Tag Archive for: sewage

Different types of flooding and how to combat them.

When you think of flooding, it probably seems straightforward: rain, rain, rain, with nowhere to go… flooding.

However, it isn’t quite so simple.

There are various types of floods, and the damage each can do to your home can be different.

Knowing which types of floods could affect your home is essential to better prepare for the disaster.

Different Types of Floods:

  • Coastal flood
  • River flood
  • Flash flood
  • Groundwater flood
  • Sewage flood

Coastal Flooding

A coastal flood is an accumulation of water on land caused by waves, tides, storm surge, or heavy rainfall.

Coastal areas are prone to flooding because they are near the ocean.

Due to climate change, the risk is expected to continue to grow.

According to the Office for National Statistics, over 5.3 million residents live in coastal towns in England and Wales, of which 3.5 million live in seaside towns and 1.9 million in other coastal towns.

Coastal flooding can have dire consequences, from drownings and injuries to contaminated water-caused sicknesses to mental health problems.

Some of these include mental health issues caused by stress during the flooding, injuries while attempting to escape from the water or falling debris, respiratory illness due to damp environments that can lead to mould damage, and coming into contact with contaminated flood water.

There are three levels of coastal flooding:

  • Minor: Low likelihood of property damage and not directly life-threatening
  • Moderate: Elevated likelihood of property damage and possibly life-threatening
  • Major: Significant likelihood of property damage and seriously life-threatening

River Flooding

A river flood occurs when water rises over the top of riverbanks.

Any size of river and stream has the potential to flood, with rivers having an increased potential to overflow once every two years.

Typically, river flooding is caused by extreme rainfall, long-lasting thunderstorms, combined rainfall and snowmelt, and ice jams.

These pulses of melting snow or rain cause water to rise above the riverbanks and flood surrounding areas.

Though river floods can usually be predicted, there is potential for unexpected property damage if a dam or dike breaks.

However, most of the causes of river floods often stem from storms that allow enough warning for those in surrounding areas to evacuate safely.


Flash Flooding

Flash flooding begins within 6 hours of heavy rainfall and is often caused by severe thunderstorms and other weather patterns.

Flash floods can also be the result of a dam or levee breaking.

Several factors contribute to the severity of a flash flood, including:

  • The intensity of the rainfall
  • Location of the rainfall
  • Landscape
  • Soil type and condition

Urban areas are more prone to flash floods than suburban or rural areas, and the damage is likely to be greater with less soil to soak up the water.

However, the lack of soil is not the only reason for this increased risk of flash floods.

Areas that have soil but haven’t seen rain in some time are in similar danger since the water cannot be absorbed by the soil fast enough, leading to water quickly running off to lower areas.

The greatest danger with flash flooding is that it can occur quickly and leave little time to prepare.

Those in areas of heavy rainfall are urged to know the difference between flood watches and warnings to identify if an evacuation is needed.

Most flood-related deaths are the result of flash foods.

They can also lead to significant structural damage to homes, including foundation damage, damage to appliances, and long-term harm resulting from mould.


Groundwater Flooding

Groundwater floods are usually the result of inundated drainage systems by significant rain that causes water to overflow into streets and nearby properties.

They are equally likely to occur in urban and rural areas.

Fortunately, groundwater flooding happens gradually when the water levels are shallow, so homeowners often have time to remove their possessions.

However, this groundwater flooding can be troublesome because it may persist for weeks or months until the soil can absorb the standing water.

As a result, they can lead to significant danger to homes, with an increased likelihood of structural damage to properties and more risk to long-term risks such as mould.


Sewage Flooding

Sewage flooding is caused when unexpected heavy rainfall overwhelms sewage systems or treatment plants, causing them to break down and release untreated sewage into water bodies.

Sewage floods are arguably the most unpleasant, with sewage leaking through pipes or drains or coming up through toilets, sinks, or showers.

These floods are the most hazardous because the water is contaminated with harmful bacteria and chemicals that can cause infections, diarrhoea, fever, vomiting, and other diseases.

Fast response and a thorough and detailed clean-up by experts familiar with sewage cleanup services are vital in these situations.


Recover from Flooding Damage to Your Home

No matter the type of flood, the damage to your home can be severe.

Each home flooding situation is different and requires an expert to know the correct steps that need to be taken and how to best recover from the damage.

ServiceMaster Restore has qualified flood and water damage restoration experts who are highly skilled and can get your home back to normal as quickly as possible after a flood occurs.

See how your local experts can help you by finding your nearest ServiceMaster Restore business today.

How to remove hazardous waste from your premises.

As the private landlord of a residential tenanted building or the manager of a housing association, there may be occasions where you have to deal with hazardous waste that previous occupants have left on your property.

This is naturally not an ideal situation for you.

Particularly as you may not know what to do next.

Thankfully, at ServiceMaster Restore, we do.

As experts in damage restoration, we know how to safely dispose of dangerous materials and restore your premises to their original condition.

Chiefly, all hazardous waste should be handled cautiously and disposed of quickly, as they can be dangerous for your health.

So, if a tenant has moved out and left hazardous waste, how should you deal with it?

Types of hazardous waste

Hazardous waste covers a wide range of unpleasant substances.

The types of hazardous waste we’ve come across in vacant residential properties include:

  • Drug paraphernalia, such as needles and syringes (sharps)
  • Human and animal waste
  • Bodily fluids
  • Rotten food
  1. Carry out a risk assessment

Before beginning any clean-up, undertaking a risk assessment is necessary to determine the type of waste and how to dispose of it.

Removing hazardous waste will require the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) and the proper biohazard cleaning and sharps removal equipment.

  1. Clear and clean the property

The first step must be to sanitise and clear the property of all waste.

Then the property will require a deep clean to prepare for the next occupant.

  1. Use a professional restoration and cleaning service

Given the health risk and specialist nature of waste clearance cleaning, we recommend using a professional restoration and void cleaning company like your local ServiceMaster Restore.

They will have the skills and the equipment to remedy the waste effectively and safely.

The sooner your property is restored, the sooner you can let it to new tenants.

At ServiceMaster Restore, we provide restoration and waste removal services to housing associations, private landlords, and environmental health departments.

Our teams are fully trained in all aspects of hazardous and biohazardous waste removal, including the safe collection and disposal of used needles and sharps.

We can also remove fridges, freezers and mattresses requiring unique disposal.

With the waste cleared, we carry out a deep clean and decontamination.

We can also provide fogging, where very fine droplets of disinfectant are sprayed throughout a room to disinfect it thoroughly, or Ozone treatment, which removes unwanted odour and kills mould, vermin and microorganisms.

Contact ServiceMaster Restore

If your property has suffered damage from hazardous waste, contact your local experts at ServiceMaster Restore to help with the clean-up.

With fast response times to callouts in emergencies and preventative solutions to mitigate the reoccurrence of issues, whatever the damage, we will be there for the aftermath.

In an emergency, call 0845 762 6828 or find your nearest ServiceMaster Restore business to see how your local experts can help.

Sewage Backup? Here’s what to do.

Sewer lines transport waste water away from your home through underground plumbing that leads to local sewer mains.

If the line clogs or fails, it can create a raw sewage backup in your home.

This is a grave hazard to your home.

Not only is the smell unbearable, but it is also a biohazard that destroys any absorbent material it touches and is incredibly difficult to dry and remove.

How dangerous is sewage?

Sewage contains a mix of both water and waste products.

This consists “of both organic and inorganic matter, including human wastes, mineral salts, and garbage,” according to How Stuff Works.

Organic material decomposes quickly and emits odorous gases.

These can be health hazards, especially coming from human waste.

Organic material also contains disease-causing pathogens, so quick and effective sewage removal is critical after any backup.

There’s a sewage backup in your home. Now what?

If you discover a sewer backup in the home, you can immediately:

  • Check all the toilets, sinks and waste pipes for blockages.
  • If there is a blockage that you can clear, clear it.
  • If needed, call a plumber for assistance.
  • Avoid using the toilets or sinks until the blockage has been removed.

If it’s a main line clog, the water will back up and then come up through the bathtubs or any cellar.

PLEASE NOTE: If standing water is in your cellar due to the sewage backup, never enter while the power is on – this is dangerous.

Electricity and water can kill.

Assess the risks

Dealing with a sewage backup can be dangerous.

It’s vital to assess the risks before attempting any clean-up.

Sewage-contaminated water can contain a variety of bacteria and viruses.

While not transmitted through the air, contact with skin can result in rashes or infection if you have even the smallest open sores or cuts.

Accidentally touching your nose, eyes or mouth with hands or gloves contaminated by sewage can make you sick.

When faced with a sewage backup, it is safer to call the professionals.

How ServiceMaster Restore helps

ServiceMaster Restore offers complete sewage clean-up services.

Our specially trained teams safely and effectively extract any water and sewage.

They will also assess any damage and complete a comprehensive remediation plan.

This may include dehumidification and drying services, as needed.

Sewer backups in the basement are smelly, messy and best left to the professionals.

This type of home disaster is also dangerous.

Keep yourself and your family safe, and let ServiceMaster Restore tackle the sewage backup.

You may not know what to do in an emergency like this. But we do.

Whatever the damage, we will be there for the aftermath.

In an emergency, call 0845 762 6828 or find your nearest ServiceMaster Restore business to see how your local experts can help.