Residential flooding is more than a mere inconvenience. This is especially true when this water is the result of a sewage backup. Rather than attempting to identify and resolve the underlying problem yourself, you need to take immediate action to protect all residents and pets. These events can introduce a vast range dangerous microorganisms into your abode. They can also set the stage for pervasive mold and mildew growth. If you’re careful to take the five, following steps, however, you can minimize your losses and limit property damages.
1. Turn Off The Power Supply
Standing bodies of water and active electricity are a recipe for disaster. As such, you’ll want to turn off the power immediately after a backup or other flood event has occurred. Once all standing bodies of water have been extracted, you can safely turn the utilities back on. If you’re unable to access a shutoff valve due to standing water, physical obstructions, or other issues, reach out to your utility services provider instead. This company will dispatch a technician who can come in and shut the electricity off on your behalf.
2. Clean Yourself, Your Pets, And Any Other People Within The Vicinity
Don’t waste any time getting out of your wet clothes. If you’ve gotten raw sewage on your pants, your socks, or your shoes, take these items off immediately and wash your skin with warm, soapy water. You also want to do the same for any cats or dogs that were in the are when the backup occurred. The water that enters your home during a sewage backup is known as black water. This is the most toxic type of water that people can encounter. If it gets into an open cut, in the eyes, or near the mouth, serious infections can ensue. Keep in mind, however, that until you identify the source of your plumbing problem, you’ll want to avoid taking baths and showers in your own home. You should also turn off all running water to avoid overwhelming your drains.
3. Take Photos
Although it’s going to take time to restore a sense of normalcy to your home, getting clean and making sure that everyone is okay will definitely put you on the right track. The next step in these efforts is to start documenting the damages that have occurred. Without re-exposing yourself to the flood waters, take a minute to snap several photos of the affected area. Your insurer may need to refer to these images when processing your claim, especially if any high-value items have been damaged as the result of this event.
4. Contact Your Insurance Company
These events should be reported to your insurance company right away. You should also note that your provider will likely have a number of specific steps for you to take in order to mitigate damages and get the water damage remediation process underway. With most policies, homeowners are able to get advance payments on their claim monies. These are funds that they can use to secure alternative lodging when their properties have been rendered temporarily uninhabitable. They’ll also cover all reasonable dining costs until it’s again possible to prepare food at home.
5. Clear A Path For Your Restoration Company
There are several things that your water damage restoration company will need you to do in order to help them expedite their work. Foremost among these is making sure that the utilities have been shut off. The second is to create a clear path that they can use to both enter the home and bring their equipment with them. You’ll want to free up any parking spaces that are adjacent to the building structure. You should additionally move any toys, patio furnishings, or other items that will prevent them from safely carrying their extraction and drying equipment into the unit.
A sewage back up has the potential to disrupt your entire life. After these events, homeowners have approximately 48 hours to have their properties dried, disinfected and deodorized before issues with mold and mildew rear their heads. Fortunately, there’s a lot that you can do to ensure that all building residents are safe, and that licensed restoration companies have the best ability to enter the unit and start putting things aright.