Recent Biohazard Posts

How to Clean Sewage Backup in Your Bathtub

4/15/2020 (Permalink)

sewage floating on water Sewage floating on water

SEWAGE BACKUP

There are few things more distressing than the sight…and smell…of sewage backing up into your bathtub, or any other place it’s not meant to be.

Unfortunately, a sewage backup can be fairly common and once it happens, the aftermath can be equally distressing.

Depending on the severity of the problem, you may be able to handle clean up yourself or you may have to rely on a professional service to get the job done safely and thoroughly.

Cleanup will involve removing the contaminated water and any solids contained in it, thoroughly disinfecting any surfaces that it came into contact with and treating any signs of possible mold growth.

Once cleanup is finished, then it will be possible to address the cause of the backup to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

What To Do When A Backup Occurs

Obviously, the ideal response of any homeowner should be to take all necessary measures to prevent a backup by ensuring that your pipes don’t become clogged.

Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to avoid a backup, so once it happens you need to be prepared to handle what comes next. (https://www.iii.org/article/protect-your-house-from-sewer-backups)

A sewage backup isn’t like any other water emergency since sewage contains any number of bacteria which can be extremely hazardous.

In order to minimize the potential danger, sewage should be cleaned out as quickly as possible, but cleaning it properly involves taking all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of bacteria and the growth of mold.

If the backup is relatively minor, you may be able to handle it yourself.

If this is the case, begin by taking the following precautionary steps immediately:

  • Seal off access to the bathroom to keep children, pets and the elderly safe.
  • Shut off the electricity, water, and gas to the bathroom.
  • Open windows to ventilate the area.
  • Remove any dry, uncontaminated items.
  • Add small amounts of chlorine bleach to contaminated water to begin the disinfection process and prevent bacteria from spreading.
  • Notify your insurance company, as this kind of household damage, is generally covered by most homeowner’s policies. Be sure to take several photos before you begin any cleanup so that you have full documentation of the severity of the problem.

For help or if you have questions you can reach us at Office@SERVPROftlnorth.com
https://www.SERVPROftlauderdalenorth.com/
or call us 24-7-365 (954) 733-1006

Begin Cleanup

Because of the potential dangers from handling raw sewage, it is generally recommended that you call a professional mitigation company to perform cleanup but in mild cases, it may be possible to handle the cleanup yourself.

Be sure to use the proper safety gear, including rubber gloves, rubber boots, goggles, and a face mask

It is imperative that you don’t let any exposed skin come into direct contact with sewage as the bacteria in sewage can cause infections. (https://www3.epa.gov/npdes/pubs/mstr-ch5.pdf)

Once you have the proper gear, you should take the following steps to ensure careful and thorough cleaning of the sewage backup:

  • Close the door of the bathroom to prevent tracking sewage and potential contaminants into other parts of the house. This will also prevent airborne sewage-contaminated dust from spreading throughout the house.
  • First and foremost, remove sewage-contaminated standing water, using a pump or a wet-dry vac with a proper filter. If you rent a pump and/or generator for this purpose, be sure to notify the rental agent that it is being used to clean up a sewage backup so that it can be properly disinfected afterward.
  • Shovel any dirt, soil or debris into sturdy trash bags and dispose of them immediately.
  • If there are any items in the bathtub or shower area that have become soaked or damage, it is probably best to dispose of them. This includes towels, bathmats, curtains or other fabrics.
  • Thoroughly wipe down any surfaces, including the tub itself and surrounding walls, with hot water and bleach or some other antibacterial agent.
  • After the initial wipe down, you can then deep clean using household detergent and hot water. Take particular care washing down the floor by using a brush dipped in one part bleach to four parts water, then rinse thoroughly with clean water.
  • Let the area dry completely, which may take several hours. You can open the windows to facilitate drying if the weather is warm and dry. In humid or cold weather, keep the windows closed and use a dehumidifier.
  • After everything has dried, perform another disinfection by applying bleach and letting it sit for 15-20 minutes before cleaning.
  • It is essential to get the water damaged area dried out within 24-48 hours after the backup in order to prevent mold growth.
  • Once you have finished clean up, you’ll want to wash any clothing that came in contact with the contaminated water with chlorine bleach.

(http://brevard.floridahealth.gov/newsroom/2019/08/proper-sewage-clean-up-procedures-2019.html)

When to Call the Professionals

While you may be able to handle the cleanup of minor sewage backups yourself, it’s usually a safer idea to contact sewage cleanup professionals in order to ensure that your house is cleaned and decontaminated properly.

There are some instances in which professional cleanup will be absolutely necessary, including:

  • If the backup is not confined to one room.
  • If the backup occurred more than 24 hours ago or has been sitting for an undetermined number of hours. The longer raw sewage sits, the more the bacteria it contains will spread making the handling of the backup extremely dangerous.
  • The backup is caused by a sewer main or septic tank issue.
  • If there is any possibility that the sewage water may have come into contact with your home’s air conditioning system. If the air conditioning system is affected, the contaminants can be spread throughout the house so it will be crucial to have proper duct cleaning in order to prevent this possibility.
  • If anyone in your family has underlying health issues that may be aggravated by the contaminants in the backup.

For help or if you have questions you can reach us at:  Office@SERVPROftlnorth.com
https://www.SERVPROftlauderdalenorth.com/
or call us 24-7-365 (954) 733-1006

What the Professionals Can Do For You

Professional sewage cleanup services are really your best option for handling any kind of backup as they have the equipment and the knowledge to handle these issues and are committed to returning your home to its pre-backup condition.

They will take all necessary safety precautions while working to keep contaminants from spreading throughout your home and to mitigate the spread of mold.

When you do contact a sewage cleanup service they’ll be able to remove sewage backup and solid materials in a safe manner; completely clean and sanitize the affected area and decontaminate the entire home if necessary; use professional dehumidifiers or air movers to thoroughly dry the area; remove mold damage and mitigate further mold growth and perform any necessary repairs.

After Clean Up

Whether you perform the cleanup yourself or call in a professional sewage cleanup service, once the cleanup has been completed, you can then address whatever the cause of the backup may be.

Remember, if you do have a sewage backup in your tub you need to move quickly to prevent any danger to your family. A sewer backup is certainly distressing, but there’s no need to panic.

A professional sewage cleanup service can ensure that the cleanup is handled properly and your home is restored to its former condition.

For help or if you have questions you can reach us at:
Office@SERVPROftlnorth.com
https://www.SERVPROftlauderdalenorth.com/
or call us 24-7-365 (954) 733-1006

Where to Turn for Automotive Biohazard Cleanup

12/19/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Fort Lauderdale North Can Restore Automotive Biohazard Damage

What is an Automotive Biohazard and How Does one Occur?

An automotive biohazard occurs when an organic fluid, most commonly blood is introduced into a vehicle, usually the cabin area. This can lead not only to a difficult stain to clean, but a potential hazard for the vehicle owner.

There are many causes for an automotive biohazard. The first and most obvious cause of an automotive biohazard is one everyone prays will not happen to them, an automotive accident. Most people don’t have a real plan for how to recover from a car crash, despite the fact that 27,000 accidents occur every single day. Most of these result in minor damage, and only 0.3% result in a fatality.

Everyone knows the immediate plan, call the police, file an insurance claim and wait for the damage to be repaired. But what if the damage is not something that a mechanic is trained to handle, like blood or other organic material? Even a minor injury from an accident can cause blood stains inside a vehicle.

There are other reasons a car may be contaminated with a biohazard as well. A minor injury can cause quite a lot of bleeding, and emergencies that don’t require an ambulance often cause some staining of blood in the car used to reach the ER. A woman entering labor, also, would need transportation to a hospital and cay cause an automotive biohazard.

What to Do if Your Vehicle is Contaminated

A biohazard contaminated vehicle needs more than just a simple cleaning, it needs a dull decontamination of the organic material. Organic material can be difficult to clean, and also needs to be properly sanitized to ensure safety for the vehicle owner. Enter SERVPRO. Our highly trained Automotive Biohazard Remediation Specialists will not only clean the staining, but also make sure there is no risk of bacterial infection or other dangers left inside your vehicle. Click Here to learn more about SERVPRO’s biohazard cleanup system.

What is Biohazard Remediation?

8/9/2016 (Permalink)

Biohazards are anything that originates from organic matter (something that is, or once was, living) or produced artificially that poses a health hazard to living beings (e.g. humans and pets) or has the capability to alter or interrupt cell growth or reproduction. A couple examples of biohazards are sharps or other such medical waste, human blood or tissue, sewage, etc. Biohazard remediation is not an uncommon call for us at SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North, and it is something we are professionally qualified to handle, should the need arise. 

We make sure that any dangerous biological matter or odors are completely eliminated so that any harmful pathogens this matter harbors cannot be spread. Damages from a biohazard remediation call can include trauma or crime scenes, death/decomposition, hoarding removal, and filth removal. It's important to call professionals such as SERVPRO Ft. Lauderdale North as soon as possible to have these biohazards removed from your home or property. Biohazards can effect everyone- not just the immune compromised- and are often deadly.

Never attempt to clean up biohazards yourself! If you have any question in your mind or think it may be dangerous to handle, call in a qualified professional immediately. Attempting to clean a biohazard yourself is not only dangerous for your health, but can make it easier for illness to spread to places that otherwise would not be contaminated. Our professionals come out with the proper protective suits and professional-grade chemicals and tools to get the job done in a safe and effective manner. 

Yeah, We Do This!

7/27/2016 (Permalink)

Sewer backups are more than downright gross -- they are potentially dangerous. Sewage and other forms of "Black Water" are "grossly contaminated" and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. We strongly encourage customers to refrain from tackling these jobs themselves. Sometimes hiring a trained, certified professional is well worth the investment -- most importantly for your health!

Category 3: Not a Hurricane

7/27/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Fort Lauderdale North and Plantation recently performed a water restoration and clean up at an apartment that experienced category 3 water damage. Category 3 water damage is when Feces, urine, and toxic chemicals are found in the water contaminating the home. In this particular water damage job, the contaminated water from the bathroom seeped through the carpet and reached heights as high as the bed. Category 3 water damage is considered to be a bio-hazard due to all the toxicity found in this type of water. This is something that we at SERVPRO of Fort Lauderdale North and Plantation can take care of and make it look “Like it never even happened”.

Whether its water damage, fire damage, mold damage or even bio-hazard remediation, small scale or a large loss, you can rely on SERVPRO of Fort Lauderdale North's qualified Mold,  Fire and water damage specialists to give you peace of mind knowing we'll arrive faster to your disaster and make it "Like it never even happened". Call us anytime at 954-733-1006