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Sewer Odors in Your Home or Business and What To Do If You Have a Sewer or Septic System Backup…

Posted on: Thursday November 16, 2017 at 10:35 AM
Sewer Odors in Your Home or Business and What To Do If You Have a Sewer or Septic System Backup…

If your home begins smelling like sewer, you have a problem you can't ignore. When plumbing systems malfunction or are installed incorrectly, it can cause sewer odors in your home. Different problems such as damaged seals around the toilet or improper installation of vents or traps in fixtures might be the cause of odors. Other contributing factors like air leaks, rotted or damp wood, or dry traps could also cause the problem. Homeowners can sometimes handle and correct some smaller issues, but it you have a bigger issue, don't hesitate to call the professionals. Here are some suggestions on how to eliminate sewer odor in your home.

Bathroom Sewer Odors

Does your bathroom smell like rotten eggs? It's not unusual for odors to originate from your toilet, so that's naturally a good place to begin checking for issues. Start by checking to be sure the toilet is properly secured to the floor. If your toilet rocks when sliding it from one side to the other, it's probably the sealing wax ring that needs to be fixed. That's probably a bigger job than most homeowners can fix, so calling a professional plumber is your best and quickest solution. Sometimes an air leak at the toilet's wax ring or in the vent pipe can also create a bad smell.

Sewer Gas Odor

If you smell a foul sewer-like odor, it may be caused from sewer gas leakage from the drainage system. Besides smelling awful, it can be a serious health issue for your family. Not only can it make you sick, it can also cause an explosion from high concentrations of methane gas that is combustible. Sewer-like odors are not something you want to ignore. Other causes of sewer gas smell could be a damaged drain line, a dry or damaged trap, or a damaged or plugged vent. If you determine it's caused from a dry trap, pour water down the drain and call your professional plumber to fix the trap. Sewage may be seeping through a damaged drain line allowing sewer gas smells to enter your home. Most damaged or plugged vents will need to be corrected by a certified plumber.

It Smells When it Rains

If you smell stronger sewage odors after a rain, it may indicate a septic problem. Sewer gas can back up through drains after a rain storm, wet weather or local flooding and cause sewer smells inside your home. Rainwater will run to the lowest point of gravity and collect in the septic system through any crack or crevice. Unpleasant fumes are caused by the accumulation of gases to rise and move upward.

That's what to do if you start to smell something. Do something now to prevent a major problem. If you have a sewer or septic system backup, you should call a professional. Here's why…

Why You Should Spend Money / File a Claim Even Though You Think You Can Clean It Yourself

The number one reason that the home or business owner should not attempt to clean up a sewer or drain backup loss is for the simple fact that most average citizens haven't had the immunization series of vaccinations that prevent the spread of bacteria and disease that can occur when cleaning up sewer or drain back ups. Restated: it's simply not a smart decision and it puts you are anyone needlessly at risk of jeopardizing their otherwise healthy lives.

If You MUST Try To Deal With This On Your Own, At A Minimum Do the Following…

  • Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Wearing rubber boots, gloves, and a mask will protect yourself from exposure to skin, eye or ingestion exposure
  • Wear Proper Footwear – Avoid rushing into the area with footwear that don't have some sort of cleats on them.
  • Do Not Use a Shop-Vac – Shop-vacs are Not equipped to work in this type of environment.
  • Do Not Use Bleach – Bleach can be effective but most consumers apply it improperly. Moreover, there are much better best-practices.
  • Do Not Keep Anything Take Will Go Near a Person's Mouth – Don't attempt to salvage and clean toys.
  • Do Not Keep Textiles or Soft Goods – They will never be safe for you again.

BUT…What We Strongly Suggest Is That You Call a Professional Restoration Service – A professional service can properly execute a plan that addresses not only health and safety but also has the capability and expertise to properly and completely sanitize and dry out the structure.

What is Salvageable?

  • All semi-porous properly cleaned and sanitized structural materials can be dried with proper equipment that creates a drying chamber
  • Rugs, carpets, padding are not salvageable under any circumstances
  • Drywall and insulation are not salvageable.
  • Baseboards can be salvageable but often are not because they can be difficult to be placed back exactly like they were after they were taken off.

Professional Restoration Companies Work Best With Insurance Companies

Good restoration companies will respond with about an hour and hey can help you work with your insurance company and evaluate the damage as well as processing the restoration of your damaged areas. You want someone there who knows how to fix the situation for the least amount of out of pocket expense.

A good restoration company can make sure your water or wind or fire damage is fixed right and that you're out of pocket damage liability is kept to a minimum. We've helped numerous home and business owners and they and their insurance company always appreciate our surgical approach to restoration!