Protect Your House from Sewer Backups

plastic pipe

Sewer backups are officially the most commonly reported infrastructural problems that affect a property. According to an article from the Globe and Mail, water has become the main cause of home insurance claims in recent years. Because of this, home insurance providers have adjusted their policies accordingly, either by raising insurance deductibles or cutting down on insurance coverage for sewer line backups.

What Causes Sewer Backup in Your House?

Before we discuss how to fix a sewer backup problem, it is critical to learn about the causes of a sewer backup in general. There are many factors that affect the performance of your property’s sewer lines and eventually lead to a sewer backup:

  • Old Sewage Systems
    Although most sewage systems are made with the intent to last a very long time, many sewer lines start to deteriorate much earlier than expected. So if your sewer lines have been installed for a few decades, you may expect sewer line backups on a more regular basis.
  • Sewer Blockage
    Sewer blockages are clogs in sewage pipes that are caused by items that are incorrectly flushed down the drain. Some of these items include:
    – Fats, oils, and cooking grease which cool and harden inside sewer lines
    – Wipes that do not break down and accumulate in sewer pipes
    – Hygiene products like sanitary pads, dental floss, etc.
  • Tree Roots
    Roots from nearby trees will inevitably expand and often grow into sewer lines, perforating them and causing your sewers to not drain properly.
  • Heavy Rain
    Every sewer line has a draining capacity that it can handle. However, when rainwater is so heavy that sewage pipes can no longer keep up, sewer backups will happen.

Learning about the different causes of sewer pipe backups is a valuable step in fixing a sewer problem as well as preventing sewer backups in the long run.

How Can I Prevent Sewer Backups?

It only makes sense to eliminate sewer damage causes in order to prevent sewage backups. In order to do this, here are some helpful tips you can follow:

  1. Dispose of fats and greases properly by freezing and throwing them in the trash. You can also dispose of them at fat and grease recycling stations around your city for free.
    Sewage backup prevention
  2. Cut tree roots on a regular basis so that they are no longer a threat to your sewer lines.
  3. Install a backwater valve to ensure municipal sewage water does not find its way into your basement.
  4. Properly dispose of hygiene products in the garbage bin and do not flush them down the toilet.
  5. Have a reliable sewer pipe maintenance plan that includes a periodical camera inspection and cleaning of your sewer lines.
  6. Replace old sewer pipes in order to reverse signs of aging in your sewer pipes.
  7. Consult a licensed plumber to help you understand exactly what to do in the event your property faces a sewage problem.

Guard Your House against Backed up Sewer Lines

Having the right information when it comes to your house sewage system is important in maintaining it. Due to the fact that homeowners report sewer backup problems as the most recurring, you need to have a reliable sewer maintenance plan. The best way to ensure this is by contacting a plumber that will help you evaluate the overall condition of your sewer pipes and provide you with the proper techniques to care for them in the future.

FAQs about Sewer Backups

Does my home insurance include sewer backup damages?

Water damage is not usually covered by homeowner’s insurance. Homeowners can, however, benefit from their city’s rebates programs on water issues in their home.

How do I clean my basement floor after sewer backup?

The first step to cleaning your basement floor after a sewage backup is to make sure all water is properly drained. This is done either by natural draining or pumping. Then, you will need to use a disinfectant cleaning solution in order to sanitise your basement floors.Experts also suggest you clean all surfaces that may have come in contact with sewage water.

Is the city responsible for sewage backup?

The city is only responsible when the damage has occurred on its end. What most people do not know is that sewer pipes are owned by the homeowner as well as the city. According to Toronto guidelines, sewer lines are divided into two parts: the part that the city owns which runs from the sewer main line on the street to the property line, and the part that belongs to the homeowners which runs from the property line into the home.

Is a sewer backup dangerous?

Sewage backup is a form of environmental contamination and is considered a health hazard. Sewage water contains viruses, bacteria, and other contaminants that can be incredibly harmful. In case of a backup, do not breathe in raw sewer water and try to avoid any contact with it. Also, it is recommended that you reach to your local health department because it will advise you on how to deal with your sewer problem.