Out of all the things that go wrong in your house or business, a backed-up sewage system ranks right up there with the worst of the worst. If your sewage backed up, time is everything in preventing major damage to your building and even worse damage to your health.
Below, we will discuss some of the dangers a backed-up sewage system can present and why it is so important to get a professional to take care of the problem immediately.
Why do sewers back up?
You should always ask a professional to pinpoint the exact reason your sewage is backing up. Some of the most common reasons include the following:
- any flooding that has occurred around your building
- objects that have been flushed down the toilet
- roots that have infiltrated the pipes
- structural defects
- construction issues from when the pipes were installed.
- broken or leaking pipes
Out of all the dangers that a backed-up sewer presents, threats to your health are at the top of the list. Raw sewage contains a high number of various bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants that can easily spread diseases, and possibly even death, to you, your family, and your pets.
Additional harmful contaminants include toxic fungi, pesticides, and protozoan. The National Resource Defense Council has reported that over two million cases of illness due to sewage are reported every year. Backed-up sewage is not something that should be handled lightly. It should be remedied by a professional service right away.
Here’s a list of just a few of the most common bacteria that can be found in sewage and the effects they can have on the body:
- Coronavirus: Including COVID-19
- E. Coli: Causes stomach pain, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), even death
- Salmonella: Causes stomach pain and diarrhea.
- Hepatitis: Causes liver infection and failure.
- Acanthamoeba: Causes ear, nose, eye, and throat infections
- Helicobacter Pylori: Causes ulcers
- Leptospirosis: Causes muscle pains and vomiting
If the sewage reaches a level that brings it into contact with electrical outlets or electrical or gas appliances, you run a risk of electrocution or fire. If you can do so safely, while staying dry, you should turn off the power to the flooded area immediately. If you cannot safely reach the source, you should contact a professional sewage cleanup company immediately.
If you do not have the sewage cleaned up immediately, you run a risk of having costly damage done to your property. You may find that your pipes have been damaged and need to be repaired or replaced. Sewage can damage anything it comes into contact with. If the sewage seeps into the flooring and the walls, then you may also end up with some major structural damage.
Left uncleaned for too long, standing sewage can also cause mold to begin growing in your building. Left untreated, mold can expand to other areas of your building, even those that are seemingly unaffected by the sewage.
Most personal possessions that come into contact with the sewage are most likely unsalvageable. You can, however, contact a professional sewage cleaning company and get their advice. You may be surprised to find that some of the items you would toss could actually be salvaged.