Sewage Damage Frequently Asked Questions

For answers to frequent questions about SI Restoration Sewage Damage Clean Up services please select one of the links below.

Does SI Restoration handle residential or commercial sewage damge?

SI Restoration is equipped to service both residential and commercial customers. Sewage damage can happen anywhere at any time. Our certified staff is equipped to handle the smallest of homes to the largest of commercial properties (eg. warehouses, manufacturing plants, retail stores, etc.)

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How quickly will SI Restoration respond to my sewage damage call?

SI Restoration is an emergency response team. We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to handle sewage damage projects large and small. We guarantee:
• 10 minute callback response to your initial call
• 2 hour arrival response after your initial call

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What causes sewage damage?

Sewage damage can happen for any number of reasons. Here is a breakdown on how to identify the source of your sewage damage:

Local

Toilet Seepage
Every toilet has protective gaskets, or wax rings, at their base to protect against leaks and seepage. It is recommended to inspect these rings on a semi-annual basis. Once the integrity of the gaskets become compromised, leakage could be very costly.
Pipe Blockage
One of the simpler fixes, pipe blockage occurs when any large household item is lodge in a toilet or drain. Plungers, liquid plumber, and augers (snakes) can be used to dislodge most items. However, a plumber or sewage damage specialist may need to be called in for more severe blockages.
Pipe Corrosion
When the integrity of your pipes become corroded or dilapidated, sewage damage is unavoidable. Corrosive soil, acidic water, aggressive flux, and sub-par installation methods can all be attributed to pipe failure.
Warning signs that your pipes may be in need of replacing are:
• Higher than normal water bills
• Rattling/odd noises
• Discolored water
Replacing pipes may be expensive. However, repairing sewage damage along with replacing pipes is exponentially more expensive. Take any precautions you can before encountering sewage damage in your building.
Growth of Large Roots
A less common, yet extremely serious, source of sewage damage is the uncontrollable growth of large tree are plant roots. Roots can either wrap themselves around or penetrate pipes, causing substantial sewage damage in the home or business.

Non-Local

Sewer Overflow Due to Flooding
Heavy rains and flooding can cause sewage overflows that affect home throughout your neighborhood or town. Your municipality will likely be notified of the flooding and will offer assistance to those affected by the sewage damage.
Sewer Main Blockage
Like the piping in your own home, oftentimes the main line connecting homes in your neighborhood to your local sewage plant can become obstructed. In some cases, the main is blocked in proximity to the plant, causing municipal officials to work on the blockage and offer assistance to affected residents. However, other times the main is clogged at the residential end, leaving home and business owners responsible for handling the repair and restoration.

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How quickly should I report sewage damage?

IMMEDIATELY. The answer is that simple.
Exposure to sewage damage can cause cross-contamination to unaffected areas of the home or building as well as severe health and safety hazards. The premises should be evacuated immediately and a sewage damage specialist should be contacted just as quickly.

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Can other areas of my home/office become affected?

YES. Cross contamination is a key safety hazard when being affected by sewage damage.
In order for cross contamination to not occur, an area must be properly contained and ventilated. In most cases, only sewage damage specialists are equipped to handle this procedure.
Cross contamination can lead to toxic fumes, seepage, and exposure to airborne bacteria and viruses.

What are the health risks involved with sewage damage?

The dangers of raw sewage come in the form of serious infections and diseases. Thousands of pathogens and parasites fester in the waste and excrement found in raw sewage. Home and business owners must take control of the situation before family or colleagues contract diseases like:

Bacteria
Campylobacter jejuni – long-term effects include arthritis and Guillain-Barre Syndrome
*Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a disorder affecting the peripheral nervous system, causing ascending paralysis
(Escherichia coli) E. coli – causes bloody diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting
Salmonella – causes gastroenteritis, typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever

Parasites
Cryptosporidiosis – life-threatening in immune-deficient patients
Giardia – causes diarrhea, dehydration, malabsorption, chronic weight loss
Roundworm (Ascariasis) – blocks intestinal track. Causes chronic cough, shortness of breath
Tapeworm (Helmiths worm) – feeds on intestinal track. Causes vitamin deficiencies, fatigue, weight loss

Viruses
Adenoviruses – cause respiratory and eye infections, pneumonia, croup and bronchitis
HPV (human papilloma virus) – known to cause cervical or anal cancer, genital warts
Norwalk Virus – causes gastroenteritis
Rotavirus – causes severe diarrhea and high fevers
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Is one person more susceptible to illness from sewage damage exposure than another?

Make no mistake. The health and safety of EVERYONE is at risk when exposed to sewage damage. However, it is suggested that women who are pregnant, patients with auto-immune deficiencies, sufferers of HIV or AIDS, children under the age of 2 and seniors over the age of 60 or more susceptible to life-threatening illness if exposed to sewage damage. It is vital to evacuate these people immediately. Re-entry to the affected area is not suggested until an industrial/environmental hygienist clears the property of all risks.

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Can my items/room be saved?

It is important to understand that, in most cases, items affected by sewage damage are unsalvageable. Especially items that are to be handled by women who are pregnant, patients with immune deficiencies, children under the age of 2 and seniors over 60.
Most carpeting furniture, upholstery and other common items will have to undergo an extreme sanitation processed before being deemed fit to return to their normal place.

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What items can be sterilized?

Sterilizing affected items and areas must be done using extreme care, following strict guidelines outlined by the IICRC. The IICRC says in its S500 Guidelines that saturated materials that cannot be washed in water at a temperature of 130 degrees F (54 degrees C) for at least ten minutes must be isolated and confiscated promptly by sewage damage specialists. These items include:

  • Carpet/Carpet Padding
  • Upholstery
  • Bedding/Linens/Blankets
  • Wicker
  • Paper/Boxes/Cardboard
  • Fabric/Clothing
  • Drywall
  • Insulation

A third-party industrial hygienist must then be called in on the project for unbiased post-remediation verification to ensure that the premises is safe to reoccupy.

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Will insurance cover sewage cleanup cost?

Every insurance policy is different. SI Restoration advises all home and business owners to consult with their insurance provider to determine coverage availability. Rest assured that SI Restoration works with all major insurance providers including, but not limited to:

  • Allstate
  • Famers and Mechanics
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Geico
  • Traveler’s Insurance
  • State Farm
  • Nationwide Insurance
  • and MANY more

Also, please note that in some circumstances, your municipality may be responsible for paying for your sewage damage depending on where the event that caused the damage took place. Please consult with your local municipality to determine eligibility.

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When can I return to my property?

Only when a third-party industrial/environmental hygienist provides their unbiased post-remediation verification after completion of the sewage damage project can inhabitants of the property safely return.

For more information about SI Restoration and the sewage damage clean up, extraction, drying, and other restoration services we provide, please call us at the number at the top of the page, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or fill out our contact form.

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