around a toilet may be more decayed than average. Even passing contact with sewage can promote decay.
Damage to Fixtures
A forceful backup can even affect your fixtures. Sewage disposal systems actively use pressure to flush away sewage; when that pressurized system backs up, it can lead to dramatic displays. The pressure can also cause internal damage to important parts of your sewer system. This is especially true if your sewage system relies on a sump pump and/or a septic tank. Consequently, working against their design does damage.
How to Avoid Sewage Backups
Performing regularly scheduled maintenance is the best way to protect your septic system. You should also treat any blockages or sluggishness with care. Call a professional if you suspect a sewer line is clogged; flushing repeatedly is only likely to compound the problem! Also, be sure to only dispose of sewage in your sewage line, as clogs are most often caused by inappropriate materials in the pipes.
Sewage backups are a hassle. They put your health at risk and contaminate everything they touch. Clogs cause sewage backups, then sewage backups cause damage to your property. Keep your sewer lines clear with regular maintenance and avoid the difficulties of sewage backup!