A flash flood could overwhelm the city’s sanitary sewers, resulting in a backup of sewage into residential basements. This can happen in apartment buildings and homes, as well as nearby businesses that have a basement. Once the mess is cleaned, consider installing a backflow preventer and having a professional perform routine NYC backflow preventer testing to prevent another sewage flood from taking place.
Gather Cleanup Supplies
Once your home or building is safe to enter and there is no risk of electrocution, you will need to clean what the sewage flood left behind. There are specialty companies that take on this type of cleaning if you are unable to do it yourself. If you choose to do the work yourself, you’ll need contractor garbage bags, heavy-duty rubber gloves, goggles, a face mask, sturdy shoes, a shovel for debris, a floor brush and a large broom. You’ll also need bleach, old towels, paper towels and ventilation, such as a fan or opened windows.
Remove the Debris
Most items exposed to sewage will need to be thrown out. Carpeting, padding, furniture, paper, cardboard, and fabric will all need to be bagged into garbage bags and taken to the landfill. Some plastic items can be sanitized. Walls and floors should be bleached to remove bacteria, viruses, parasites and mold spores.
Dry the Basement
Set up multiple fans and dehumidifiers to remove moisture. You may need to reapply bleach and disinfectant several times in order to prevent or kill mold and mold spores. It is also important to have a sump pump, battery backup, and backflow preventer installed. This will prevent any more sewage from backing up from the sewer into your basement.