Experts: Homeowners should not mess with sewer water

Dos and don'ts for homeowners dealing with sewer water flooding in basements

David Tindall's troubles were only beginning when he couldn't make it to his Royal Oak home Monday night.

He had to stay with a friend in downtown Detroit for the night, and while there, he received news from his brother that his basement had flooded.

"I really didn't even know what to do honestly," said Tindall.

About a foot of sewer water filled his finished basement.  Tindall took Tuesday off from work to meet with crews from Emergency Restoration to start the clean up process.

Since it was sewer water in his home, Tindall is losing everything in his basement.

"All my furniture, electronics potentially my furnace, water heater, washer, dryer you name it.  event he dry wall," Tindall said.

"Dave has a sewage loss that's probably the worst kind of loss you can have," said Al David of Emergency Restoration.  "It's a safety and health hazard."

Al David runs Emergency Restoration with his brother, John.  They both say they have never seen flooding this bad and their phones are ringing off the hook.

"We've received over 300 phone calls and messages in the last 13 hours," said Al David.

The company has 30 trucks with crews working 12 hour shifts to get to as many people as possible.   Tuesday they were focused on making areas safe by removing water and drying.  They will begin returning to homes and businesses on Wednesday to pull out carpet, remove drywall and other damaged materials.

Al David said the biggest don't for homeowners is not to step into standing water when their basement floods.

"There is a lot of contaminants in the water, you could slip and fall, it's just a very dangerous situation there could be live power down there you just don't want to be down there," said Al David.

He said you can keep the air moving until professionals can arrive to handle the problem.

"Use a simple household box fan just so the air doesn't stay stagnate," said Al David.

Emergency Restoration strongly advise against any homeowners tackling this clean up themselves, but if someone does, John David said don't use bleach because it won't keep mold from growing.

"Bleach will just kill the surface and it can still grow back from bleach," said John David.

"There should be something that specifies an anti-microbial, something that will kill  and disinfect it and it should be posted on the label."

John David also said people need to protect themselves from head to toe.

"They need to be safe, they need to cover themselves," said John David.  The white suits the boots the gloves and the masks."

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