Property damage restoration firms qualified to perform sewage water restoration have been trained and follow the IICRC S500 Standard of Care for water damage restoration. According to the IICRC S500, sewage is classified as Category 3 water. Category 3 water is “grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents” (IICRC S500). These variables create additional challenges in the cleanup process. “The first concern in any sewer backup restoration situation is safety,” explains Chris Muller, founder of Integrity Restoration & Reconstruction. “The potential hazards that people can be exposed to demand a focus on the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved. Once safety protocols have been established for the project, we can work towards cleaning and restoring the building,” he finishes. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is one example of a safety measure taken by restoration firms. Respirators, eye protection, full-body disposable coveralls, foot protection, and hand protection are amongst the most utilized PPE.
Sewage, or Category 3 water, cleanup have different requirements from a clean water loss. For example, most building materials such as flooring and sheetrock walls can be dried in place after a clean water loss. Following contact with sewage these same building materials will need to be removed and replaced. The vast majority of porous items (carpets, clothing, furniture, etc…) affected by Category 3 water must be disposed. Most hard, non-porous surfaces such as a concrete floor can be cleaned and sanitized.
The issue of cross-contamination is another major concern during the sewer backup restoration process. Controls should be setup prior to work starting. They must be maintained throughout the whole process. The purpose is to isolate the affected areas from the rest of the structure using HEPA Air Scrubbers to filter the air, temporary walls to contain the area, and decontamination chambers to clean off technicians exiting the workspace while eliminating the foul, sewage odor. Team Integrity has the cleaning equipment and cleaning agents that will treat and remove gross odors and make your property fresh and clean again.