Q:  Water has backed up from the toilet bowl or drain.  The water is clear and has no odour.  Can I just clean and dry the areas effected?

A: NO!  Any time water has backed up from a sewer drain and has passed the trap, the water is classified as contaminated.  This water has the potential to carry bacteria, which is linked with severe disease and even death.  A certified water damage technician can determine what can be cleaned and what needs to be removed.

Q: Do I have to move out of my house?

A: This is a discussion that has to be made by the individuals in the premises.  Factors to consider are, but are not necessarily limited to: the location of contamination, levels of contamination, the presence of young children, especially infants and children under 2 years of age and potentially immune-compromised occupants (those whose immune systems may be weakened by age, illness or medication.  If you have concerns it is recommended to consult a health professional about the advisability of any occupant remaining in or returning to a structure before restoration is complete.

Q:  Can my contents be cleaned?

A:  Some can and some can’t.  Typically any soft furnishing that absorbs moisture should be documented and discarded.  Such items include: clothing, linen, toys, furniture, etc.  Some hard surface items that don’t absorb moisture can be cleaned and de-contaminated.  Special attention to some hard surface items are needed, ie: childrens toys, etc. that should be discarded because of the contact with children.  Some soft furnishing items can be cleaned if they have substantial value to them or have sentimental value attached to them.

Q:  What needs to be removed in a sewer backup?

A:  Any construction material that absorbs moisture needs to be removed and disposed of.  These items when cleaned cannot remove all the bacteria associated with sewer; hence, running a risk to the health of any occupant.  Items that need to be removed are: drywall, insulation, carpet, MDF trim, vanities, compressed board cabinets, etc.


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