A sewage backup is a significant inconvenience that, depending on the size and scale of the spillage, can displace families from their homes for a few hours to several days. Sewer water is rife with contaminants, bacteria, and viruses that pose severe health risks to those exposed to it. Not to mention, as with any kind of flooding, sewage backup can lead to property damage and may even cause fires should the water reach any plugs, electrical outlets, or live wires.

Without a doubt, sewage backup is a serious issue, so we recommend that homeowners immediately seek the help of residential plumbing experts should their home be afflicted. The following is a helpful guide for what to do in the event of sewage backup and how to prevent it.

For more information or to schedule plumbing services, contact the professionals at Sunshine Plumbing and Gas!

Sewage Manhole

Preliminary Safety Measures

Once discovered, there are essential safety measures that you should take to limit the spread of water and bacteria stemming from sewage backup, including the following.

  • Remove all children, elders, and pets from the premises.
  • Put on protective gear, boots, gloves, eye protection, etc. Cover as much of yourself as possible to avoid exposure to contaminated water.
  • Turn off water and electricity for the home; contact your utility company to do so if need be.
  • Ventilate the home. Open as many windows and doors as possible to allow for airflow.
  • Remove items that remain dry from the area of the backup.
  • If there’s any handy, pour a bit of chlorine bleach into the pooling water — this will help disinfect.
  • Contact local plumbers. Even if the sewage backup is small, the problem will still need to be addressed by professionals, as there is likely a need for sewer line repair.

It’s crucial to remember that unclogging should not be attempted until the area has been completely rid of contaminated water. Also, for insurance purposes, photograph the spillage and affected areas as evidence for your claim.

Cleanup & Sanitation

We highly recommend leaving the cleaning to a professional to ensure the home will be sufficiently sanitized. In cases of very minor spills, homeowners can attempt to clean and sanitize affected areas if they so desire. However, it’s still recommended to seek expert help. The following explains how to perform DIY sewage backup sanitation for minor spills.

  • First, use a pump to drain the pooled water and sewage.
  • Clean all of the dirt, debris, and grime from the floor and afflicted surfaces.
  • Wash affected surfaces with hot, uncontaminated water and detergent. 
  • After cleaning, rinse surfaces with warm water.
  • Disinfect hard surfaces using three-fourths of a cup of bleach mixed with one gallon of water.
  • Be sure to dry all surfaces and items to prevent mold growth.
  • Use warm water to wash affected clothes and have them dry cleaned.
  • Pitch any contaminated items that can’t be washed.

After cleaning and sanitizing the spillage, thoroughly wash your hands and shower as soon as possible. Before washing yourself, avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.

Causes & Prevention

There are a few possible causes for sewage backup. The most common of those causes are clogs and damage to sewer lines. If the issue is only presenting itself in one area, such as a particular toilet drain, then the problem is likely a clog. Prevent clogged drains by avoiding putting items or substances that can cause blockage or buildup, such as diapers, paper, or grease down them.

More often than not, sewage backup is caused by damaged sewer lines, so if it’s not a clog, these are the most likely culprit. The pipes in sewer lines corrode over time, eventually giving way to cracks, faults, or collapse. Also, as sturdy as pipes may seem, they can easily be pierced by tree roots growing near the sewer lines. Regularly scheduling a visit from one of our Ocala plumbers for backflow prevention services can help ward off future sewage backup.

When To Call Our Ocala Plumbers

Whether the sewage backup originated from a clog or damaged sewer line, the expertise of our plumbers in Ocala will be essential for diagnosing and remedying the spill’s underlying cause. Our plumbers are seasoned professionals when it comes to fixing up pipes, whether they require a simple repair or complete repiping. A sewage backup is a time-sensitive issue, and anything more than a tiny spill should be left to a professional. In the unfortunate event your home or business experiences sewage backup, contact us immediately for emergency plumbing services.