3 Critical Steps to Take After a Sewage Backup

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A sewage backup can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your property and belongings. If left unresolved, it can even result in serious health problems.

If you experience a sewage backup in your home or business, swift action is essential for minimizing damage and protecting your health.

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Here are the three most urgent and important steps to take following a sewage backup.

Step One: Protect Yourself

Sewage contains viruses, bacteria, and other germs that can cause illness and disease. The health risks associated with a sewage backup depend on the amount of sewage involved, how long it stays in contact with the materials in your home or business, and for how long and in what way you were exposed to the sewage. 

Here’s how to protect your health and safety:

• As soon as a backup occurs, get pets and children as far away from the affected area as possible.

• Turn off the power if the backup resulted in standing water or if there’s a possibility that the water or wet materials will come into contact with electrical wires.

• Turn off your furnace or air conditioner and try to keep the sewage away from the vents and returns.

• Wear rubber gloves when you’re in the vicinity of the backup, and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water after handling any affected materials.

Step Two: Call Your Homeowner’s Insurance Carrier

Call your insurance company once a sewage backup has been identified to determine whether your policy covers the cleanup and restoration. While not included in typical coverage (many insurers do not cover under backup damage under a standard homeowner’s insurance policy or with flood insurance.), sewage backup insurance is typically offered for $50 per year.

Additionally, your policy may include Loss of Use coverage, which will reimburse you for living expenses like lodging and food in the event your home is uninhabitable and you need to move out until cleanup is complete.

Before cleanup begins, it is crucial to take photographs to document the extent of the flooding and damage.

Step Three: Clean Up the Damage

If your insurance policy will pay for cleanup, that’s great! If your policy doesn’t cover cleanup, you will have to pay for the services out of pocket or do the cleanup job yourself. Regardless, we suggest calling the specialists at Bell Plumbing and Heating for emergency sewer repair and cleanup.

Three major reasons hiring a professional is essential:

• The damage is more extensive or more complicated than you can handle alone.

• The sewage has been standing in your home or business for more than 24 hours.

• The sewage has contaminated your HVAC ductwork.

If none of the above apply and you plan to do the cleanup yourself, consider hiring Bell Plumbing and Heating in Denver to conduct an initial assessment. They can evaluate the extent of the damage and provide you with a strategy to follow for cleaning up the damage and restoring your home or business. 

Cleanup and restoration will require:

• Removing standing water with a wet-vacuum.

• Removing wet carpet, wall board, and dropped ceilings as well as disposing of or restoring soaked belongings.

• Thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces, including plumbing fixtures.

• Replacing damaged building materials such as wallboard, flooring, and ceilings.

• Cleaning affected ductwork, which typically requires professional assistance.

• Thoroughly drying all water damage within 48 hours to prevent mold growth. 

What to Look For When Hiring a Sewage Backup & Water Damage Restoration Company

When hiring a water damage restoration professional to clean up after a sewage backup, experience and certification are essential for ensuring the job is done quickly and according to best-practices guidelines as set forth in the Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration, published by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC.)

Why Denver’s Bell Plumbing and Heating is Your Best Bet for Cleanup After a Sewage Backup

A sewage backup is serious business due to the health risks involved, and your peace of mind is just as important as a swift and thorough cleanup job. When a Bell Plumbing and Heating professional does the work, you can rest assured your home will be completely safe and blissfully back to normal once we finish the job.

Bell Plumbing & Heating has been providing customers with plumbing and heating services since 1926, but that’s not all we do today. We also offer kitchen and bathroom remodeling services (we’ve been remodeling kitchens and bathrooms for over 50 years now), drain and sewer line services, and electrical repairs and installations.

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