What to Keep and What to Discard after a Sewage Backup: Building Materials
Making a Decision on Your Building Materials
In the aftermath of a sewage backup, you probably want to salvage as much as possible. However, unlike in cases of damage caused by clear water—where the main concern is mold—sewage backup damage has a much higher level of risk. With sewage backup, you have to contend with bacterial contamination. Learn more about the risks and hazards.
The first step towards a successful and safe recovery is to make educated decisions as you try to determine what to keep and what to discard. The general rule is: Anything you cannot thoroughly wash and disinfect should be thrown away. We recommend consulting a restoration professional like SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle to help determine which materials can be kept and which must be discarded.
Insulation will absorb and hold the contaminated water and will present health threats. It must be removed to prevent mold and decay.
Wooden wall studs and sills will be covered by new wallboard and painted, and they will be removed from direct human contact. Therefore, they probably won't need to be replaced. Make sure studs and sills are thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and allowed to dry properly.
Rugs, carpet, upholstery, and padding cannot be salvaged. These porous materials must be discarded as they will hold contamination and bacteria. In rare cases, rugs and carpets can be salvaged if you can remove and wash them in hot water.
Flooring such as linoleum, ceramic tile, and vinyl can be salvaged if dried, cleaned, and disinfected quickly. These types of flooring must be removed if you have wood subflooring, because you must allow the wood to dry thoroughly (this may take several weeks). Discard this type of flooring if you detect signs of mold.
Nonporous, hard surfaces such as plastic or metal surfaces can be kept, but they must be cleaned and decontaminated properly.
Hire SERVPRO Professionals
Hiring a professional cleanup and decontamination company like SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle will increase the chances of salvage. The knowledge, experience, and special equipment of a professional company will allow a thorough dry-out, which will prevent additional bacterial growth and allow an efficient decontamination and disinfection of affected areas.
Why Choose SERVPRO of Bear / New Castle?
SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle is locally owned and operated, and serves Bear, New Castle, Glasgow, Christiana, Delaware City, St. Georges, Corbit, Wilmington Manor, Minquadale, and the surrounding New Castle County communities.
Our certified cleaning and restoration specialists are faster to any size disaster. Providing emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night.
- 24/7 Fire Damage Restoration Service - 24/7 Water Damage Restoration Service - 24/7 Flood Damage Service - 24/7 Sewage Damage & Sewage Removal Service - 24/7 Mold Remediation Service - 24/7 Bio-hazard Cleanup - 24/7 Suicide & Crime Cleanup - 24/7 Board-up and Roof Tarping