How To Clean After a Toilet Overflow

Initiating a thorough cleanup after a toilet overflow is essential to eliminating health hazards and mold development in your home. A sewage system is one of the most important functioning parts of a home, and regularly removes harmful waste and ensures a livable space for the inhabitants. To protect each person in your household from bacterial, viral or parasitic infections, you need fast, efficient toilet overflow cleanup.

Why Do Toilets Overflow?

The primary reason for a toilet overflow is a clog in the drain line leading out of the house. A blockage in the toilet’s drain or a clog in another connecting line can affect proper sewage drainage. The toilet’s trap may be obstructed, preventing water from even reaching the drain line. Tree roots can grow into exterior sewer lines, or the septic system could be overloaded. As soon as you spot an overflowing toilet in your home, turn off the water supply to prevent the further spread of wastewater.

Types of Wastewater

Wastewater is classified in three ways: clean water, greywater and black water. Clean water comes from a source with no bacterial contact such as a sink faucet. Greywater can pose a health hazard and comes from household appliances such as a washing machine, dishwasher or toilet without feces. Black water can be deadly and comes from toilet water with feces, any water backing up from the sewer, pools of standing water and/or exterior flooding.

How to Clean it Up

If any sewage is present, young children and the elderly are at the highest risk of infection and should be removed from the premises until all wastewater is removed and each surface disinfected. Never waste time once a toilet overflow occurs – take care of the spill immediately.

Turn off electrical power in all areas seriously affected by a toilet overflow. Never touch any sewage-infected materials without safe rubber gloves. Do not enter a sewage-filled room unless you are wearing a mask. Do not turn on air conditioning units or HVAC systems leading into the contaminated area until it is cleaned. Airborne particles can pollute and destroy the systems.

For greywater toilet overflows, disinfect the spill area with bleach and hot water. Clean the area again using an antimicrobial solution. After cleaning, all materials used, such as towels and scrub brushes, must be disposed of promptly. If you have an excessive amount of black water in your house, do not attempt to clean the problem alone. Professional wastewater removal services are trained to safely pump out sewage and restore homes. Using trained experts is especially important when the damage has permeated carpets, furniture and sub floors.

Instant cleanup after a toilet overflow can limit the spread of water damage and minimize the risk of disease from contact with harmful microbes. Contact Ed Gardner Plumbing today for assistance with cleaning up after your toilet overflow and advice on how to prevent future mishaps.

Ed Gardner Plumbing is a locally owned and operated. Family owned and operated since 1952! Our business thrives on repeat customers and referrals.



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