Cleaning Up Unsanitary Water Damage

Carpet Cleaning

If your carpet has been damaged by unsanitary water, or if it’s been wet long enough to start growing mold, you should use the services of a professional water damage restoration firm.

Safety Precautions

Many of the safety precautions to observe when dealing with water damage caused by sewage are simple, common sense ones. To avoid infection, it is imperative not to come into direct contact with sewage, so it is essential you wear protective clothing during water clean up. Remember though, protective gear (disposable plastic gloves, goggles and face visors, leak-proof rubber boots, etc.) won’t do you any good if you absentmindedly rub your eyes, scratch your nose, pull at your ears or pop something into your mouth with your plastic-gloved hands or fingers while engrossed in water damage restoration of sewage-contaminated objects. If you have any cuts or sores on your hands or fingers, take extra precautions to cover them up, and apply antibiotic ointment after you have finished working.

Cleaning Up Sewage

Wash Your Hands

When it’s time to break for lunch after sewage water clean up,  slip off those plastic gloves and wash your hands with disinfectant before you grab that sandwich. You should wash your hands frequently, using the disinfectant every time. Hopefully, the water damage to your home (if it is your home) won’t have affected all the showers because you should be able to shower frequently using disinfectant soap, a nail brush, and clean towels.

Dispose of Contaminated Items

Some of the objects contaminated by sewage are salvageable and can be saved by water damage restoration processes. Others, particularly exposed food, objects made of porous material like stuffed toys, carpeting, upholstered furniture, all books and paper products, and all medical supplies, will have to be disposed of – and the sooner, the better.

Disinfect All Salvageable Items

Salvageable items that can be restored to pre-water damage condition must be disinfected.  Contaminated clothes must be washed in hot water and detergent. If the original cause of water damage was in your home, it’s best to use a Laundromat or to send your laundry out to be dry-cleaned.

Take Action Right Away

Sanitizing is the central part of water damage restoration of objects contaminated by sewage. The sanitization process to follow varies slightly according to the extent of contamination (length of time the sewage has been in contact with the contaminated areas/objects, the content of sewage and porosity of affected items). That’s why the first and most important safety precaution is to begin treatment as soon as possible. The longer sewage remains in the affected location, the more of a health risk it becomes. If you don’t react immediately, more of your belongings will be too contaminated by the sewage damage.

Some General Guidelines

Although it is best to get a professional assessment to determine which decontamination techniques are needed for each case, some general hygiene guidelines you should observe are listed below:

  • You don’t need to discard food in sealed metal cans. However, you should remove the labels, wash the cans in detergent and place them in a chlorine solution (bleach and water), then air dry.
  • Clean all affected walls and hard surfaces with hot water and detergent and disinfect with a chlorine solution. After water cleans up, let dry completely to guard against mold.
  • Toxic vapors develop when bleach is mixed with ammonia. So remember not to use ammonia cleansers on items or surfaces that you had previously disinfected with a chlorine solution.
  • You should use hand sanitizers – but don’t come near a source of flame after you’ve just done so.
  • Finally, as in all water damage situations, remember to immediately disconnect all electrical equipment (including battery back-ups).

Dealing with Drywall Water Damage

Damage From Fire or Flood

After a fire or flood disaster, It may not be necessary to replace the entire panel. There are some basic guidelines to follow in restoring water-damaged drywall. You need to asses the degree of damage to see if you will need professional help to do the job. If the drywall is soaked in a flood or excess water, it has to be cleaned and dried within 24 hours; otherwise, it will become a breeding place for mold and mildew, not to mention other hazardous microorganisms.

Determining Drywall Water Damage Detection

The first thing you should establish is the degree of water damage to the drywall. You will recognize this through the stains in the affected areas, and the parts that are softened and could likely disintegrate. Given the fact of how much water is used to put out the fire, it is highly probable almost all parts of the drywall is damaged. In this situation, you will need to hire the services of a professional water damage restoration company because of the extensive repair work required. However, if only small parts are affected, and you have some basic knowledge about drywall, you could endeavor to do the restoration job yourself.

Development of Mold and Mildew if Water-Damaged Drywall

Water-soaked drywall panels should be thoroughly dried as soon as possible before mold and mildew can set in. If you see dark porous spots develop with that distinct mildew smell, then you need to start the mold remediation process, which is best done by a professional. A damp, moist and poorly ventilated environment is the perfect breeding place for mold and mildew.  Sometimes, the outer part of the drywall does not manifest the mold growth, but it could be that mold has started growing in the interior of the wall.  In this situation, the best choice is to hire the services of a professional mold remediation service.

How to Prevent Further Damaged to Water-Damaged Drywall

Whatever the extent of damage to your drywall, dehumidifiers, and water removing machines should be used to hasten the removal of excess water and the drying process. You can improve ventilation by using industrial electric fans and the opening of all the windows. If you do not own industrial grade electric fans, see if you can rent one. However, if the damage is widespread, then the job might be too big for a layman, and professional help is necessary.  Water damage restoration service companies have the expertise and the equipment to do the job efficiently and quickly. It would help if you took all the required steps to prevent further damage to the drywall by allowing mold and mildew development. You can entrust a professional mold remediation service to do the job with the best results because they have the training, they licensed for this job, and they have specialized equipment to do it without errors. They have the experience to assess what areas of the drywall are damaged and need repair. Your local mold remediation service can tell you more about drywall water damage.