Sewer Backup Prevention

Sewer Backup Prevention

Damage to your property can be done multiple ways and sewer backup is one you’ll probably want to avoid the most. Sewer backup is not only a health hazard, but the clean-up process is extensive and costly. Here’s some information on what causes a sewer backup and what you can do to prevent it. 

What causes a sewer backup?

When something blocks the normal flow of wastewater from your house to the city’s sanitary sewer, sewage will start to back up into your home. There are many ways that contribute to a sewer backup such as the following:

• Aging sewer systems
• Too much rainwater or melted snow entering the sewer system at once
• Broken or collapsed sewer lines
• A cracked or deteriorated sewer lateral (the pipeline between the city’s sanitary sewer main and your home)
• Tree roots entering sewer lines
• Blockages in city sanitary mains
• Blockages in plumbing inside a building
• Sump pump failure

Here are some simple things you can do to prevent a sewer backup:

1. Never flush items like diapers, wipes, cigarette butts, paper towels, facial tissues, or personal hygiene products down the toilet (even if the box says they’re “flushable!”). The only things you should flush down the toilet are human waste and toilet paper. 
2. Grease and other clog-causing materials should always be thrown in the garbage – not down the sink. This also includes bacon fat, coffee grinds, and food waste. 
3. It’s important to install a backwater valve (sometimes called a backflow valve). Doing so will reduce the likelihood that sewage will flow into your basement when the main sewer system begins to back up.

It’s crucial to understand how to recognize the signs of a potential sewer backup before it’s too late. Make sure to contact a plumber right away if you notice the following:

• Seepage at basement floor drains
• A foul smell coming from your drains
• Toilets aren’t flushing like they should, and plunging doesn’t help
• More than one drain in your house is clogged
• When you use one piece of plumbing (like a toilet), water backs up somewhere else
• Bubbling after you flush a toilet or when a sink is trying to drain (and it happens more than once)

If you notice sewage flowing into your drains, toilets, bathtubs, or showers, most likely a sewer backup is already coming on in full force. In that situation, stop using your water, turn off the main water supply, and contact a plumber right away. 

Basic home insurance policies usually don’t cover sewer backups, but most insurance companies do offer it as an optional add-on. If you don’t already have this coverage, contact your broker to add it onto your current policy. It’s better to be safe than to clean up the mess on your own. 

For more information or to get a quote today, call our office at 905-696-9090 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Source: Economical 


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