Sewage Damage And Cleanup Challenges In California

By Jaimie Nissan

Sewer backups are a serious problem when they occur in your California business or home. Regardless of the cause, the water that enters or reenters your building is contaminated, requiring professional management for health and safety of individuals and the integrity of your building’s structure. Damage from a malfunctioning sewer is a tricky cleanup task, inappropriate for a do it yourself effort or a general cleaning company.

Water and waste backup in your sewer due to several common reasons:

•    Antiquated sewer lines — both from home to the street and the public main
•    Blockages due to tree roots or poor decisions about disposal of substances through the drains
•    Combined systems where waste pipes share the load of stormwater runoff
•    Saturated ground seeping water through foundations

The fluids that bubble up from the sewer drain and into your lowest level are black water, highly hazardous and likely to contain infectious waste. Human urine, feces, blood and bodily fluid-borne pathogens may be present. If overloaded stormwater drains contribute to the inflow add in the possibilities of animal waste and carcasses, fertilizers and road chemicals to the mix.

This type of contamination needs removal by certified professionals, and to be done fast to avoid secondary damage to floors, floor coverings, mechanical systems and appliances, and personal belongings. Truck mounted containment tanks are preferable and powerful, industrial grade pumps and extractors do the initial clearing of water. The tanks of contaminated water must be disposed of according to local California codes. Licensed and certified water damage restoration companies know the routine and are familiar with the regulations.

Cleaning with appropriate disinfectants and antimicrobials follows the removal of the dirty water. This needs to be completed swiftly, within 24 to 48 hours, the window open for abatement before mold growth and disintegration of building materials takes hold. Moisture level measurement is crucial to find even hidden pockets of water, and drying targets become attainable when air movers and dehumidifiers assist. Highly qualified technicians provide the best workforce for these goals, trained in the industry’s standards.

Once you arrange for remediation of the damage from the backup the cause must be eliminated to avoid future flooding of your lower levels with potentially harmful substances. Seek a California certified and licensed restoration company that works with you, your insurance and any additional contractors you need to hire to return your building to the pre-sewage backup condition.


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