A sewage spill is a stressful event that any homeowner can deal with. However, it can destroy property and pose a health risk. Once it happens, it has to be dealt with immediately to avoid severe damage.
However, it would be better to understand how to handle sewage spills properly. Otherwise, it might be wise to hire experienced professionals in such activities. It’s advisable to weigh your ability to perform a thorough cleaning and hire professional cleaners if you’re not sure you can succeed.
Meanwhile, if you have a sewage spill issue and are wondering how to handle the situation, read along to learn.
1. Keep Your Family Safe
Whether hiring a water damage specialist or doing it yourself, you must take precautions to protect your family and immediately clean up your home. Significantly, you must evacuate children, the elderly, and pets and prevent them from accessing the house until you successfully resolve the issue.
In addition, it’s best to contact your utility provider and ask them to switch off your gas, electricity, and water supply. However, if the spillage is minor and doesn’t pose any significant threats, you can turn off the supply and proceed to handle the spill.
Once the supply is turned off, open the windows to allow fresh air in your home. Then remove dry items from the sewage before disinfecting it with chlorine bleach. This will prevent bacteria growth.
2. Practice Good Hygiene
Before beginning the clean-up procedure, it would be better to practice proper hygiene. Sewage contains harmful germs, bacteria, and viruses that can threaten your health. For maximum protection against disease-causing germs, wear rubber hand gloves, boots, a waterproof suit, a face mask, and goggles.
However, if you don’t have protective gear, wear a raincoat, jeans, gumboots, sunglasses, and gardening gloves. It’s also best to find something to cover your mouth and nose to prevent sewage splashes and drops from accessing your mouth and avoid inhaling bad odours.
To maximize protection even further, consider wearing a large plastic bag on top of the clothing. Additionally, it would be best to cover all the scrapes and cuts before embarking on this potentially hazardous activity.
Once you’re done cleaning, discard the protective gear or soak it in hot water, if necessary. Also, it’s best to avoid eating or drinking when handling sewage. Your food or drink can be easily contaminated and negatively affect your health.
3. Begin The Cleaning Process
Now that everyone is safe and you’re in proper protective gear, it’s time to begin the cleaning procedure. First, shut the doors between the affected area to avoid contaminating clean rooms and start removing the stagnant sewage.
If you’re dealing with a significant sewage spill, consider using a pump to get rid of sewage water. If the spill is minor, use a wet-dry vacuum with a suitable filtration device. Once you’re done removing the large part of sewage water, shovel debris into plastic bags and discard them.
Then, move valuables from the contaminated area and place them on a floor that can be easily sanitized. Consider throwing sewage-soaked items away since they can be challenging to disinfect. You may also uninstall saturated flooring, carpeting, wall panelling, and insulation and dispose of them ideally.
Clean the walls, floors, and other surfaces with hot water and disinfectant. Repeat the process with warm water and regular household detergents. Regarding cleaning the contaminated floor, consider using a brush and a mixture of water and chlorine bleach. Then rinse the floor with clean water.
4. Allow The Area To Dry
After cleaning your home, the next step will be drying it. Get rid of the excess water and allow the area to dry. If it’s sunny, you can save on energy costs by opening the doors and windows. Remember that you must air-dry your home within 48 hours to lower the chances of mould growth.
Check if there are any signs of mould on any surface, even those that didn’t get contaminated. If mould is present, take proper steps to kill it and disinfect the area. You can also contact a specialist to help fight mould since it can be challenging.
Handling a sewage spill is a complicated task, especially if you have no idea what to do. Nevertheless, you can successfully save the situation with the knowledge of handling such hazardous waste.
The above information has provided essential tips on handling sewage spills effectively. Remember, you must wash your hands with running water and soap after handling sewage to avoid contaminating other surfaces.
David Kinley is a professional home improvement expert specializing in water damage, flood restoration, and sewerage cleanup. He has been in this industry for over 15 years. When he’s not busy, he enjoys camping, cooking, and playing with his dogs.