professional diy sewage cleanup - why you should go with a professional

Professional vs. DIY Sewage Cleanup – Why You Should Go With A Professional

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A sewage backup is never convenient, and cleanup can be a tall task, with a wide range of surrounding effects and potential risks to consider. Although many people attempt to tackle cleanup on their own, it is often not a job fit for a simple DIY project. Before performing sewage cleanup yourself, it’s important to consider the tools and resources professionals have at hand to handle sewage cleanup properly.  

With their advanced equipment and experience, professionals are far better equipped to address a sewage cleanup job safely and effectively. This guide will cover all the benefits of choosing a professional in the event of a sewage backup.  

What Makes Sewage Cleanup So Difficult?

Sewage cleanup is a complex process that requires special training and tools to manage, as sewage is not only difficult to clean effectively but also poses several health and safety hazards.

If you are not experienced with sewage cleanup and without the equipment to handle it, you face several potential risks. Some of the most significant challenges of sewage cleanup include:

  • Health hazards resulting from harmful microorganisms, bacteria, and pathogens
  • Foul smells and potentially toxic gasses being released into the air and affecting air quality
  • Disposal of hazardous material is difficult and must align with local regulations
  • Waste and particles contaminating surfaces like furniture, carpets, walls, and personal belongings

What Are the Consequences of Improper DIY Sewage Cleanup?

Given the complexity of sewage cleanup, there are a lot of factors to consider to completely address all of the associated risks. The biggest drawback of DIY sewage cleanup is the lack of necessary tools and equipment, especially when combined with inexperience.

With this challenge, you have less certainty in a successful cleanup and decontamination and are at risk of a few consequences:

  • Inadequate cleaning – Cleaning with ineffective disinfectants and cleansers can leave behind hidden pathogens, odors, and bacteria that can cause future hazards. Inadequate cleaning may also increase the risk of recurring sewage backups.
  • Structural damage and deterioration – Sewage backup can cause water to seep into building materials, corrode pipes, affect electrical systems, and weaken the structural integrity of the building. Cleanup that doesn’t address moisture can affect the holistic health of the property.
  • The risk of mold and mildew growth – Insufficient drying processes can leave remaining moisture that allows mold and mildew to grow and spores to spread. If not addressed properly, the job may require more intensive mold remediation.

Benefits of Professional Sewage Cleanup Services

With all the risks of improper sewage backup cleaning, it’s best to leave the task to the professionals as they have the tools at hand to perform the job successfully. Above all else, professionals understand how to clean sewage backup and protect your home against further risk. Altogether, professional sewage cleanup offers several benefits to provide property owners peace of mind.

Advanced Training and Expertise

The number one advantage of relying on a professional sewage cleanup service is their advanced knowledge and expertise. They will understand industry best practices, important safety protocols, and how to apply them to various situations.

Their advanced training ensures the best possible result from the cleanup process, as they will perform a thorough drain cleaning and home decontamination to address the entire issue and prevent future problems.

With their experience in handling complex sewage cleanup scenarios, they will be able to successfully handle the situation while avoiding cross-contamination and prolonged risks. An expert team will also be able to handle other aftereffects of a backup if they offer additional services like water damage mitigation.

Finally, their expertise means the job will be done more quickly than if you handled it yourself, saving you time and prolonged headaches.

Understanding of Proper Sanitation and Disinfection Techniques

When you trust a professional to handle sewage cleanup over taking on a DIY project, there is no learning curve involved. Professionals will come in and immediately know what to do to address the issue, which is crucial for ensuring a successful result and that no risk remains after the job is done.

Professionals will:

  • Utilize EPA-approved disinfectants
  • Perform a thorough cleaning of the contaminated area and surrounding areas, ensuring the safety of the whole property
  • Follow proper decontamination protocols to minimize health risks

Because of their experience with a wide range of sewage cleanup scenarios, they will also know which techniques and tools to use and when. Experienced professionals will be able to account for variables and unexpected factors to ensure the cleanup goes smoothly.

Access to Specialized Equipment and Tools

There are some tools that the average person just doesn’t have access to, causing another obstacle for DIY sewage cleanup. Professionals have access to the following equipment to assist them in a safe and effective cleanup procedure:

  • Industrial-strength pumps and vacuums – These tools make the extraction of sewage waste easier and more efficient. They can also help extract water from carpet, furniture, and other porous materials.
  • Advanced drying and dehumidification tools – Drying and dehumidification tools help thoroughly dry the affected area and mitigate the risk of mold or mildew growth. Experts also have access to specialized fogging machines that can assist with disinfection.

Careful Adherence to Safety Measures

In addition to their expertise, professionals have the advantage of having access to safety equipment and a significant understanding of essential safety measures. By following careful safety protocol, they will protect themselves, you, and your property from more severe concerns.

  • Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) – Professionals will always utilize full-body suits, gloves, masks, and goggles to minimize exposure to harmful substances and gasses.
  • Containment and isolation of affected areas – An expert team will always close off the affected area to avoid cross-contamination, using tools like plastic sheeting and air scrubbers to create negative pressure zones.
  • Proper disposal of hazardous waste – Professionals will know how and where to dispose of waste associated with the project, all while following local regulations and important environmental protection guidelines.

Compliance with Local Regulations and Laws

The dangers of sewage cleanup mean that there needs to be strict rules and regulations in place to protect property owners and the health of the surrounding environment. These regulations are especially important when it comes to waste disposal, as local agencies have strict regulations regarding sewage disposal. 

As a property owner, you may be liable to fines and penalties if cleanup is not handled properly or if waste is not taken to an approved disposal site like a water treatment plant.

You can expect that a team of trained professionals will have a complete understanding of local laws and regulations, which will protect you and your property against any legal consequences.

Many insurance companies also offer coverage against sewage backup, which can provide additional support and protect property owners against high costs for clean-up and associated damage. Keep in mind that sewage backup events are not automatically included in standard insurance plans, so you should explore comprehensive plans and supplemental options.

DIY Tips and Limitations

In the event of a sewage backup, there may be a need for urgent action. In some cases, property owners may choose to take action before professionals arrive. Although it’s not recommended to handle a backup on your own, property owners should take careful precautions to protect themselves in an attempt.

When attempting a DIY sewage cleanup, keep in mind the following precautions and tips in an emergency:

  • Use PPE like gloves, masks, and goggles
  • Minimize direct contact with any sewage
  • Shut off the water supply to prevent further backups
  • Use disposable gloves to remove any solid waste or blocked debris
  • Use EPA-approved disinfectants

The above tips may be helpful in an emergency and allow you to mitigate the issue before a professional can respond, but bear in mind that handling sewage cleanup on your own is often only a band-aid solution, and you should still contact a professional as soon as possible.

The average person often doesn’t have access to the same tools and protective equipment as professionals. Even if you’re able to mitigate the issue, you may be putting yourself at risk of exposure to hazards in the process. Contact a professional as soon as possible to have them perform a more thorough sweep and disinfection of the area with the right equipment.

Find a Professional Sewage Cleanup Expert at Alpha Environmental

Between the health risks, long-term hazards, and all-around complexity of sewage cleanup, a DIY sewage cleanup will quickly put you in over your head. Fortunately, a professional team can get the job done simply and put you at ease, knowing they performed a thorough cleanup to prevent future concerns.

Our licensed and certified team at Alpha Environmental can help you ensure your sewer system is in its best condition so you can avoid backups entirely. We perform detailed sewer scope inspections to identify any major problems before they become more significant. However, we are also here to support you with drain cleaning and water damage remediation if you do experience a backup so we can help you address the holistic issue.

Contact Alpha Environmental today for support with professional sewage backup cleaning.

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David D.
Lake Oswego, OR
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My wife and I experienced a hot water pipe busting in the crawlspace. It has been a total nightmare. However, Chris and his team provided expert quality care, with timeliness and the greatest degree of professionalism. I would HIGHLY recommend Alpha Enviornmental!
Zhanna S.
Beaverton, OR
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Can’t say enough about Alpha Environmental! Their costumer service is 10/10, they have really good systems in place, responsive, and professional. The gals in the scheduling department are always so kind! As a real estate agent, I use Alpha’s services numerous times a year. Either it’s for Mold bids, oil tank decommissioning, radon etc. They always do a fantastic job! Thank you for all the work you do!