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7 Deadly Health Risks of Sewage Backup

What’s worse for a homeowner than walking into a sewage backup? Your floors are covered in waste, the air heavy with a stench that makes it hard to breathe. It’s a distressing sight, one that hits you hard. And soon enough, you realize it’s not just a cleanup job—it’s a serious health hazard.

Beyond the awful smell and the ruined bathroom, the unseen dangers of sewage backup are a real threat to your well-being. Here at Complete Flood Restoration, we get it. Emergencies like this are overwhelming and downright stressful. As your go-to team for emergency sewage cleanup in San Antonio, we’ve helped countless homeowners navigate this nightmare with expertise and care.

Our mission? To safeguard your home and family in these unfortunate situations. So, look at the specific health risks with sewage backups, so you understand why calling in the pros isn’t just a good idea—it’s vital.

1. Infectious Diseases from Sewage Backup

You might not realize it, but sewage is like a cocktail of harmful microorganisms just waiting to wreak havoc on your health. Here’s a rundown of some of the infectious diseases you could be facing:

  • E. coli Infections: These bad boys can lead to severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, and even kidney failure. Ouch!
  • Salmonella: Say hello to symptoms like fever, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Not fun, especially for vulnerable folks.
  • Hepatitis A: This liver infection is no joke—it brings on fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, and jaundice.
  • Norovirus: Known as the stomach flu, this bug causes intense vomiting and diarrhea. It spreads faster than wildfire, too!
  • Giardiasis: Thanks to the parasite Giardia, you could be dealing with diarrhea, gas, and nasty stomach cramps.
  • Cryptosporidiosis: Another parasite, another round of watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, and dehydration.
  • Shigellosis: Courtesy of the Shigella bacteria, expect bloody diarrhea, fever, and stomach pain.

Ever experienced sudden, agonizing stomach pain or relentless diarrhea after encountering floodwaters? Yep, these pathogens might be to blame. And let’s not forget about the increased risk of fungal and bacterial infections. That’s why it’s crucial to handle sewage backups with care and seek professional help ASAP.

At Complete Restoration, we’re all about thorough cleaning and disinfection to make your home safe and secure. Want to know more about how we tackle these risks? Check out our sewage cleanup page.

2. Respiratory Infections from Airborne Bacteria

When sewage starts backing up, it’s not just your floors that suffer—the very air you breathe gets attacked too. Moist environments become breeding grounds for molds and bacteria just waiting to mess with your respiratory system. Here’s what you could be facing:

  • Aspergillosis: Mold spores can trigger allergic reactions or more severe respiratory issues, depending on your immune system’s strength.
  • Legionnaires’ Disease: Spread through inhaling contaminated water droplets, this nasty bacterial infection can lead to severe pneumonia.
  • Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis: Repeated exposure to airborne irritants, including mold, can cause this condition, especially in damp environments after a sewage backup.
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV): In moist conditions where bacteria thrive, viruses like RSV can cause respiratory issues, especially in the young and old.
  • Pulmonary Hemorrhage: Rare but serious, this condition can happen when inhaling certain types of mold, like black mold, leading to bleeding in the lungs.

Our team focuses on restoring air quality to keep our neighbors’ homes and families safe here in San Antonio. 

3. Skin Infections Due to Direct Contact

EEver had that moment where you brush against something wet in your garage, only to find a nasty rash spreading across your skin later? Yeah, that could be from sewage-contaminated water, and it’s not pretty. Here’s what you could be dealing with:

  • Contact Dermatitis: Your skin gets inflamed from sewage irritants, leading to redness, itching, and blistering. Not good. 
  • Cellulitis: Bacterial infections sneak in through cuts or cracks in your skin, causing painful, swollen areas that spread fast if not treated pronto.
  • Fungal Infections: Warm, moist environments post-sewage backup are like paradise for fungi. You might end up with itchy, scaly patches or rashes on your skin.
  • Impetigo: Not just for kids—this highly contagious bacterial infection can hit adults too. It starts with red sores that burst, ooze, and then crust over. Yikes.

Whether it’s simple irritation or a full-blown bacterial infection, it’s not something you want to treat lightly. We use the best protective gear and cleaning practices to handle these hazards, so no one has to suffer these painful annoyances.

4. Chemical Hazards in Sewage Contamination

Sewage is more than just a mix of biological waste—it’s a gross cocktail of hazardous chemicals too, often washed down from roads, factories, or even your own cleaning closet. Ever caught a whiff of that harsh chemical smell after a backup? That’s a warning sign.

Here’s a breakdown of the potential chemical hazards commonly you may be facing:

  • Industrial Chemicals: solvents, heavy metals like mercury and lead, and other toxic substances from factories or industrial areas.
  • Household Cleaners: Your everyday cleaning products can also sneak into sewage, including drain cleaners, pesticides, and petroleum-based stuff.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): These can evaporate into the air, posing an inhalation hazard. Found in various industrial and household products, they can cause everything from irritation to serious health issues like nervous system damage and even cancer.

But fear not! With our expertise, we’ll clean up and neutralize these chemical hazards, ensuring your home is a safe haven for you and your family again.

5. Long-Term Health Risks of Sewage Backup

What’s scarier than an immediate health threat? The ones that lurk silently, affecting you and your family over time. Continuous exposure to certain elements in sewage can lead to chronic health conditions affecting the liver, kidneys, and lungs. Our prompt, thorough cleanup services mcut down these risks, helping you and your loved ones avoid long-term health issues.

6. Mental Health Impact from Sewage Backup

Let’s face it, dealing with a sewage backup can be an emotional rollercoaster. The stress and anxiety of cleaning up, worrying about the safety of your home, and the disruption to your daily life takes its toll.

 Who hasn’t felt overwhelmed by unexpected home disasters? 

Here at Complete Restoration, we know how to be the calm within the chaos, and help support your through this tough experience. 

7. Increased Risk of Injury During Cleanup

Did you know that trying to tackle sewage cleanup on your own can be a recipe for disaster? Slips, falls, and exposure to harmful substances are common risks that can lead to serious injuries. Why risk it when you have experts at Complete Flood Restoration just a call away? Our San Antonio team comes equipped with the right tools and eknow-how to handle any mess safely and efficiently. Leave the dirty work to us!

Preventative Tips

How can you prevent sewage backups?

Stay ahead of the game with a few smart moves. Here are some tips to keep your sewage system running like a dream:

  • Regular Maintenance: Give your sewage system some love with regular check-ups and cleanings, especially before those rainy seasons hit our beloved Alamo City. Catching problems early can save you from messy backups down the road.
  • Proper Disposal of Grease: Grease down the drain? Not a good idea. Let it cool and toss it in the trash instead. Pouring grease down the drain can lead to some serious pipe blockages over time.
  • Mindful Flushing: What goes down the toilet matters. Stick to flushing only toilet paper and human waste. Items like wipes, feminine hygiene products, and paper towels, belong in the trash. 
  • Install Backwater Valves: Consider installing backwater valves in your sewer line to prevent sewage from backing up into your home during heavy rains or flooding.
  • Maintain Trees and Shrubs: Tree roots can infiltrate sewer lines, leading to blockages and backups. Regularly maintain trees and shrubs near your sewer lines to prevent root intrusion.

With these preventative measures, you can steer clear of sewage backup disasters and keep your home and family safe.

A Success Story

When Desantii’s home was hit by a devastating sewage backup that flooded half of their house, they turned to us for help. Our team sprang into action immediately, arriving promptly and ready to tackle the mess. With our meticulous attention to detail, we left no stone unturned in ensuring that every step of the cleanup process was executed flawlessly.

Despite pushback from the insurance adjuster, who downplayed the severity of the situation, our dedicated team leader, Alex, went above and beyond to advocate for Desantii’s health and safety. Armed with a thermal imaging camera, Alex provided irrefutable evidence of the extensive damage and effectively communicated the potential health risks and liabilities involved. Desantii expressed their gratitude for having us on their side, knowing that we spared no effort in ensuring that their home was properly sanitized and dried out.

We’re Here for Your Safety and Peace of Mind

The risks associated with sewage backup are extensive and can have severe implications for both health and property. As San Antonio’s trusted restoration experts, we are equipped with the knowledge, tools, and dedication required to address these challenges effectively. 

Don’t underestimate the severity of sewage backups. Prioritize your health and safety by contacting Complete Restoration to ensure your environment is not only cleaned but truly safe and secure for everyone involved.

For further information and resources on the health implications of sewage backup, consider visiting this CDC page on environmental health. Remember, with sewage backup, it’s not just about cleaning up—it’s about safeguarding your health, your environment, and your future. 

Call Complete Restoration today to ensure a thorough and safe recovery from any sewage backup incident.