Blackwater Odors: Improve The Indoor Air Quality In Your Home After A Sewer Pipe Leak

23 February 2016
 Categories: , Articles


If the foul smell of raw sewage permeates your home after a sewer pipe bursts and floods blackwater everywhere, take steps to improve your indoor air quality now. Although most sewer pipes burst outdoors, they can create many problems if raw sewage floods into the home. Blackwater, or sewage, contains a variety of contaminants that include bacteria, parasites, and fecal matter that places your family and pets at risk for disease and infection. Blackwater also releases dangerous odors that harm your loved ones. If you continue to inhale the strong odors emitted by the blackwater, you risk infecting your lungs as well. A water damage restoration team can help you overcome this huge problem with specialized equipment that includes an air scrubber. Here's how water damage contractors clean your home and what you can do to keep your home clean afterward.

How Do Water Damage Contractors Remove the Water From Your Home?

Water restoration contractors generally use a high-powered vacuum to remove flooding water during restoration cleanups. This step is critical because it protects your home from pathogens that hide in the wooden structures behind your walls, in the foundation below your floors and in other inaccessible areas of the home.

The vacuum extracts water until the home is completely dry. The contractors may also discard unusable items and disinfect the home as a precautionary measure against contamination. If the home's air remains humid after using the wet vacuum, the contractors may place a dehumidifier in one or more rooms to help control the moisture in the air. Once the humidity levels decrease, contractors clean the air with the scrubber. 

What Does an Air Scrubber Do?

The scrubber removes small and large particles from the home's air in two stages: pre-filtering and primary filtering. The pre-filtering stage removes large particles that come from the flooding water or from the home itself, such as dust and pet dander that rises from the fibers of your carpets during the flooding. The primary filtering stage removes the tiniest particles in the home with a HEPA-grade filter. This type of filter catches and removes microorganisms, small dust particles and other contaminants around 0.3 microns in size.

The contractors can also employ a third filter made of carbon to remove the odors from the house. Sewage contains dangerous toxins, such as methane and hydrogen sulfide, that irritate your nasal cavity, throat and lungs. If the damaged sewer line created cracks in the home's plumbing system, the odors may infiltrate the house. Sewer odors can place anyone in the home at risk for health complications, so it's critical that you ask the contractors to add the carbon filter to the air scrubbing system.

After the water damage contractors secure your home, take steps to keep it clean and safe.

What Can You Do to Improve Your Air Quality and Keep It Clean?

One of the things you might do to keep the air quality clean in your home is place air filters in every room, including the bathroom and kitchen. Even after service providers repair your sewer pipe, odors can still pass through openings or cracks in the floor, basement and walls if a leak develops in the future. A good HEPA filtering system may help you avoid problems by catching and holding the odors before they reach your family.

Also, have your plumbing system inspected regularly for leaks and other damages. Sometimes, tree roots grow around underground pipelines and crush them. Checking your home's vent pipe system on the roof may also protect your family from sewer problems. Vent pipes remove bad gases from your plumbing system and release them outdoors. If the vent clogs up with bird feathers, leaves and dirt, it can't remove the gases and they back up into the home.

If you want to know more about getting rid of the odors in your home, contact water damage contractors in your area today, such as Flagship Restoration.