If your toilet clogs up and floods the tile in your bathroom and the carpeting in your hallway, you may want to clean up the mess right away. But taking on the job yourself could be dangerous. The water from a toilet's broken plumbing is called black water, which contains harmful contaminants that can potentially make you sick. Here's more information about black water and what you can do to get your home back to normal safely.
What's Black Water?
Black water, or sewer water, is one of three types of water found in homes, businesses, industrial companies, and other places. The other two types are grey water and white water. Unlike grey and white water, sewer water contains feces, urine and other human waste. The waste usually contains dangerous pathogens, such as harmful strains of bacteria, parasites and viruses, that have the potential to cause infections and other illnesses.
Although it may not seem cost-effective or feasible to you, it's important that you discard any material damaged by sewer water. Once black water soaks into the fibers of fabrics and other soft, porous or organic materials, it becomes toxic. The wet flooring can also cause mold growth in your home. Mold is another contaminant that can potentially cause health problems.
There are three things you can do to keep your home, family and health safe:
- Block off the flooded hallway and bathroom with chairs, wide tape or another barrier.
- Place several fans near the hallway to dry out some of the dampness in the flooring and to keep the scent of raw sewage from permeating the home.
- Call a professional water damage and restoration company immediately.
Now, you're ready to get your home clean and safe again.
What Can You Do to Secure Your Home From Contaminants?
A water damage restoration service contractor will most likely examine your flooded hallway and bathroom to see if there's any way to save your flooring. If there's no way to save your tile and carpeting, a contractor can remove the flooring right away. Once they remove the flooring, a contractor will use a special machine to dry out any water that soaked into the floorboards. After this step, you may expect your floorboards to be sanitized with a biocide to remove any pathogens that may have traveled into the fibers of the wood.
You can keep your home safe from future flooding by checking your plumbing system regularly for problems. For example, if you notice gurgling coming from your toilet or water backing up after you flush, report the problem to a plumber right away. If flooding does occur in your home again, contact a damage restoration contractor for services.
For more details about black water or cleaning up your flooded flooring, contact a contractor today.