As a homeowner, you inevitably take on a variety of responsibilities and face numerous challenges. One of the most troublesome aspects for homeowners is dealing with sewer backups. These backups can result in costly repairs, unpleasant odors, and potential health hazards.
It's essential to be diligent and proactive in addressing any potential issues before they turn into major problems. Keep reading this post to learn more about sewer backups and how to deal with them. By staying informed and taking the necessary precautions, you can navigate the challenges of sewer backups and keep your home in tip-top shape.
Is a Sewage Backup Dangerous?
A sewer backup causes raw sewage, wastewater, and other contaminants to flood into your home through drains, toilets, and sinks. These backups not only damage your property but also pose health risks to you and your family.
The bacteria, viruses, and other harmful pathogens found in sewage can cause a range of illnesses, such as gastroenteritis (stomach flu), salmonella, E. Coli, Hepatitis A, and more. Furthermore, the strong, offensive odors that come with sewer backups can lower indoor air quality and trigger respiratory problems. As such, when you’re dealing with a sewage backup, you’ll want to avoid breathing in raw sewage or coming in physical contact with it.
Signs of Sewage Backup
A sewer backup can cause major inconvenience and damage to your home. It happens when a blockage or clog forms in the main sewer line of your home, causing wastewater to back up into your toilets and other drains.
Some common signs of sewage backup include:
- Multiple drainage fixtures clogging at the same time.
- Gurgling sounds coming from your drains.
- Unpleasant smells around the house, especially near drains.
- Pools of water in your yard or lush spots.
- Foul sewage odors.
- Dirty water around toilets and drains.
Causes of Sewer Backups
Sewage backup can be caused by a variety of factors that can lead to plumbing problems in your home.
Common causes of sewer backups include:
- Tree roots: Tree roots can penetrate and block sewer lines, especially if they are older and made from clay. The roots can grow around or into the pipes, causing obstructions or complete blockage.
- Clogs in the main sewer line: The sewer line is large enough for human waste and toilet paper. If other items enter the line, it can create a blockage in the main sewer line, preventing the proper flow of wastewater.
- Collapsed or broken pipes: Older homes may have deteriorating pipes that can collapse or break, leading to sewage backups.
- Heavy rainfall: Excessive rainfall can cause sewer systems to be overwhelmed, leading to sewage backups in residential properties.
- Old sewage system: when an old sewer system deteriorates, it will eventually collapse. When this occurs, this can cause sewage backups, overflows, and basement flooding.
What to Do if There Is a Sewer Backup?
Sewage backups are dangerous and can lead to a lot of costly damage. It’s important to know what to do in the event you have one at home.
Steps to take if you have a sewage backup include:
- Leave the flooded area: Human waste is a biohazard, and the floors must be cleaned and sanitized before it is safe for you, your family, and pets.
- Shut off electrical power in the flooded area: By shutting off the electrical power in the affected area, this can limit the likelihood of electrical shock. Be sure to avoid electrical devices as well.
- Turn off main water valve: Shut off your home’s main water valve and do not flush toilets or use tubs or sinks until the backup has been fixed.
- Open windows and doors: Opening up your home to fresh air can help rid of sewage backup vapors.
- Wear protective clothing: This can help protect you from the harmful particles in sewage backups. Protective items include facemasks, eye protection, gloves, and rubber boots.
- Notify insurance: Notify your insurance company if there was a backup, especially if belongings, floors, and walled have been damaged.
- Call a plumber: Contact a professional plumber to come and safely resolve the issue. A professional has been trained and has the right tools to deal with this issue.
How Do You Prevent Sewage Backups?
While you cannot completely prevent sewage backups, there are a few practices you can follow to avoid them.
Tips and recommendations to reduce the likelihood of sewage backups include:
- Regular maintenance: Schedule routine inspections every few years by a professional plumber to identify and address potential issues early on.
- Proper disposal of waste: Be mindful of what you flush or pour down the drain. Avoid disposing fats, oils, and greases that can clog pipes. In addition, do not flush paper towels, feminine products, diapers, or facial towels down the toilet.
- Consider upgrading your sewer system: If you have an older home with an aging sewer system, consider upgrading with newer material.
- Professional cleaning: Have a professional plumber clean out your swage to remove clogs and prevent future ones.
Knowledge is key in preventing and fixing sewer backups. By understanding the various causes and implementing preventative measures, you can protect your property and family from the risks of sewer backups.
However, if you run into sewage issues, don’t hesitate to give us a call. At Cirigliano Plumbing, we have years of experience in dealing with sewage problems and backups. Whether you're experiencing a minor issue or a major one, our team of expert plumbers is here to help.
If you're in need of a plumbing professional, contact us today. Call (877) 260-2763 or get in touch with our team online.