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Sewage Removal From A Crawl Space
Until today I thought I had probably seen all I possibly could see when doing sewage removal in a crawl. I have seen all kinds of nasty things when stuck in confined spaces but today may have been the worst. Drain flies are gross, as I think everyone would agree. When you have sewage sitting in a crawl space staying wet from sewer water constantly trickling through, and warm from the heater system right above it, you have the perfect breeding ground for drain flies.
You may want to also read The Ultimate Guide on How to Get Rid of Flies, if you already have a pest issue. So it takes a few days to dry a crawl space anyways so I figured the best way to do this particular sewage removal would be to dry it first. The smell of this home was horrendous and in the almost twenty years I have been doing this I believe this may have been the worst smelling job of my life. Sewer back-up is never fun but after sitting a month or so it will not be any more pleasant, that’s for sure! This homeowner had a plumber out to rod the lines because they noticed a faint smell starting to develop. A plumber came out and rodded from the cleanout to the street and not from the toilet to the street, That left fifteen feet of pipe still clogged and the plumber told them the only way to fix it further was to replace the pipe. That would cost thousands that the homeowner simply did not have. So they let it sit there figuring they would take care of it when they saved up some money. I mean it did not smell to bad they thought. Well a few days later it rained and the humidity outside and in went up so the smell started to become a problem. The breaking point came in the form off drain flies. By the time they showed up the homeowners had had enough and started making phone calls. We came out on Christmas Eve and were the third estimate. I told them that I would do the job for half of the price of the lowest estimate because of the time of the year and their terrible story. It left them a bill of $1200.00 and I could tell right away that they weren’t prepared to get it done on Christmas eve, even before they told me. They asked if I would take a payment plan and that almost never works out well for the company so I informed them that we do not. I did not want them to have their house smell so bad as I left so I opened their front door and their backdoor and pulled the lid of the crawlspace. The humidity in the crawl was in the 90s and the outside humidity was only 20 percent so the nasty wet air rushed out of the crawl in a hurry. A temporary fix but for the first time in two weeks their home did not smell like a port-a potty.
After a few days they called me back and said the smell and the flies had worsened and that they had scraped together six hundred bucks. This particular crawl was only two feet tall and the trench of sewage was about 10 feet from the entrance. I am 6’5 and almost 300 lbs so the idea of crawling on my stomach to remove a river of poop for 600 bucks sounded like a terrible idea. I thought about their problem all night and literally lost sleep over as the smell haunted me. I woke in the morning feeling so guilty for not helping these people from that terrible smell knowing their situation. I called and told them that I would do it for $600.00 but not to tell anyone. They thanked me as I got started setting up some drying equipment as I came up with plan for the safest water removal for me and their home. I put in an air scrubber to do a few things. I wanted it to act as a fan, clean the air and collect drain flies. I vented a dehumidifier into the crawl to prevent pressurizing the crawl with the scrubber and to remove the humidity. I told them I would be back in two days with a shovel once it was dry to remove the poop. I assured them that their house would smell better within a few hours and that the flies would almost disappear. Two days later I showed up and the house smelled normal which was fantastic! I eagerly took the plastic down from the entrance so I could check out the crawl, and what do I see? Water had covered almost the entire crawl and I immediately informed them they needed the plumber back out. I was so depressed that this was not going well and that night I lost some sleep. Turns out the homeowner rodded his own line (from the toilet this time) the very next day and removed his own clog, thus draining the water. I told him I would be by the next day and that no matter what the crawl looked like we were going to get it done! I lost sleep for the third time over this foul crawl space as I nervously waited for whatever I had in store for me in the morning.
The last day of the project had come! I woke up anxious as I explained to my wife about this particular job and the torment it was causing me. Just once I want her to come with me and just peek here head into one of these holes I slither into. So upon reaching the home I am pleasantly surprised with how dry the air is and the lack of further complications as I was dreading the worst. I suit up and crawl into the abyss feeling safe in my full space invaders attire. I mean I was triple wrapped in haz-mat if you know what I’m talking about! So everything goes smoothly as I shovel the now dry muck out. I fill one 40lb bag and then another with no real problems. I hand them out of the hole to my helper and wait for the lime. As I am sitting there I notice millions of still developing drain flies, that were buried but now exposed, start to swarm towards me. I about lost it in the bottom of that house at that moment. The idea of being over run by millions of creatures that live and thrive in poop was beyond disgusting. Just when I could not stand being down there anymore I had received my bags of lime and promptly powder doughnutted those little bastards to a warm death. The crawl is now dry and poop free with no little drain flies and I am out of that hole forever. The customers are happy and got a hell of deal. As long as no one finds out that 2nd Chance Water Restoration did all that for 25 percent of our competition I’ll be a happy guy!
Here is what the EPA says about air duct cleaning, mold and more. Call us for a free quote on air duct cleaning too!