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What To Do Immediately After A Sewage Backup

What To Do Immediately After A Sewage Backup

Sewage backups can sometimes be minor toilet backups, but other times they are significant and contaminate multiple areas of a building. No matter the size of the backup, sewage water is hazardous and needs to be dealt with carefully. A sewage backup damages anything the water touches, but the air in the affected area can also be contaminated, as bacteria and microbes can become airborne. This can extend the range of damage of a sewage backup and it can limit your ability to clean up while also making the affected area even more hazardous. If you have a sewage backup or a sewage spill, here is what you need to do to salvage the affected area and make the building as safe as possible.

What To Do After A Sewage Backup

Sewage water contains bacteria and microbes that are dangerous to health. While some healthy adults can remain near the affected area without serious repercussions, they should not stand close to the sewage backup. Anyone who may be more susceptible to illness needs to immediately evacuate the area. Children, seniors, and those who are immunocompromised or who have lung problems should vacate the area affected by the sewage backup and the surrounding areas. Ensure that pets are not in the affected area.

Shut Off Utilities
If the sewage backup is relatively minor and you can shut off utilities on your own, do this right away. It is only safe to shut off your utilities yourself if the electric panel and water main valve are safely above the water. If you need to go near the area affected by the sewage backup, make sure you are wearing a protective mask, high, good quality rubber boots, and rubber gloves. It is important to keep any sewage water off of your skin and out of your respiratory system. If the water has flooded the building, you also need to be aware of the potential that the water may be in contact with electrical outlets. If you suspect the water is covering outlets or if you suspect the sewage backup makes it unsafe for you to shut off your utilities, call your utility service providers to shut them off for you.

Call A Restoration Company
Making sure everyone is safe is your first priority, but you should call a restoration company shortly after. The sooner you call, the sooner professionals can come clean up the mess. Restoration professionals will handle everything and will tell you anything you need to know, so you can sit back and trust your building is in good hands.

Air Out The Area
Open any windows in the building to help ventilate the area. This will help to reduce the buildup of any potential noxious gasses or bacteria in the air. It will also help reduce the smell of sewage. If there are dry, uncontaminated items, you can take these away from the sewage backup area to ensure they don’t become contaminated.

Do Not Fix The Cause Of The Sewage Backup
Even if your sewage backup was caused by a clog, don’t try to fix it after a major sewage backup. The sewage water needs to be dealt with before the cause of the sewage backup can be addressed. What’s more, you shouldn’t be in the contaminated area or trying to get through the bacteria-ridden water in an attempt to fix the cause of the sewage backup.

Take Photos
Your insurance company will need photo evidence of the sewage backup and the damage it caused. Do this before anything is cleaned up and stay at a safe distance. You can also speak to your restoration company handling the sewage backup to ask them to take photos, as they will be in the thick of cleanup and may be able to get better photos. Restoration companies are also typically familiar with insurance company claims and may have information about what areas should have photos taken.

Call 24/7 Restoration If You Have A Sewage Backup

If your home or business has had a sewage backup, contact 24/7 Restoration. Restoration professionals can safely and effectively clean up all hazardous sewage water while ensuring that anyone in the building is following all safety precautions. At 24/7 Restoration in Calgary, our team of highly trained restoration professionals understand the dangers of sewage spills and are fully trained to deal with any sewage situation. We ensure that all potentially hazardous sewage spills are quickly contained and thoroughly cleaned. Our comprehensive sewage cleanup service will lower the risk of potential damage to your home or business, while also minimizing effects on your health and the environment. Call 24/7 Restoration any time, night or day, at 1-403-247-4365 or fill out the online contact form.


Q: Can I use bleach to clean up my sewage backup myself?
A: No. While bleach kills 99% of common household germs it DOES NOT remove or kill the contamination caused by black water. While bleach may clean the stains associated with a sewer backup the contamination left behind still pose significant health risks.

Q: Are there any ways to tell if a sewage backup is imminent?
A: If it’s a sudden backup from a clog, there is often no way to know. But if the backup is due to roots in the pipe, damage to pipes, or other slowly developing issues, there are often signs. Read Signs That Your Sewer Is In Danger Of Backing Up to learn more.

Q: What happens when I call 24/7 Restoration for sewage backup service?
A: We offer a 24-hour emergency line that will immediately connect you with one of our skilled and professional project managers. We will promptly inspect the damage while providing the education and clarity needed to help you now and in the future. Once we have made a plan together, our team of expert technicians and plumbers will get to work with care and diligence, repairing your current needs and safeguarding you from any potential future issues. When you choose to work with 24/7 Restoration for your Sewage Backup needs, you can expect:

  • A skilled, experienced, and IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified team
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • Daily monitoring for secondary issues such as mold buildup
  • A dedicated person on-call to answer any and all of your questions
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