5 min read

Sewage Backup In Your Basement? Here’s What To Do

It’s easy to panic when you discover backed-up sewage in the basement. Aside from the unpleasant sight and smell, it poses serious health risks and can cause significant damage to your property. Swift and proper action is crucial to minimize further damage and ensure the safety of your household. 

This quick guide walks you through the essential steps after experiencing wastewater backup. Before that, however, it’s crucial to understand the dangers of sewage backing up in a home. 

How Dangerous is Backed-Up Sewage in the Basement? 

Backed-up sewage presents significant health risks because of its contents. Wastewater carries bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens from human waste, oils and greases, garbage, and other materials. Direct contact can cause infections, diarrhea, and even serious illnesses like hepatitis. 

Besides health hazards, wastewater returning to your home can also lead to structural damage. The longer it sits in your basement, the more damage it can do, weakening foundations, soaking wooden structures, and corroding pipes. 

Considering these, you must take the proper steps after discovering sewage backing up into your home. 

What To Do After a Sewage Backup in the Basement

Knowing the proper steps to take following a wastewater backup is essential in mitigating the damage and preventing potential health risks. Below, we run through what you can do to navigate the situation safely and effectively and ensure the speedy restoration of your home.

1. Ensure Your Safety

Here are some safety reminders worth heeding in the event of a sewage backup: 

  • Never touch wastewater or contaminated items barehanded. 
  • Open windows and doors to let fresh air in and reduce toxic fumes. 
  • If you must walk into an area with standing sewer water, wear gloves, boots, and a face mask to avoid direct contact. 
  • Never touch any electrical switches or appliances if there is standing water.
  • If it is safe, turn off the electrical supply to the affected area to prevent electrocution risks. 

2. Shut Off the Water Line

If you suspect the sewage backup is caused by a plumbing failure within your home, such as a clogged pipe, stop the water flow to keep the backup from worsening. This can be done by locating the main water shut-off valve and turning it off. 

3. Avoid Using Your Toilets and Sinks

Using any water-based facilities in your home could exacerbate the backup. Refrain from flushing toilets, running taps, or using the dishwasher or washing machine until the problem is resolved. 

4. Get Professional Sewage Cleanup Assistance

It can be tempting to clean the backup yourself using whatever you have at home. However, handling wastewater can lead to further issues, spread the contamination to other parts of your house, and put you at risk of diseases.

It’s best to leave the task to sewage cleanup professionals. With their training, experience, and equipment, they can assess the damage, safely remove wastewater, disinfect the area, and return your basement to safe, livable conditions. At Restoration 1 of Suffolk County, our experts can also identify hidden risks, such as structural weaknesses or potential bacterial growth.  

Why Do Sewage Backups Happen? 

It’s equally essential to understand why wastewater backs up in the first place. Unfortunately, both individual actions and environmental factors play a role in these disruptive emergencies. 

Blocked or Clogged Pipes 

Improper disposal of materials such as cooking grease, wet wipes, and excessive toilet paper can cause blockages in the drains. This leads to wastewater flowing back into your home instead of smoothly flowing to the main sewer line. 

Tree Root Infiltration 

Trees may add beauty to your property, but their roots can covertly invade your sewage pipes in search of moisture and nutrients. These roots can enter small cracks and grow, causing blockages leading to sewage backup. 

Aging Sewage Systems 

As sewage systems age, they become more susceptible to failure due to corrosion or changes in soil conditions. These issues can lead to pipe damage, such as cracking or collapsing, which can restrict sewage flow and eventually cause it to return to where it came from. 

Municipal Sewer Issues

Public sewer lines can sometimes cause a sewage backup in individual homes due to blockages or overloads. This can occur in areas where the systems are poorly maintained or undersized for the community they serve.

Overcome Any Sewage Backup Crisis With Your Friendly Experts at Restoration 1

When dealing with sewage backup in the basement, remember that your safety and the well-being of your household are the utmost priority. While this blog offers tips and advice on what to do after a wastewater backup, professional cleanup is still your safest and most reliable option. 

At Restoration 1 of Suffolk County, we understand the urgency of sewage backup situations. Our trained and experienced team is prepared to provide the necessary cleanup and restoration services to make your home safe, livable, and inviting again.  

Call us at 631-490-5013 for safe, efficient, and thorough sewage cleanup. We’re here to help you through this crisis and get your home back to normal as soon as possible.