My Sewer Backed Up – Can I Clean it Myself?

water damage caused by a backed up sewer in Scripps Ranch

Your sewer backed up through one of your drains and is damaging your floor. Instead of calling in a cleanup crew, is it safe – or even a good idea – for you to clean up on your own?

The simple answer to this question is no. Home and business owners are not equipped with the necessary tools and expertise to handle a sewer backup repair or cleanup. Sewage has all kinds of nasty things in it including toxins and hazardous waste, which can cause serious health implications if you don’t have the proper gear.

If your sewer backs up in your house, don’t waste a second. Call your local sewage cleanup and sewer backup repair company. The health and safety of your family or employees depends on it.

Don’t expose yourself to sewage

It’s not safe to even be in the area where the backup occurred. Water that comes out of a sewer system is a hazardous health situation! Black water (also known as category 3) can contain toxigenic and pathogenic compounds as well as other harmful items that could cause your family significant distress.

Backed up sewer water is full of viruses

The IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) indicates that there are 120+ viruses that can be found in feces and urine alone. This is only a portion of what is found in the sewage system. Some of the more common and dangerous pathogens include:

  • Rotavirus – causing severe and potentially life-threatening diarrhea in children
  • Adenoviruses – causing respiratory and eye infections
  • Norovirus – causing gastric flu or stomach flu.
  • Giardia and Cryptosporidium – causing chronic and severe intestinal diseases in both children and adults.
  • Salmonella, Shigella and Escherichia coli – Endotoxins causing respiratory inflammation, airway restriction, and central nervous system issues.

You can’t treat sewage with bleach alone

Many people believe that the answer to a sewage backup is the same as any other bacterial issue – just throw bleach at it. The bleach may get rid of the stains associated with sewer backups, but it doesn’t’ get rid of the contaminants in black water. These are not the common household germs that bleach is known for killing.

These are far more dangerous and resistant strains that need to be professionally dealt with. In fact, we have been called in on cases where the original cleanup was done with a heavy dosage of bleach and we still found high levels of contamination throughout the treated area. Bleach won’t do the trick, only a professional remediation will.

Give us a call ASAP for your immediate sewage cleanup needs, or visit our sewage cleanup page to learn more.