Brooklyn Iowa

Facts About a Sewer Back Up

What should I do if sewage is backing up into my home?

Do not run any water down your drains until the blockage has been cleared.
Avoid skin contact with sewer water - especially open cuts and sores.
Wash hands frequently, following contact with sewer water or contaminated objects / surfaces.
To reduce the danger of electrocution, do not enter the basement if it is flooded.
Turn off your HVAC system.
Call a plumber.
Take before and after photos of the affected area.
Call an experienced restoration company for clean up and removal of affected surfaces.
Report a claim to your homeowner's insurance carrier.

If you decide to cleanup the affected area yourself, keep in mind these helpful tips:

Discard any contaminated objects that cannot be washed or laundered.

The humidity in the damaged area should be lowered by opening up the house and removing standing wastewater with a mop, wet vac or squeegee.  Interior closets and cabinet doors should be opened to allow air circulation.

Fans, dehumidifiers and window air conditioners can be used to circulate the air, but whole house air conditioners or furnace blowers should be used only if the air ducts were not impacted by standing wastewater.

Wash contaminated surfaces and objects with warm (not hot), soapy water and disinfect with a bleach and water solution made of no more than 1 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water.  For items that would be damage by bleach, use a home or laundry disinfectant.

Scrub and wash all objects in the affected area of your home, including exposed clothing.  Again use warm not hot water.

How can I prevent a sewer back up?

Dispose of grease and fats with your trash - not down the drain!

Never flush disposable diapers, sanitary napkins or paper towels.

Check your trees - roots from trees can be blocking your sewer laterals.

Consider installing a "back flow valve" on the lowest drain.


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