Sewer Back-Up Tips from the IICRC

Written by LakevilleInsurance on . Posted in Uncategorized

Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification

Sewage is one of the most dangerous substances to enter homes or buildings. It contains fungi, bacteria, and viruses, many of which are disease-causing. Unfortunately, many people fail to understand the hazards that sewage presents, particularly for the very young, very old, those with compromised immune systems, or those with respiratory problems.

Here are the key principles homeowners should know about sewage back-ups:

  • Sewage contains a variety of pathogenic–disease causing–fungi, bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Anyone who works on sewage losses must have updated vaccinations, including one for Hepatitis B.
  • Sewage exposure is particularly dangerous for people with weakened immune systems including anyone under 2 or over 60; those who are pregnant, ill, recovering from surgery, on prescription drugs, or going through chemotherapy; or are AIDS victims.
  • It is not safe to stay in a building that’s flooded with sewage unless the contaminated area can be completely sealed off and placed under controlled air flow so that there will be no cross contamination of unaffected areas.
  • Highly absorbent sewage-saturated materials, such as carpet, pad, upholstery, bedding, wicker, paper, or even fabrics that can’t be washed in hot water (130°F/54°C) for at least 10 minutes, must be contained and disposed of properly. This goes for sewage-saturated drywall, insulation, and several other structural materials, too. There’s simply too great a health risk involved if any of these materials are dried in place and cleaned only.
  • Only the most highly trained professionals should attempt sewage remediation work. Then, a third party indoor environmental professional can provide post-remediation verification or clearance testing to ensure that the home or building is safe to re-occupy.

Why Use A Certified Restoration Company?

Professional restoration technicians understand the need for quick response. Immediate remediation is key to controlling any escalating costs. The longer the remediation is delayed, the higher the cost of restoration. Certified restorers have the knowledge to test materials and apply the restoration techniques required to return the items to their pre-loss condition.

Look for the IICRC logo to verify IICRC certification.

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