5 Common Causes of a Home Sewer Backup

A backed up sewer can literally drain you. It’ll hurt you financially, physically and emotionally. It’s one of the most taxing things about being a homeowner.

These sewer backups can cause serious damage to your house. It can destroy your floors, your walls, and appliances. Not to mention, the major inconvenience they would cause you. You’d get kicked out of your own cozy home just to have everything repaired. Nothing good will ever come out of the experience: just a large repair bill and a lot of headaches.

The best way to overcome this situation is to prevent it. And preventing it means finding the potential causes. Here are some of the most common causes of a sewer backup:

  1. Deteriorating Sewer System – Old isn’t always gold. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the average age of sewer lines in households is over thirty years old. Aging sewer systems are one of the main causes for sewer backup, house flood, and overflows. You have to check the condition of your lines every few years just to make sure they can still function properly.
  2. Overused Pipelines – Combining storm water and raw sewage into one pipeline will cause some serious damage. When rain storms come consecutively and water accumulates, it will overwhelm your drainage system. Your systems cannot handle the onslaught of the water volume and will eventually result into a disastrous sewage backup. Water will end up flooding your basement and other lowered drains.
  3. Tree Roots – The roots of nearby plants and trees can make its way towards your sewer lines seeking moisture. This occurrence can cause some major damage to your system. The roots can grow extensively towards the pipe and enter them. These can be the reason for blockages in your system. A seemingly harmless plant situated in the same area as your pipelines are installed can cause major problems in the future. While early, cut down potentially hazardous plants and trees. You can also prevent them from invading your lines by tapping your pipes with plastic.
  4. Heavy Rainstorms – Sometimes it’s nature that’s causing the flood in your basement. When a consecutive number of rain storms happen, it usually saturates the ground too much to the point that soil leads rainwater inside your floors. This particularly affects older buildings that have developed cracks in its foundation or on its floor slab where the water can easily penetrate. This problem can be prevented by improving the drainage placement, positioning the drains away from the building or by simply sealing everything properly.
  5. Illegal Line Connections – Flood control systems like sump pumps and French drains are illegal and they can potentially lead to blocked drains. Do not attempt to connect them to your sanitary sewers unless you plumber has corrected its illegal connections if it has them.

Sometimes, we just can’t prevent a situation.  If an inevitable sewer backup happens, work as fast as you can to minimize the damage. A prolonged exposure to unsanitary sewer backup can cause harm to one’s health so as much as possible, don’t stay too long inside the scene. It’s best to leave the fixing to the professionals. They’ll know how to handle the situation properly.

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