Avoid the Serious Risks of Raw Sewage Cleanup or Toilet Backflow

Black water cholera

Cholera is one of hundreds of potentially deadly pathogens in raw sewage.

The term ‘Sewage Safety’ is the classic oxymoron, as fluid waste flowing into a home is highly toxic and as a biohazard by definition can be dangerous to occupants’ health. Raw sewage is also known as ‘black water’ or Category 3 water.  ‘Black water’ floods originate from sewer and septic back-ups, broken waste pipes, toilet overflows or lake, pond or river floods. Sewer or “black water” contains human waste, pathogens, infectious materials and is teeming with disease causing viruses, bacteria and protozoa that can cause very serious illnesses. Even after sewage dries, if not properly removed and sanitized, these pathogens can then become airborne and negatively impact Indoor Air Quality.

Black water scene

The embodiment of a very bad day. Raw sewage backing up into a living space.

Flood water from rivers, ponding or lakes also contains silt, animal feces and other organic materials, industrial chemicals, fertilizer runoff and toxic materials. Due to the nature of sewage or flood waters, contact with the contaminated area must be avoided by all occupants. Never attempt to tackle a nasty mess of ‘Black water’ yourself as it is not worth gambling with your health.


A home can be healthy and peaceful one moment, then overflowing with hazardous waste the next. As a homeowner, being aware of the realities of sewage safety is important should this sudden and shocking disaster happen inside your property. We recommend that you immediately call Floodco as soon as a raw sewage situation occurs, because this is such an urgent and dangerous situation.

Quickly dealing with sewage is the most important safety step you can take for the health of your family and the protection of your home. The faster we can attack your problem, the less time and money will be expended during the process. The sooner your home will again be safe and comfortable!


Cleanup Process for Sewage Safety

Black Water cleanup photo

Drying in Process following a Category 3 Black Water claim.


  • If you experience raw sewage water damage, exit the home immediately. Don’t plug your nose, wade in and try to save furnishings or other belongings. It is not safe to be in or near raw sewage, and you should find alternative accommodations for the time being. It is sometimes possible to stay in a building that is undergoing a raw sewage cleanup project, but the contaminated area must be able to be completely sealed off from the rest of the property. We will advise you on this.
  • Only trained, certified professionals wearing the proper Personal Protective Equipment should get involved in the cleanup process. Working in contaminated areas without industrial-grade equipment is never recommended. Sewage is a bio-hazard and exposure can cause deadly disease. Exposures include both the liquid and airborne pathogens.
  • If raw sewage has contaminated an area with absorbent contents, these should be identified, contained, and thrown away in an environmentally safe manner. Once raw sewage has saturated these materials, it is no longer safe to attempt to restore them to a pre-loss state. In accordance with the IICRC guidelines of raw sewage safety, the list of absorbent or porous materials that must be disposed of includes:
  • Carpet and Carpet pad
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Bedding and mattresses
  • Clothing
  • Saturated building materials

Please contact us at Floodco, LLC immediately if you are experiencing any type of raw sewage water damage or other flooding. We are available to respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Raw sewage clean up emergencies are serious, but can usually be completed quickly and safely with the right equipment and quick response time.

Floodco LLC  Emergency Water Removal  406 892-1717


Lose Yourself in This Small House.

Some time ago we invited you to peek into the most famous and beautifully detailed miniature home in the world. This is posted again by request for your enjoyment on a cold and rainy weekend.

As restoration professionals we at Floodco appreciate the fine craftsmanship observed in the homes where we work. So far we’ve seen nothing on this scale and nothing like this exquisite and historic work. Though rooms are tiny and furnishings delicate, this is a ‘trophy home’ in a real sense!

(A link to the fun, interactive tour of the rooms and house follows the explanatory text.)

The dining room and entry foyer of Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House.    ImageDoll's House foyer Designed and assembled by Sir Edward Lutyens, a leading architect of the day, this extravagant scale model dolls’ house was commissioned as a gift for Mary wife of King George V. Built between 1921-1924 and weighing nearly 5 tons, Lutyens’ small but royal edifice utilized over 1500 designers, precise furniture replicas of those in Windsor Castle, functioning doors and elevators- even glowing electrified lighting and running water piped through delicate water line. All entirely in miniature. Quite an extravagant gift, even by today’s standards!

Packing The House For Exhibition

Packing The House
For Exhibition

About 8 feet high and 5 feet wide and deep, the Queen’s doll house showcased the finest of material possessions of the early 20th century. The house was later displayed at public venues to raise funds for Queen Mary’s charities. More than 1.6 million visitors viewed the special collection while exhibited at the British Empire Exhibition in 1924–1925. Now on permanent display at Windsor Castle, it is a ‘must see’ for young at heart visitors, miniature enthusiasts and architectural modelers from around the world.

(The Link to the fun interactive tour follows below.)

Built to a scale of 1:12 (one inch=one foot), the house contains models of products from the prominent companies of that era along with original scaled artwork and murals. It is remarkable for the precise 3D detailing of every object and surface within it, many of which are tiny replicas of historic royal furnishings and decor. Automobiles of that era are parked inside the basement garage. Actual miniature hand bound books reside on hand carved library shelves.Scaled down Items were crafted by the original manufacturers, or by master model makers. The fabrics, carpets, curtains and furnishings are all matched, and  illuminated by working light fixtures. The bathrooms are fully plumbed, complete with flushing toilet and accessorized with miniature toilet paper! Plants in the adjacent gardens appear lush and well tended by temporarily absent master gardeners.

Noted painters were enlisted to produce all miniature artwork for the walls. In addition, well-known authors wrote special books for the house’s library.These were then meticulously bound, each barely 1 inch high. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle submitted his short story “How Watson Learned The Trick”, and the ghost-story writer M. R. James wrote and contributed “The Haunted Dolls’ House”. Other publications on the shelves included those by Rudyard Kipling and W. Somerset Maugham.  Even glass bottles and wood cases stocked in the wine cellar were filled with their actual gins and wines for the parlor or dining table. (Wikipedia references)

We hope you enjoy the fingertip tour inside Queen Mary’s little house and share this with young family members and young at heart friends!  Click on the link to start the tour, then hover and click on the yellow dot markers to the right indicating each room and move around that room using the lower cursers and magnifiers.)                                            http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/queenmarysdollshouse/house.html 

From the staff of FLOODCO LLC.                           Northwest Montana’s ‘Full Scale’ Remediation & Restoration Company!

Credits:                                                                                                                           Linked Website and book ‘The Queen’s Dolls’ House’                                                           owned by the Royal Collection.                                                                                     Copyright 2010 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.                                                                 Website design and photography by Rory Mathews                                                               with web production by Pamela Meredith.

Why Renter’s Insurance Is a BIG Deal!

rentersrental agreement pic

So, you are renting the roof over your head. Should you have a Renter’s Insurance policy? The answer is nearly always Yes! More and more rental agreements are requiring tenants to have Renters coverage – for very good reasons.

Your landlord has an insurance policy covering his building, but it only covers his interest in the building and its fixtures where you pay to live. You the renter get no coverage for your valuable stuff from the landlord’s policy.

Also, no coverage extends from the landlord’s insurance for your personal liability for accidents, damage to property or injuries that your guests may suffer. Should someone get injured during an accident at your rental home, renters insurance can help protect you in the event a liability lawsuit later develops where you are the defendant.

Here’s an example. Jen hosts a little dinner party and two of her guests become horribly sick, food poisoned from something served them that evening. Both end up in the hospital for several days in intensive care. Unable to work for some time during their recovery, the guests, now ex-friends, decide to sue Jen for their huge medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages. Because she does not own a Renter’s policy, Jen then has to hire an attorney to try to make the lawsuit go away. When she loses the lawsuit she is ordered to pay a large judgment (plus the attorneys’ fees). Jen shortly has to file bankruptcy and her good credit is ruined. She ends up moving back into her parents’ home.

If Jen had owned a Renter’s policy before her dinner party, the insurance company would have provided her legal defense and paid a judgement or negotiated settlement – up to the policy limit. So, for its liability protection, a Renter’s Insurance policy is as important as Homeowners insurance protection.

Your apartment doesn’t need to be full of expensive clothing, furniture and electronics to justify purchasing Renters Insurance. The coverage is for financial protection. Renters policies are not very expensive and can often be bundled with an auto policy. Call an insurance agent for more information and a quick quote.

If you are renting your home and experience fire or smoke or water damage, give us a call.  We will answer your call and discuss your situation 24/7.  Floodco, LLC 406 892-1717.

Are April Sniffles and Itchy Eyes Due to Spring Allergies or Indoor Mold?

Allergic person photo

Warmer weather teases us daily. Spring is at last showing signs of arrival here in NW Montana. After such a long cold, wet winter this year, valley residents are at last beginning to enjoy outdoor activities and open up windows that have been shut tightly for 4-5 months.


It’s not only us humans appreciating the change in season, but also plants that will begin to bloom.  This also means people who suffer from allergies to pollen and mold are sneezing, coughing and feeling itchy eyes.  Literally tons of pollen and various mold spores travel great distances through the region’s outdoor air, especially during windy spring days.  These air quality contaminants can be a concern to both people enjoying the outdoor weather and even those indoors as outdoor allergens can blow in through open doors and windows, dragged in on pets and even on our clothes.


People who suffer from year round allergies may see an increased allergic response due to the seasonal condition, but they should also carefully examine their indoor environments for possible allergens. At home, work, or school and other public buildings, environmental issues indoors can impact our health.  A common cause of year long allergies is elevated indoor mold levels which will be generally caused by moisture problems, new or old, known or not, within a home or building.  The inside of a building may not be showing visible signs of water damage or mold growth, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a hidden problem lurking inside a crawl space, attic – even behind drywall in wall and ceiling cavities.

mold in drywall

Mold can hide inside damp walls. A Hidden source of mold in buildings!

For people experiencing allergic conditions or respiratory problems, there are options including having tests done by trained professionals who specialize in the indoor air environment. However, before spending money on mold testing it is a good idea to do a really thorough visual inspection of the premises. Look everywhere in the structure for signs of recent or past water damage. Plumbing leaks, condensation or sewage spills can very quickly cause mold or other organisms to start growing wherever building materials became soaked or just a little damp. Carpets and padding that were not completely dried after cleaning or building framing in attics or crawlspaces can be hidden mold incubators. One non-functioning bathroom fan can cause mold to explode in an attic space or bathroom.


Mold growth is nearly inevitable if materials become wet, particularly in dark, still places like wall cavities, closets, behind furniture, or within closed off rooms. Mold becomes suspicious when air smells ‘funky’. Musty odors can pointy you to the location of mold growth. If mold is apparent and visible there usually is no point in having a mold test done. Simply pick up the phone and call us for help with the first step to curing your indoor air quality issue. Mold cleaning involving more than a couple of square feet are usually NOT Do-It-Yourself projects.


Call the Indoor Air Quality professionals at Floodco, LLC.        406 892-1717. We are here to help you breathe easier!


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