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MailTribune.com
  • Crawl space sewage-spill mess requires big cleanup

  • Q: I had a leak in a sewer line in a crawl space under my house. That leak has been repaired and I thought I cleaned up thoroughly, but whenever I turn on my air system, we can smell sewage. How can I get rid of the smell?
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  • Q: I had a leak in a sewer line in a crawl space under my house. That leak has been repaired and I thought I cleaned up thoroughly, but whenever I turn on my air system, we can smell sewage. How can I get rid of the smell?
    A: Go back to the crawl space and make sure that you have cleaned all visible surface residue left by the leak. It is wise to dig down about a foot or so in the area where the sewage ponded.
    Once that's done, thoroughly soak the entire area with pure bleach to kill bacteria and the smell it leaves. Make sure to take proper precautions when using bleach and other cleaning materials in a closed space. Cover the bleached area with a 60-pound bag or two of powdered lime. You also will want to check for any damaged ducts in your air system, and you may want to consider having a contractor do a professional cleaning of the ducts. They have special machines designed for this purpose.
    Q: I live in a new house that is only a few years old, and I'm having to fix some settling cracks in my ceiling. The problem is that my ceiling has a textured pattern that I can't imitate. How do I fix this?
    A: Textured spray in a can will often do the trick. However, after a bit of experimenting, if you cannot create a matching finish you may want to contact the original builder to find out who performed the finish work. Hiring a professional to make the repairs and re-do the texture may be the only answer.
    While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, a matching finish is key in helping to maintain the quality and value of your home.
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