What to Keep and What to Discard After a Sewage Backup: Personal Belongings
Making a Decision on Your Personal Belongings
In addition to salvaging building materials, you probably want to salvage as many of your personal belongings as possible. We understand that it’s tough to decide what to keep and what to discard following a sewage backup, especially if some of your items are irreplaceable or have great sentimental value.
Indoor Furnishings & Other Belongings
Hardwood furniture can be salvaged if dried and decontaminated thoroughly within 24 to 48 hours and no mold growth is found.
Laminate furniture should be discarded if the laminate has become delaminated, as this will allow contaminated water to penetrate into the pressed wood layer.
Furniture made of particle board or pressed wafer board should be discarded as they are very likely to absorb sewage water and bacteria.
Appliances and electrical devices must be carefully examined, preferably by an electrician. Discard all circuit breakers and fuses that have been submerged. If dark water has penetrated into your appliances, do not use them until they are determined to be clean and safe.
Window drapes can mostly be dried and restored using different techniques depending on the type of fabric. We recommend sending them to a professional dry cleaning facility. These facilities will have the techniques to remove odors as well.
Toys and play equipment must be discarded. Discard all stuffed toys. Even if you think you can completely clean and disinfect these items, keep in mind that they may badly affect your child's safety. Discard any item a toddler or baby might put in his mouth.
Fabrics, clothes, and linens are very hard to clean and salvage. You may want to consider sending damaged fabrics and textiles to a professional dry cleaning facility.
Food and Kitchenware
Discard all foods and medicines, including garden produce, that have come in contact with contaminated waters. Only foods sealed in airtight metal cans that are not bulging or damaged and have been properly sanitized can be saved.
Clean and sanitize dishes, cooking utensils, and food preparation areas before using them.
Discard items that are nearly impossible to safely clean, such as wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples, and pacifiers, since it's nearly impossible to clean them safely.
Hire SERVPRO Professionals
Hiring a professional cleanup and decontamination company like SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle will increase the chances of salvage. The knowledge, experience, and special equipment of a professional company will allow a thorough dry out, which will prevent additional bacterial growth and allow an efficient decontamination and disinfection of affected areas.