Dos and Don'ts | Sewage Damage
Water contaminated by sewage contains a variety of bacteria, viruses, and germs. Contact with sewage or surfaces contaminated by sewage should be avoided.
SERVPRO has more than 50 years of experience in safe sewage cleanup. With that in mind, here are the Dos and Don’ts of responding to sewage damage:
Shut off the electricity or gas. If you don't have access to shut off the gas line, call your utility company and explain the situation. They can guide you on how to turn off the gas, or may do it for you. If the sewage or water is standing between you and your shut-offs, wait for a professional to step in.
Contact a septic company or plumber. It is critical to identify the source of the backup quickly. A plumber should begin repairing the issue as soon as possible.
Contact your insurance company. Professional cleanup & restoration companies work closely with insurance providers. You’ll want to contact your provider immediately to file a claim. Take down your claim number so you can provide it to a SERVPRO team member later.
Contact the professionals at SERVPRO. Call 1-800-SERVPRO to get connected with your nearest locally-operated SERVPRO. With more than 1,900 locations across the United States, there's sure to be a SERVPRO in your neighborhood!
Ventilate the area. If possible, open windows to encourage air to flow through your home. This may help slow mold growth by drying the area as much as possible before a SERVPRO team arrives.
Go to a safe area. Evacuate people and pets away from the home. Keep everyone away until the area has been restored.
Take pictures of the damaged area and contents. You can do this by yourself or with your insurance claim agent after the area has been deemed safe to enter. Pictures should include the damaged area, the source of the sewage backup, any damaged personal possessions, and structural damage.
Don’t touch anything. Avoid skin contact with any sewage or sewer water. Remember, get everyone out of your home as quickly as possible.
Don’t eat or drink anything exposed to the sewer water. No one in your home should use toilets or sinks connected to the sewage lines. Don’t drink any water from your sink or filtered water hookups that are connected to the backed-up line.
Don’t remove items from the area. You should not touch anything that has been exposed to sewage. SERVPRO will keep a record of all items removed from the damaged area, including those deemed unsalvageable.
Don’t try to clean it up. You may be destroying evidence that could impact your insurance claim. Leaving the area as is after you call the plumber and insurance company is the best thing you can do. Allow the experts at SERVPRO to return your home to safety.
Call 1-800-SERVPRO for 24/7 emergency service.