Sewage in Carpet

The recommendation for carpet and pad that have been damaged by sewage is that they be removed and disposed of since this is considered a Category III loss. In some cases, highly valued rugs may be considered for cleaning, but should only be attempted through specialized in-plant cleaning processes. In the case of carpet and pad, damaged areas should be treated with an antimicrobial and then be bagged for removal from the environment.

Sewage damage is the most dangerous form of water cleanup. The possibility of blood-borne pathogens and other contaminants is high. The following are basic instructions for handling a sewage water loss. It is strongly encouraged that a technician take classes before attempting this kind of water damage. The following instructions do not cover how to dry the structure.


  1. Advise any occupants that they should leave/evacuate the space.
  2. Inspect and identify any possible hazards that might be in the environment. Identify if electricity is going to be a hazard and/or if there are any safety or health hazards in the affected area that will be a cause for concern.
  3. Technicians must use proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Each person should be working with proper skin protection (Tyvek coveralls), hand protection (exam gloves and/or leather gloves), goggles and respirators (a 3M-R6800 with a 3M-CA2097 filter). Rubber boots should also be worn over the top of their coveralls.
  4. Identify, repair and/or eliminate the source of the sewage and water. Containment may need to be set up to limit the risk of secondary damage to unaffected areas of the location.
  5. Pump out the water and sewage. Check with local municipalities to identify if there are any restrictions concerning the disposal of these materials.
  6. Determine if materials can be decontaminated or if they must be removed and replaced. Check other systems (HVAC) for damage and determine what cleaning and repairs will need to be done to those systems.
  7. Using a pump-up sprayer, apply Unsmoke Microban Disinfectant Spray to all affected areas in an attempt to treat any dangerous bacteria that might have entered the environment.
  8. Remove all unsalvageable materials from the space including the carpet, pad, affected drywall, and other items that have been contaminated. Use caution is removing contaminated materials to ensure that cross contamination is not taking place. Retreat all salvageable items that will remain with Unsmoke Microban Disinfectant Spray and complete a thorough cleaning.
  9. Hard surface items such as sub flooring, joists, and studs should also be treated with a sealer (Foster’s 40-51 Fungal Protector)
  10. Repair and reinstall items and areas that have been cleaned and sealed.