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Valued Contributor
Posts: 670
Registered: ‎12-04-2011

Help with sanitation after a sewage backup

I'm currently sitting in my hotel room as I type up this question. Can't stay at my home because am having a major disaster with sewage coming back up into my kitchen sink and my upstairs bathroom. Can't use anything in the house--toilet, washer, sink, etc. (No backup in the basement, I guess, because this is a very old house and, therefore, does not have a cleanout cap anywhere. The kitchen sink is the lowest point according to the plumbers.) Sewage backed up into the bathtub only after the toilet became stopped up due to the wax ring being up in the line when the plumber put the toilet back on. When he did tried to unstop it, stuff came up in the tub.

 

I now have to have an excavtion team come out to put in a cleanout cap. Then I have to have another company come out to find exactly what the problem is (maybe a collapsed drain) and unclog it. (Two different plumbing companies have already been out, ran a snake down through the toilet opening and a camera, and couldn't really tell where the blockage is.) 

 

Anyway, once this is all done (if it ever is), I will then have to deal with cleaning and sanitizing the bathtub and kitchen sink. There's actually stuff (you know what I mean) sitting in the kitchen sink right now along with tissue! This is the reason I'm on here--to ask for suggestions on exactly how and what to use to disinfect. Will bleach do the trick, or would it be better to find a company that does that sort of thing? I don't know if I will ever feel comfortable using the sink or the tub again to be honest. This is so disgusting!!! And so expensive!!! Between all of the work that will have to be done, plus the hotel bills for about 3 weeks, it's really going to hurt me financiially. Would really appreciate suggestions. Thanks.

Contributor
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎12-27-2016

Re: Help with sanitation after a sewage backup

[ Edited ]

You need to file an insurance claim with your home insurance policy. The plumbing costs will be on you to pay but any damage and probably your temporary housing will be covered by insurance. Waste water is considered hazardous material but a professional mitigation company will know how to deal with the damage. I know this is difficult but a professional team will help you get through this. Best of luck.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,584
Registered: ‎06-03-2010

Re: Help with sanitation after a sewage backup

@qualityshopper  I would file an insurance company asap if possible.  They may cover the hotel and other expenses.  I'm sure there are sanitation companies that specialize in this type of issue.

 

My parents had a backup a few years ago, not as severe as the one you are dealing with, but found their blockage was due to tree roots the somehow got into the pipes.  It was several thousand dollars to clear and replace the pipes. Maybe you could have pipes that have disintegrated over the years, and hopefully you get an answer quickly. 

 

I'm sorry you are having to deal with this and remember if you are doing cleaning yourself, that some chemicals react if mixed so be careful.  Bleach is the direction I would go, or perhaps you can have the sink replaced if if bothers you too much. 



......You look like I need a drink.....
Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,918
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Help with sanitation after a sewage backup


@findingnemo wrote:

You need to file an insurance claim with your home insurance policy. The plumbing costs will be on you to pay but any damage and probably your temporary housing will be covered by insurance. Waste water is considered hazardous material but a professional mitigation company will know how to deal with the damage. I know this is difficult but a professional team will help you get through this. Best of luck.



@findingnemo - depends on the deductible though. At our old house, we had a massive deductible. And if you filed 3 claims in a 3 year period, the dropped you. So, lots of considerations.  Plus, if she has already started the work, the insurance might decline if they weren't contacted initially. 

We had to file a claim in 2018 when the shower pan failed in our master bathroom. It was expensive, but in retrospect I wish we hadn't. For 3 years, I held my breath that nothing else would go wrong. When we had problems with our downstairs bathroom in 2020, we paid out of pocket. Just couldn't risk it. 

To the OP, I am so sorry you are going through this. As for cleaning, I would clean with Clorox Clean Up or something like that several times and call it a day.  Or, call in a professional cleaning company. 


Why is it, when I have a 50/50 guess at something, I'm always 100% wrong?
Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,607
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Help with sanitation after a sewage backup

a lot of bleach

 

I had a back up in my kitchen sink

it's yucky

but bleach and more bleach

 

 

 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,342
Registered: ‎03-30-2014

Re: Help with sanitation after a sewage backup

When I had this, the insurance company sent over a hazmat crew to safely remove the evidence and dry things out.

If the flooring, subfloor, baseboards and dry wall has been wet, they need removing.


I still have a funny photo of a toilet sitting in the middle of the family room.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,121
Registered: ‎08-01-2019

Re: Help with sanitation after a sewage backup

I have no suggestions, but am so sorry you are going thru this.  When I was a child, I was staying with my diabetic, wheelchair bound aunt as she couldn't be on her own just yet.  She lived in the country and her septic backed up. She wouldn't let me near the bathroom and fortunately, her neighbor across the street ran a plumbing and septic service.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,588
Registered: ‎09-01-2010

Re: Help with sanitation after a sewage backup

This is definitely an insurance coverage situation.  

 

You need pictures of the sewage backup inside the house, and a professional crew should handle the cleanup, since all of your drain lines will need to be flushed in a way you cannot handle.   

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,422
Registered: ‎08-31-2019

Re: Help with sanitation after a sewage backup

@qualityshopper It sounds like you're saying that the sewage backup did not escape the sink, or toilet. It just contaminated these fixtures, plus the bathtub. It didn't flood your floors, or saturate baseboards. If this is true, as bad as it seems, this is positive. Much better than a major restoration. 

 

Of course you can ask those servicing this situation for advice, but I think you need to relax regarding the fixture clean-ups. Once the backup is released, it will be unpleasant, but easy to sanitize the areas. 

 

Just some good elbow grease and disinfectants will do the job. Clorox is good for this, I also like Microban. It has long lasting effectiveness, 24 hours after application and you can spray it, making it easy to get into tight spots. Perfect for tub and sinks. I would feel comfortable with cleaning first, then spraying with Microban and letting it set for half an hour, or so. You should be fine after this process. 

 

Remember if you're disinfecting in tight spots with poor ventilation to be careful with fumes. I'd glove-up and throw on a mask for the job, too. Maybe use a fan to move some air. Not near the water, of course. 

 

I hope they find the source of the backup soon, and that the situation is resolved. At my mom's house, there was a (clean) water event, with the restoration costing $30,000 and three months of work. These are terrible situations. I feel your pain.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 670
Registered: ‎12-04-2011

Re: Help with sanitation after a sewage backup

Thanks everyone for reaching out. I really appreciate it.

 

As far as insurance is concerned, I've been in contact with them, but it doesn't sound like I'm going to get any help--not even with reimbursement for my hotel stay. The agent said it would depend upon what the exact cause turns out to be, but things don't look promising. On top of this problem, a few days previously, one of my teeth broke off. Fortunately, it's not hurting. As they say, whey it rains, it pours!