What You Need To Do If Your Apartment Experiences Sewage Backup

Posted on: 11 August 2015

Recently, a woman with three children faced a nightmare scenario: living in an apartment filled with raw sewage. The situation was made even worse by the fact that she couldn't find an alternative living environment while her landlord struggled to get the damage repaired. Thankfully, you can more effectively deal with this situation by adhering to these simple guidelines.

Get Your Family Out of There

The moment you see uncontrollable sewage backup emerging from your toilet, you need to get your family out of there as soon as possible. Take them to a friend or family member's home, or even to a hotel while you deal with the problematic situation that has occurred.

After all, you just don't want them around raw sewage, because it is filled with a wide range of dangerous substances, including bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Chief among these dangerous items are Campylobacter jejuni, E.coli, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium, tapeworms, HPV, Norwalk Virus, and Rotavirus.

Call Your Landlord (and Lawyer) Immediately

Once you've gotten your family out of the house, you need to call your landlord immediately and inform them of the situation. Although the laws dictating this situation will vary depending on the state in which you live, most landlords will be responsible for the cleanup of the sewage in your apartment.

After you've contacted your landlord, call your lawyer to learn more about your rights as a renter in this situation. For example, laws in Indiana state that tenants can actually subtract cash from their rent if the landlord is dilly dallying with the repairs. In fact, they may even be able to terminate their lease without getting into trouble.

Contact Your Rental Insurance Agent

Hopefully, you've set up some rental insurance before you moved into your apartment, as most renter insurance polices will cover the replacement and repair costs of any valuables in your home that have been impacted. Unfortunately, landlord insurance won't cover you against damage caused by sewage backup, so don't expect any help there.

Prevent Recurrences

Once your apartment is ready for you to move back in, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that sewage backup never happens again. First, talk to your landlord about any potential blockages in the main pipe caused by tree or root shrubs and make sure they are willing to investigate these problems as thoroughly as possible.

Next, you can take care of things on your end of the drain by keeping grease and solid objects (like paper towels or plastic bags) out of the drain. You may also want to regularly flush your drain pipes with substances that break apart any severe backups.

Hopefully, you never have to experience this unfortunate issue. But if you do, these steps will ensure that you are more than prepared to handle it quickly and effectively. As long as you, your landlord, and the flood repair technicians hired work together in the cleanup and repair process, there should be no problem.

For more information about water removal, contact CTR Cleanup & Total Restoration or a similar company.