Sewer water leakage is one of the most serious problems a homeowner may have to deal with. It could happen occasionally but when it does, it can cause major health issues and surface damage. Not to mention the infuriating smell. All drains in your home lead to the main sewer line. Unfortunately, your sewage system isn’t equipped with alarms that let you know if there’s any trouble. So by the time you found out, sewer water has already leaked into your toilet surfaces, floors, and worse, in your carpets.
Surely, it’s easier to wipe off hard surfaces like tiles and wood floors clean. But what if the sewer water seeped through your carpets?
How to Treat Water Sewage in Carpet
Generally, carpets, pads, and upholstery that have been damaged by sewage should be completely removed and disposed of as it is considered Category III loss. However, in some instances, highly valued rugs may be considered for cleaning but strict cleaning guidelines should be applied to ensure that the bacteria and germs are all eliminated. Remember, you are dealing with contaminated water – one that has human waste in it. Thus, it is a home to parasites, bacteria, e-Coli, fungi, and other disease-causing microorganisms. Exposure to water sewage can cause gastrointestinal problems, fever, infection as well as skin irritation.
Follow these steps to treating sewage in your carpet and protect your family:
Step #1: Act Immediately
The longer you allow the sewage to soak into the carpet, the less likely you can salvage it. At the very first, the instance you spot sewer waste in your carpet, clean it right away. Do not wait for more than 24 hours. Otherwise, you would have to discard it without exception.
Step #2: Asses The Damage
Assess how much of the carpet has been contaminated. If you experienced a major sewer leak, chances are, you may no longer be able to save your carpet. But if it’s just a minor leak such as toilet water overflowing to the carpeted area in the next room, cleaning and disinfecting the carpet is possible.
Step #3: Protect Yourself
Do not make any direct contact with the carpet. Wear disposable hand gloves to remove the carpet or clean the affected area. Bacteria from the sewer water can easily enter your body through your skin pores, especially if you have cuts or wounds. If flooding is serious, wear protective footwear and safety goggles. You may also want to wear a mask so you don’t get to inhale the bad smell of the sewer water and the cleaning chemicals you will use.
Step #4: Ventilate The Space
The bacteria and germs don’t just lie on the carpet. They may also travel throughout the space. Another very important step is to ventilate the room where the carpet sewage leak occurred. There should be proper air circulation. You can achieve it by installing air movers and industrial dehumidifiers. This will also make the cleaning process more bearable for you as it will greatly lessen the foul smell.
Step #5: Extract The Sewer Water
Use a wet vacuum to remove the sewer water from the carpet. If the carpet has soaked up much water, you may also find used old towels helpful. Lift the edge of the carpet and dry up both of its sides.
Step #6: Disinfect The Carpet
Generously apply/spray carpet disinfectant in the affected area. Spray both sides of the carpet if possible. You can use a scrub to thoroughly remove the dirt and bacteria. Repeat multiple times if necessary.
Step #7: Dry The Carpet
After scrubbing the affected area with water and disinfecting spray, it’s time to dry it using a fan and commercial dehumidifier. Open the doors and windows to allow the moisture to easily escape.
- In case of a serious leak or overflow, remove the carpet. If you wish to keep it, roll the carpet into a plastic and bring it to a professional cleaner. Carpet pads must be replaced.
- Wrap any affected rugs in a plastic and wash them outside. Scrub both sides with disinfectant and dry them completely before using them again.
- Don’t forget to disinfect any other surfaces that you came in contact with during the cleaning process. Wash your clothes immediately in hot water to disinfect it too.
- Inform occupants that they should evacuate the room before you start with the cleanup process. If you have kids, make sure that they don’t roam near the carpet. Have them stay in their room while you clean.
- Don’t forget to call professionals to identify and repair or eliminate the source of a sewage leak. This will prevent the occurrence of another sewer water leak in your home
Sewage damage is the most dangerous form of water cleanup. It doesn’t only cause bad smell and damage to your property, it also puts your family’s health at risk. Sewer water contains blood-borne pathogens, bacteria and other contaminants that can cause severe illness to anyone in your home. Once you spot sewer water on your carpet, have it cleaned right away. Always wear protective clothing and gears when cleaning and make use of a reliable disinfectant solution. If heavily contaminated, don’t think twice about disposing of your carpet. It might be the only way to prevent the hazardous impact of sewer water leak in your home.