If you smell something foul coming from under your house, then you probably have a sewage problem in your crawl space. This is totally dangerous and problematic, but it’s something that you can easily solve. We have you covered.
In this article, we’d give you all the information you’d ever need if you need to deal with a sewage problem in your crawl space. You’d learn the following in this article:
- Sewage in crawl space
- The danger of sewage problems in your crawl space
- Essential safety tips before cleaning sewage in a crawl space
- Step-by-step guide on cleaning sewage in a crawl space
- Costs of hiring professionals to clean your crawl space
Sewage In Crawl Space
Sewage problems in crawl spaces are often caused by the following:
- Frozen and burst sewer drain pipes caused by under-insulated and unheated crawl spaces
- Corroded sewer outlet pipes
- Cracked sewer outlet pipes
- Leaking sewer outlet pipe
- Aging city infrastructure leads to ruptured pipes
- Root-invaded sewer pipes (from trees)
- Troubled drain pipes from the kitchen
- Troubled drain pipes from the bathrooms
It is extremely dangerous to have sewage in your crawl space. Sewage leakage can cause the following problems:
- Releasing of toxic fumes that can cause respiratory issues
- Headache and nausea from constant exposure to sewage odour
- A home that is filled with parasites and pathogens
- Health issues caused by airborne spores from mould releases
- Weakening of structural integrity
You will also experience the following hazards if you have a contaminated crawl space.
Essential Safety Tips Before Cleaning Sewage In A Crawl Space
A sewage clean-up in your crawl space is extremely hazardous. This is why you need to strictly observe the following safety tips from experts:
1. Have the right protective gear.
2. Your safety barriers should be put down.
3. You should have plenty of breaks during the process.
4. All wounds incurred from the activity must be immediately cleaned.
5. Call professionals when confused and not confident with cleaning skills and precautionary measures.
Step-By-Step Guide On Cleaning Sewage In A Crawl Space
This kind of clean-up is not one for the weak. It is, across all endpoints, a dirty job. It is highly dangerous and hazardous because you’re dealing with liquids that are Category 3 black water. This is why you need to have the following protective gear:
- Coveralls and a long-sleeve shirt
- Boots (heavy rubber work kind)
- Heavy and long-cuff work gloves
- Eye protection goggles (wrap-around)
- Face mask or respirator face mask approved by OSHA
Step 1: Secure Everything
You can’t enter the crawl space without first ensuring that no kid or pet will be able to enter it while you’re inside. Their safety must be secured first.
PRO TIP: While you’re securing access to the area, you can also endeavor to minimize toxic fume leaks. You can do this by using plastic sheets on overhead joists.
Step 2: Locate The Damage
Once inside, be extremely purposeful. The first thing that you should do is locate the damage. You can bring a flashlight if the lighting in your crawl space is limited.
Step 3: Repair The Damage
Quickly start repairing the damage once you’ve located it. Give yourself ample breaks and never begin anew without checking all your protective gear first.
Step 4: Dirty Water Extraction
Once done with repairing the damage, you may then proceed with the extraction of dirty water in your crawl space. Be careful with electrical wiring and electrical equipment while doing this.
Step 5: Deal With Remaining Sewage
Use a shovel to remove the remaining sewage. Have a plastic bag where you can securely place remaining sewage and contaminated soil.
PRO TIP: An ordinary trash bag will not suffice. It will break. You will need a heavy-duty plastic bag.
Tightly seal the bags and schedule the nearest possible time to place them under the care of a licensed disposal facility.
Step 6: Prepare Drying Equipment
Do not begin preparing your drying equipment without first removing your previously installed plastic sheets. Once done, you may then set up your dehumidifier and air-moving equipment. This process can take at least a week or more to complete.
Step 7: Handle Objects
Remove all contaminated objects that were stored in your crawl space. You can still choose to disinfect non-porous items. Porous items must be properly disposed of.
Step 8: Deal With Crawl Space Soil
Use lime for this process. Spread it into the crawl space. Ensure that it works its way into the soil. This step will ensure the breakage of all remaining organic matter. It will also reduce moisture in the space and effectively prevent the presence of insects and rodents.
Step 9: Inspect
Check the piers and wood joists. Ensure that there are no rotting parts or moulded areas.
Step 10: Ventilate
Properly ventilate the area to avoid the presence of moulds.
Step 11: Reconstruct
Tear out molded and rotting materials. Replace with clean and dry materials.
How Much Will It Cost You If You’d Ask Professional Cleaners To Do The Work For You?
A crawl space sewage cleanup done by professional cleaners can cost you around $10 to $25 per square foot. Computing for fees will depend on the size, accessibility, and issues of your crawl space. It is highly advised that you contact professionals if you are not a skilled cleaner and you have no time, energy, and resources to invest in cleaning materials, cleaning equipment, and protective gear.