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Sewer Back-Up In My House: What Do I Do Now?

There is a sewer back-up in my house: what do I do now?

Distraught home-owners ask themselves this every day. Many people think that cleaning up a sewer back-up is no big deal, that they don’t need help. Yet, the perception of mold damage is a different matter. Most think mold damage must be handled by a mold remediation company. The truth is, a sewer back-up is more dangerous than mold.  There are bacteria, viruses, and blood borne pathogens that can have a lasting effect on those exposed to them.

A sewer back up clean-up professional can keep you and your family safe

The yellow pages and the phone book are full of contractors who want your business. But how can you be sure you are getting a professional who will clean up your sewer back-up correctly, and that complications from sewer damage won’t come back in the future? You can find a quality contractor by visiting www.veridry.net.  These independent contractors have been rated on both their honesty and skill. VeriDry awards the best contractors with a VPScore that tells you at a glance who you can trust. VPScore contractors are so confident in their work that they allow VeriDry, a 3rd party, to review their water damage clean-up performance.  You can schedule a VeriDry inspection to make sure that your property is dry, but more importantly, sanitary.

While waiting for your clean-up contractor, here are a few things you should do?

  1. Keep people, especially small children, away from the affected area.
  2. Do not walk through with flip flops, barefoot, or any shoe that will absorb contaminated water.
  3. Turn off the furnace if it is circulating the contaminated air.
  4. Call a plumber to clear any blockage.
  5. Move uncontaminated items away from the affected area.
  6. Get some fresh air and wait outside for the professionals.
  7. Report the loss to your insurance company.
  8. When your insurance company tells you who they want you to use, tell them you have a company on the way.  You have the right to choose any company you want to perform services in your home.
  9. Write down all the claims information. You will need it later.

When the plumber arrives, give a brief explanation of what happened and where the sewer back-up is coming from.  They may snake or scope the line to find the blockage.  Make sure to get the following from them:

  1. A document that shows where and what caused the blockage.
  2. Keep item(s) that could have caused the loss(keep items in a plastic bag for insurance adjusters).
  3. Have the plumber write a detailed description of the cause.
  4. Keep the plumber’s information for the restoration contractor and adjuster.

When the restoration contractor arrives at the sewer back up you should do the following:

  1. Give a brief description of what has happened up to this point.
  2. Be clear on their assessment; ask questions after they have inspected the damage.
  3. If you feel comfortable with the contractor and crew, sign any documents that allow them to work on your property.
  4. Make sure the contractor has a Property Service Request Form for you to sign. This will allow VeriDry to send an inspector to verify that your contractor followed industry standards. VeriDry will ensure that your property is clean and dry before repairs begin.  This protects you, your family, and your property from incomplete drying and unsanitary conditions.

When will your adjuster arrive after a sewer back up?

This depends on when your adjuster receives the assignment. Your insurance adjuster will want all the information that you have collected. According to the IICRC S500 water damage standard; an independent (IEP) indoor environmental professional should inspect and verify (sewer back up) category 3 water damage.  VeriDry is that independent IEP professional.

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