Steps to Take After a Sewage Leak

A sewage leak or back-up into the home is a serious, unpleasant situation that can range from an annoying nuisance to a severe, costly hazard. Back-ups occur more frequently than most people realize, such as when sewer lines become clogged or obstructed by the growth of tree roots. Improper cleanup after a sewage leak can have serious consequences, ranging from hard-to-remove odors to the threat of life-threatening diseases. Raw sewage contains hazardous contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria that need to be completely eradicated for the area to be considered safe.

The aftermath of a sewage leak needs to be treated properly and as quickly as possible to minimize the effect it has on the property and the contents within. An experienced restoration team has processes and techniques for treating a raw sewage leak, and should always be your first call when one occurs at your residence. The following tips can help you manage the aftermath of a sewage leak in an efficient, level-headed way.

What You Shouldn’t Do

  • Don’t use harsh chemical cleaners in an attempt to clear your pipes or clean up the mess. These can cause damage and complicate the situation.
  • No matter where the back-up occurred in your home, avoid using any part of your plumbing system. It’s often recommended to turn the main water valve off.
  • Don’t try to clean the contaminated area by hand. There’s a serious risk of disease or infection involved in touching raw sewage. Anyone who comes into contact with the sewage should be wearing proper protective gear.

Steps to Take After a Sewage Leak

After you’ve discovered a sewage leak on your home, it’s crucial to act fast in initiating the cleaning process. You also need to enact certain safety precautions to minimize damage. While you may be able to take a few steps yourself, it’s recommended that most of the cleanup be performed by a professional crew.

  1. Shut off the Power: This step applies to sewage leaks that occur in the basement or other significant areas of your home. If you can safely reach the electrical control panel, shut off the power to the building. Depending on the circumstances, you may also need to shut off the gas.  
  2. Assess the Damage: If it’s safe for you to go in the affected area, try to quickly assess it so that you identify the source and have some idea of the extent of the damage.
  3. Perform a Few Basic Measures: While extensive cleaning and disinfecting techniques are required to fully restore any property affected by sewage, there are a few measures you can perform first. Open any windows in the area to allow for ventilation. Remove any uncontaminated items from the affected area. It’s also recommended that you contact your insurance company and inform them of the leak.
  4. Call a Qualified Company: Your next move should be to a professional cleanup service, within an hour or less of the spill, if possible. The longer treatment is delayed, the more significant the damage that will be incurred.

Why a Professional is Key for Sewage Clean-Up

A professional sewage cleanup crew, such as RestorePro, is capable of completely treating a sewage leak with the proper gear, equipment, and techniques to preserve as much as possible. Sewage removal technicians have training and experience in how to handle areas and possessions affected by raw sewage. They also know the most effective treatments to perform to salvage as many of your belongings as possible and return them to a pre-damage state. They will remove any irrevocably damaged materials, such as saturated carpets, and dispose of them appropriately. Then the entire area will be treated and disinfected to ensure that all harmful bacteria and viruses are killed.

A home sewage back-up can seem like a nightmare, but RestorePro aims to resolve the situation as efficiently and affordably as possible. If a sewage leak has affected your home, call RestorePro quickly at 1-800-847-0114 for assistance. You can also connect with RestorePro on Facebook at for more information about what to do in the aftermath of various types of home damages.