A pier and beam home is better than a home on a slab. You can see underneath the home, as well as use the crawlspace to run plumbing and wiring. Sometimes, however, as with any system in a home, things can go wrong and cause serious damage. We’ll be discussing sewage spillages in crawlspaces.
Why does sewage leakage occur in crawlspaces?
Two scenarios are most common that can cause sewage water damage to a crawlspace in a home.
A sewage backup is when the water from your main sewer line backs up and spills into the crawlspace. This happens when the main sewer line becomes clogged and water cannot exit your home, but instead flows back up the pipe into your crawlspace.
A pipe designed to transport the sewage from the main line to your crawlspace.
These are both extremely bad scenarios due to the toxic nature raw sewage. These situations are especially dangerous because they can occur over a prolonged period of time that is not known to the homeowner. You may not be a regular home inspector, so you might not notice the problems until months later. A common scenario is that someone notices plumbing problems and calls a plumber to inspect the crawlspace. He or she will find several inches of waste water and sewage water. They won’t be able to work in such conditions so they will ask you to call a water damage company, like us, to clean up the mess and fix the plumbing problem.
What are the potential problems caused by sewer waste in my crawlspace
A black water loss under your home can lead to serious problems. These are just some of the possible problems that could occur:
– Contaminated soil can release toxic fumes into your air, which can cause illness and damage to your home. It can also contaminate any mechanical equipment you may have in your crawlspace. The sewage could soak the HVAC ductwork in your home, which would mean that any air moving through the ducts could carry harmful bacteria and airborne fungi.
Mold growth is possible. If you don’t address the problem immediately, there is a high chance of mold growth. This is especially true if the loss continues for a prolonged period. The moisture in your crawlspace can cause mold growth by allowing water to sit. It can cause damage to concrete walls, wooden beams, support structures, insulation and any other organic material it can latch onto once it has started.
Floor support joists may weaken or fall to the ground. The wooden structure that supports your home’s floors can eventually give way or collapse if there is enough mold and moisture.
How are the areas cleaned, sanitized, and properly repaired?
The process of cleaning up water damage from raw sewerage in a crawlspace, is the same as any other sewage cleanup. We must emphasize that, while you may have the guts to do the cleanup, it’s almost impossible to assess and clean up the mess. You’ll be doing more harm than good. The water damage mitigation pros will take the following steps to clean up sewage from a crawlspace:
– Keep the area contained. We will seal the crawlspace and disarm any mechanical devices that could allow airborne pathogens to enter the home.
– Dispose of solid waste and standing sewage safely. Our special equipment can safely and quickly remove solid waste and sewer water.
– Get rid of any items that aren’t salvageable. Although there is not much to be found in crawlspaces, some people keep boxes of items there. Most porous items should be thrown out. Any items that are possible to save will be removed from the site and properly dried. All insulation damaged in transit will be safely removed.
– Clean up and disinfect. This includes the sewage and any mold growth. If we find that the sewage spillage occurred within 72 hours of our arrival, we will inspect all areas in your crawlspace. After identifying the problem areas, we start to clean them. We use disinfecting sprays that are more effective than bleach and other cleaning products you might buy. We also clean up any sewage-contaminated mechanical systems.
– Repair damaged areas. We will repair any structural problems if we find structural weakness in floor joists and subfloors due to a prolonged water spillage.
We encourage you to contact an emergency water restoration company if there is any water damage on your property. We will assess the damage, inform you about your options, then determine the best way to clean up the property quickly and efficiently.