My Plumbing Backed Up: Stay Safe, Clean Up, and Avoid Problems with Basement Flooding

When your plumbing backs up, your world stops. When your basement is flooded by a back-up, everyone in your home is exposed to raw sewage and electrical threats. The problem needs to be treated immediately, and by serious professionals. Once the immediate threat is removed, you will need to worry about restoring your basement and treating any mold.

In both respects, Steamatic can help! We can refer you to professional help with your plumbing issues, and our full suite of water and mold restoration services can get life back to normal in no time. We are available 24/7 to help you in your time of need.

In the interest of prevention, public safety, and reader appreciation, we would like to present to you some valuable information about flooding caused by plumbing back-up. Read on to learn how to stay safe, clean up, and avoid future problems with flooding!

A word on health and safety

It is highly recommended that you contact a professional for help in the event that your plumbing backs up. Steamatic professionals are standing by 24/7 to help you with any water damage repair or document restoration services that you may need, and we can also refer you to a professional to help with your immediate plumbing issue. This is a job for professionals; raw sewage and flood waters are brimming with bacteria, fecal matter, viruses, and other caustic microorganisms that can seriously jeopardize your health. Flooding of this nature is especially hazardous to children and pets.

In the event that your plumbing backs up and floods your basement, follow these safety tips:

  • Do not enter the basement. This is especially true if the water level has risen to your electrical outlets, but even damp floors can expose you to illness when your plumbing backs up. When in doubt, turn off your power supply.
  • Wear appropriate safety gear such as rubber gloves, boots, face mask, and safety goggles when nearing the affected area.
  • Go immediately to the hospital if any cuts or orifices are exposed to flood water.
  • Disinfect all affected areas and equipment with bleach.

How to clean the flooded area

Follow this cleaning process to minimize flooding damages after your plumbing backs up. Remember that safety is the most important thing.


Assemble your cleaning arsenal. This should include:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Rubber boots
  • Garbage bags
  • Rags, scrap cloth, and paper towel
  • Mopping and sweeping equipment (bucket, mop, broom, dust pan)
  • Cleaning solutions, disinfectants, and deodorizers
  • Shop vacuum for water disposal


Remove all furnishings. Carpet and other absorbent items may need to be disposed of due to their high risk of mold growth. Non-absorbent items and appliances are salvageable, but it is often better to be safe than sorry.


Clean and disinfect, room-by-room. First you will need to vacuum up all standing water, though the presence of standing water indicates that you require professional assistance. Use two buckets for cleaning, designating one bucket to cleaning and another to rinsing. Mop as normal, but be sure to replace your clean rinse water regularly. You will need to disinfect, applying your chosen solution to all affected areas and allowing adequate contact and drying time. Use dish washing liquid for items with light exposure to flood water, and laundry detergent for items that are more heavily soiled.


Ventilate thoroughly. Open all windows and doors that you can. Circulate air using box fans. Run a dehumidifier. This may seem like a lot of work after an already exhaustive clean, but it is a crucial step in the fight against mold growth, so take it seriously!

An ounce of protection worth a pound of cure

Prevention is always the best policy. There are several modifications and maintenance strategies you can use to minimize your chances of suffering more flood damage in the future.

  • Install a backflow device and check your valve often. Inquire about having a backflow device installed in your yard to stop sewage from backing up in your private line in the future. If you have one installed, then you should inspect and clean it periodically to ensure it remains in good working order.
  • Private pump station systems also exist to help minimize your chances of facing floods. These must be maintained with annual check-ups. Steamatic professionals are happy to recommend service providers.
  • Use root eliminating products. Flushing root-killing products down your toilet can stop trees from growing in your sewer. These products are available at many hardware stores. Please choose an environmentally-friendly product.
  • Avoid flushing unfit items. Do not try to flush diapers, cotton swabs, female hygiene products, or moist wipes down the toilet. Do not dump oil, paint, grease, or any hazardous chemicals into your toilet. DO not dispose of yard waste in the toilet.
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Many thanks for your service and professionalism. I was very pleased with the quality of work performed. Best Regards.

Mr Currie - Steamatic Outaouais