Drain Cleaning & Sewage Cleanup
Property Recovery 911was summoned for drain cleaning by this Philadelphia homeowner to clear a clogged drain. Upon arrival we discovered not only a clogged drain, but also a significant overflow requiring a sewage cleanup as well.
According to the homeowner, the clogged drain was caused by a child flushing a rag down the toilet in the powder room of the semi-finished basement. The rag became lodged in the sewage line under the basement floor triggering a toilet overflow as well as a sewage backup from a floor drain requiring not only drain cleaning but also an extensive sewage cleanup.
The situation was exacerbated every time the occupants used an appliance that introduced waste water into the sewage system resulting in a serious spill requiring sewage cleanup. Our first task was to resolve the clogged drain issue, which we determined was best accomplished by drain cleaning via toilet access.
Accessing the sewage line by removing the toilet requires more labor that drain cleaning from the curb trap, but this method of drain cleaning gave us our best chance of removing the rag from the sewer line. After disconnecting the toilet we fitted the appropriate power snake with a retrieving auger. Sending the cable just a few feet down the sewage line we were able to snag the cloth obstruction and extract it from the drainage system.
With the clogged drain issue resolved, we now faced the prospect of a substantial sewage cleanup. Sewage spills pose serious dangers and sewage cleanup jobs must be approached with caution. Visit our blog for detailed information concerning the health risks associated with sewage cleanup jobs and read Sewage Spill Hazards.
After donning the appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), the sewage cleanup commenced by physically removing the solid waste. The liquid waste, which flowed throughout the basement, was then extracted and reintroduced into the now clear sewage system.
Disinfecting the sewage contaminated area was accomplished by saturating the area with Benefect Botanical Disinfectant. Typically, disinfectants require 10 minutes contact time, which is difficult to achieve. For this reason, we use a foaming sprayer that converts liquid product to a foam capable of clinging to surfaces when applied ensuring successful decontamination.
Structural & Content Cleaning
Following successful sewage cleanup, structural and content cleaning was the next step in this multi-faceted restoration job. Structural and content cleaning must be done in concert to ensure that items and building materials, which have been cleaned and disinfected are not once again contaminated.
As stated above, the area requiring sewage cleanup was a semi-finished basement. In this instance, the floor was painted concrete making hard surface cleaning procedures appropriate as a final sewage cleanup step.
Hard surface cleaning was completed using a two-step process. First we applied a pre-spray of alkaline based detergent. After a ten minute dwell time, we washed the floor using our Hydro-Force Nautilus. The Hydro-Force Nautilus uses a high pressure hot water spray while simultaneously recapturing the used hot water by vacuuming it into an onboard waste water tank. This piece of specialized equipment delivers high pressure, hot water cleaning in a vacuum resulting in a precise outcome.
Most sewage cleanup jobs are covered by homeowners insurance, making it is necessary to valuate contents on the fly to determine if worth warrants restoration or disposal and replacement. This is especially true regarding contents containing textiles, which are more difficult and costly to clean than hard surface contents.
During the sewage cleanup portion of the project, several textile covered pieces of furniture contaminated with raw sewage were removed from the premises and properly disposed of. Hard surface contents were cleaned, sanitized and set atop nonabsorbent blocking in an area of the structure that was already washed and disinfected.
Following a water event, mold growth can begin in as little as 48 hours, threatening the interior environment and the health of those within. For information concerning the dangers of mold contamination, visit our blog and read Understanding Mold Contamination.
With sewage cleanup and structural as well as content cleaning successfully completed, drying was necessary to ensure rapid and accurate restoration of cellulose based building materials and contents as a safeguard against microbial activity. This was accomplished by deploying a series of air movers and dehumidification systems, strategically placed and closely monitored on a daily basis.
The objective of structural drying is restoring water damaged contents and building materials to meet a target ‘drying goal’, which is determined by ‘dry standard’. The dry standard is measured by taking moisture content readings from known dry materials in an undamaged area of structure. From the dry standard you can then establish your drying goal, which is a target moisture level that may be the same as the dry standard or within an acceptable proximity of the dry standard.
In this instance, our ‘drying goal’ was the restoration of water damaged contents and building materials to within 3 percentage points of ‘dry standard’. This was achieved in four days and meticulously documented with drying records compiled from moisture as well as ambient atmospheric readings taken daily over the drying period.
Although the clogged drain requiring sewage cleanup in this instance was an unavoidable sudden and accidental event, proactive drain cleaning and maintenance is an inexpensive alternative to toilet overflows and drainage backups requiring sewage cleanup. Property Recovery 911 offers video sewer line inspections, hydro jetting and rooter services that can be employed as a preemptive solution to the possibility of raw sewage contamination in your home or business.