When faced with a plumbing emergency, you may be tempted to take matters into your own hands and try to solve the problem yourself. However, this can be more dangerous than helpful, especially if it involves raw sewage. If you have raw sewage under your house, you may think it doesn’t pose a huge risk or nuisance. Indeed, the waste is underground and out of sight. However, there are serious consequences to having raw sewage running beneath your home. This blog discusses the dangers of raw sewage in your house and why this issue needs to be addressed quickly.
Exposure to Disease
The primary danger of having raw sewage running under your house is the potential for exposure to serious diseases, including E. coli., hepatitis A, and other viruses and bacteria that can lead to severe illnesses or even death. These pathogens are found in the fecal matter that makes up raw sewage, so any contact with them can lead to infection.
Unsanitary and Unpleasant Odors
Even if you don’t get physically ill from raw sewage, the unpleasant smell of sewage is enough to make you feel sick. Raw sewage contains a variety of hazardous gases that cause a strong and distinct odor that nothing can mask. The presence of sewage beneath your house can make it difficult to enjoy time in that area, and even when you’re not there, the odors from raw sewage can seep into living spaces and other areas of the home.
Serious damage to your home’s structural elements, including wood rot, flooring damage, foundation issues, and more, can result from raw sewage that is left unchecked. The moisture and acidic content of sewage can cause deterioration, as can the growth of bacteria that may be present in sewage when it’s not properly treated. Involving sewage backup cleanup services can help ensure that raw sewage does not damage your home’s structure.
Possible groundwater contamination is a real danger when raw sewage has been left to sit for an extended period. The waste can leach into the soil and then filter down into nearby bodies of water, such as wells, springs, or rivers, potentially leading to contaminated drinking water that could make you sick.
The presence of raw sewage can lead to the growth of various molds and mildew. These molds can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, and headaches in susceptible individuals. They also have a musty odor that can further contaminate your home. Home decor and furniture can also suffer damage from mold growth.
Raw sewage attracts insects, such as mosquitoes and flies, which are known carriers of diseases. When these insects enter your home, they bring the hazardous pathogens found in sewage, increasing the risk of infection for everyone in your home.
Damage to Appliances and Utilities
When raw sewage is present, it can cause damage to a variety of home appliances and utilities. Sewage backup can clog pipes, leading to costly repairs or replacements. It can also damage washers and dryers, leading to an expense you never expected. Experienced sewage backup cleanup services can help minimize the damage and protect your costly appliances.
Flooding by raw sewage is a major hazard and can cause extensive damage to your home and yard. When sewage backs up, it can seep into walls, floors, ceilings, and other house areas before flowing out onto your lawn or driveway.
Contamination of Food
Raw sewage contains particles that may contaminate food, making it unsafe to eat. This is especially hazardous for anyone with weakened immune systems, including children and older people.
Raw sewage can harm the environment, polluting nearby bodies of water and threatening wildlife in or near them. It can also contaminate drinking water sources, making it necessary to use bottled or other purified water for safe consumption.
The presence of raw sewage can cause grass and other plants to die, leaving your lawn unhealthy and unkempt. You may also need to replace your landscaping plants and trees affected by sewage, incurring additional costs.
Pets at Risk
Pets such as dogs and cats can be particularly vulnerable to raw sewage, as they are more likely to come into contact with it while playing in the yard or walking around your home. Raw sewage contains a variety of potentially hazardous bacteria that can cause illness in pets, so it’s important to prevent them from coming into contact with sewage.
Failing to properly handle a case of raw sewage under your house or yard can leave you open to legal liability. If your raw sewage problem contaminates a neighbor’s land, it’s possible they could sue you for damages. You may also be liable if anyone gets sick from contacting the raw sewage.
Decline of Property Value
When raw sewage is present in or around your house, it’s unsightly and unpleasant. It can also lead to a decrease in the value of your property. Potential buyers may be less likely to consider a home with an unresolved sewage problem.
Raw sewage can contain flammable gases, presenting a fire or explosion risk. This is especially true in confined spaces, such as basements or crawlspaces, where the gas may accumulate and become explosive. Dealing with fire hazards in these cases is another costly and risky endeavor you should look to avoid by involving professionals in advance.
Decline of Insurance Coverage
Negligence in the case of a sewage spill can cause your homeowner’s insurance policy to be canceled. Insurance companies may deem a home with an unresolved raw sewage issue too large a risk and decline your coverage. This can expose you to potential losses, so taking all the necessary steps to eliminate raw sewage in your home is important.
Dealing with Sewage Backup in a Nutshell
The best way to handle a sewage backup is to contact a professional sewage cleanup company that specializes in sewage backup cleanup. They have the expertise and knowledge to safely and properly remove the raw sewage from your home or yard, eliminating potential health hazards and restoring the affected area to its original condition.