It's a homeowner's worst nightmare: walking down your basement steps to find a sewage backup. Not only can the odor be nauseating, but the potential damage to your home and personal belongings can be devastating as well. By knowing what steps to take in those crucial moments after you make the discovery (in addition to which mistakes to avoid), you'll be able to handle a sewage backup in your home.
DO Shut Off HVAC System
The first thing you'll want to do as soon as the backup is discovered is to shut off your home's HVAC system. This is especially important if you have central heating and cooling in your home. By shutting off your HVAC completely, you can prevent sewage flow from reaching your home's floor vents, which is an absolute must. After all, sewage contains harmful gases, including carbon monoxide, that can be not only unpleasant but downright dangerous to breathe in. It's also recommended that you temporarily close your home's air registers to prevent circulation of these gases until the problem is resolved.
DO Keep Children and Pets Away
If there are any pets or small children in your home, make sure to keep them away from the sewage. This may mean putting up a barrier to keep pets from going into your basement or simply closing a door located at the top of the stairs. Furthermore, if there are other adults in the home, make sure they are alerted of the situation so they know to avoid the affected area. This is important for the sake of everybody's health in the household.
DON'T Attempt to Handle It Alone
Finally, don't even think about trying to clean up the sewage on your own. Not only is this dangerous for your health, but it won't solve the problem of the initial sewage backup. That's something that'll need to be addressed by a professional. Your best bet will be to call a professional disaster cleanup company that specializes in sewage damage cleanup. This way, you can rest assured that the proper steps will be taken to remove the waste from your home, restore the affected area, and prevent the problem from occurring again.
By keeping these important dos and don'ts in mind as you sort through a sewage backup crisis in your basement, you'll be well on the way to resolving the issue sooner rather than later--and in a way that's as stress-free as possible. (For more information, contact RTC Restoration)