Homeowners facing water damage in Sterling, VA, know how it disrupts every aspect of family life, including work, school, and play. More extensive water damage in a Sterling, VA, home may require the home or business to be evacuated for days or weeks, depending on the degree of restoration and repair that is needed to return the site to its pre-disaster condition.
A homeowner may attempt to manage a minor water damage incident with a shop vac and several fans in an effort to return life to normal as soon as possible. However, this effort is ineffective. A complete restoration of the damaged area requires specialized training, the best equipment, and advanced moisture-detecting technology.
Moisture may be left deep in the carpet and padding. Water under furniture may go unnoticed, lingering for days and breeding mold. Drywall and baseboards may end up being permanently damaged from remaining moisture. Immediate treatment by professionals with industry-standard equipment can save drywall and baseboards from needing to be replaced. Moisture in the insulation under the floor and water in the ductwork may be overlooked, creating an excellent habitat for the propagation of mold. When the water damage involves sewage, the hazard level of the incident is significantly elevated.
Blackwater is wastewater from toilets, and this contaminated water likely contains pathogens. Blackwater can contain feces, urine, water, or toilet paper from flush toilets. Gray water comes from sinks, baths, washing machines, and other kitchen appliances, but it does not contain human waste. Gray water results from washing food, clothing, and dishes, as well as from showering or bathing. This class of water is not drinkable and may contain pathogens, small amounts of human waste, and bathroom disinfectants and cleaners that can cause serious reactions, illness, or death.
Tips for Dealing With Sewage Spills
- Wear protective clothing, including boots, rubber gloves, eye protection, a mask or respirator, and a long sleeve shirt and long pants.
- Do not allow the skin or the eyes to come in contact with raw sewage. If clothing becomes saturated with raw sewage, then raw sewage is contaminating the skin.
- Do not allow open wounds, cuts, or sores to come in contact with raw sewage.
- Do not track blackwater throughout the house. Doing so will greatly expand the cleanup zone, increasing the total cost of cleanup.
- Avoid breathing in harmful fumes from a sewage spill or backflow. A commercial respirator used for pest control is recommended if exposure to blackwater in a confined area such as a basement is unavoidable.
- Handle soiled clothes, gloves, rags, boots, and tools with great care. A sewage spill is a biohazard cleanup. Cross-contamination will be all but impossible to prevent.
- A sewage cleanup is not a DIY project. The homeowner is not aware of best practices and techniques and does not have the tools, equipment, or cleaners to sanitize the area thoroughly.
Basement Flood Alert and Sewage Contamination
Beware of blackwater contamination if dealing with a basement flood. If the basement has a toilet, then contamination may have occurred from the toilet. If the water is very deep and covers the toilet, assume the basement flood waters are contaminated. If the basement flooded from a supply line leak or a burst pipe, the danger may not be as great. If the basement flooding is from an external flood caused by heavy rain, a flooded river, or a drainage system overflow, then proceed with the same caution as with blackwater. Floodwaters are so dangerous because they are full of pathogens. The external floodwaters may contain toxic chemicals from a nearby factory or from area homes with closets and sheds full of pesticides, herbicides, fuels, and other poisons.
The situation calls for intervention by trained water restoration professionals who apply EPA registered disinfectants to the damaged areas and employ proven cleaning procedures, which may also include the abatement of select non-restorable structures according to industry standards. Count on the experts to eliminate disease-causing pathogens, which can present serious health risks.
For more information about sewage cleanup and water damage restoration, visit the PuroClean Emergency Restoration Services of Sterling, VA, at www.puroclean.com/sterling-va-puroclean-emergency-restoration-services/. Contact the office by phone at (703) 579-8912.