Exploding pipes and significant leaks make sewage backups an unpleasant sight. It’s one of the worst plumbing problems any homeowner could face. If you suspect that your plumbing system is experiencing the dangers of sewage backup, you should know what you are dealing with and when to call for professional sewage backup cleanup to lessen the risks.
What Causes Sewage Backup?
There are plenty of reasons why sewage backup occurs – the most common are spillage from pipe bursts and poor pipe management.
Here are some of the most common reasons for sewage backup:
- tree root infiltration
- blockages due to improper flushing etiquette
- structural defects
- flooding in and under your home (causing sewage back up in the basement)
- broken pipes or leakage
- wet weather
- problems with planning sewage lines
If you are worried about your pipes, consider hiring a professional plumber to identify the exact cause of the problem.
How Dangerous Are Sewage Backups?
Sewage, or septic tank waste, is brown- to black-colored water that contains organic waste and wastewater from household and industrial sources. It contains all nasty things like human wastes and industrial effluent that goes through drains and sewer lines.
Regardless of the cause, sewage backup holds a plethora of risks associated with property damage and health.
Sewage Backups Can Spark A Fire
Sewage backup can potentially set your property on fire. Rising water levels like sewage backup in the basement, reaching any electrical outlets, extension cords, plugs, or gas-burning equipment can get a fire going. Since water can seep through your drains, it can reach your electrical system and cause serious injuries.
As a safety precaution, turn off your power upon noticing sewage backup. When doing so, equip yourself with rubber boots and stay on a dry surface, away from metal objects like pipes and ladders.
Get out of the building as soon as possible. If the water levels have already reached your electrical system, do not touch anything. To ensure maximum safety and avoid the risk of fire and electrocution, call a professional to handle the situation.
Property Damage Due To Sewage Backups
Property damage is the most extensive risk of sewage backup—the more you wait for professional sewage backup cleanup, the more it destroys your property.
It can be challenging to perform a sewage backup fix to decontaminate your belongings after sewage backups. You may need to completely dispose of these articles to secure your family’s health and safety.
For one, you cannot salvage mattresses, stuffed toys, leather goods, and paper products, as well as flooring and insulation affected by sewage backup in the basement, as they are rendered entirely unusable. You can still save things like washable fabrics and furniture, so long as you conduct intense disinfection with chlorine bleach, followed by thorough rinsing and drying.
If left untreated, bacteria and mold growth pose another risk from sewage backups. Harmful bacteria and mold could reach multiple floors at home, affecting your walls and other articles.
Sewage Contamination Puts Health At Risk
According to the National Resources Defense Council, about 2 million illnesses occur due to annual sewage contamination. The stagnant, dirty water contains bacteria, viruses, and parasites, along with toxic substances like fungi and pesticides, posing a severe threat to homeowners.
Furthermore, failure to call for an immediate sewage cleanup fix means you can come in contact with several disease-causing bacteria. Among them are:
- Escherichia coli (E. coli) – E. coli is commonly found within the human intestines. E. coli causes severe diarrhea, dehydration, vomiting, and abdominal cramping. They can be significantly harmful, mainly if found outside the system.
- Hepatitis A Virus – Hepatitis A is a contagious infection that directly affects the liver. Its symptoms include liver infection and liver failure, jaundice, and yellowish skin.
- Salmonella – Like E. Coli, Salmonella causes diarrhea and abdominal cramping.
- Leptospirosis – This bacterial disease causes vomiting and muscle soreness.
- Acanthamoeba – This microscopic amoeba causes eye, throat, ear, and nose infections.
- Heliobacter pylori – This bacterium often occurs in children and causes peptic ulcers.
Contacting these bacteria and viruses can lead to fatal consequences, especially if you have an unprotected open wound. The longer you are exposed to sewage water, the greater the health risk from sewage backups.
In some cases, sewer gas may also add severity to already-existing contaminants, where prolonged exposure causes loss of appetite, fatigue, and even poor memory.
In these situations, the best course of action is to call for experts who know how to clean after sewage backup with the necessary equipment, experience, and best practices.
What to Do After Sewage Backup
Conducting sewage backup cleanup is not an easy task. Given the significant health and safety risks associated with sewage exposure, it’s better to leave the dirty work to professionals for sewage cleanup.
Sewage exposure is a dangerous situation. Without the necessary equipment to stay safe and sickness-free, you may contract several diseases from DIY sewage backup fix – even from inhalation.
Also, you should seek help from reputable sewage backup cleanup companies as soon as possible to lessen the risks and dangers of sewage backup.
Call for Expert Sewage Cleanup Today
The dangers of sewage backups affect both your property and your health. With this, our reputable experts for water damage restoration in Omaha, NE, are equipped with the necessary tools and experience to handle sewage backups and get your property back in shape. For emergencies concerning sewage backups, COVID decontamination, as well as water, mold, and fire damages, call Deep Water Emergencies and Restoration Services today.