A sewer backup can be both cumbersome and expensive to fix. They also are very avoidable. With the right preventative maintenance, you can prevent a sewer backup and the other consequences that come with one.
Sewer backups are usually indicative of a larger problem with your sewer drainage system. If they happen frequently enough, it may be a sign that you have more on your hands than just a clogged pipe. Understanding the case of your sewer backups can help you estimate the severity of the problem and if you can fix it yourself or if you need the expertise of a professional plumber.
What Causes a Sewer Backup?
There are several reasons why you may be experiencing a sewer backup. The most common reasons include:
Clogged pipes are the most common culprit for a sewer backup. Clogs can occur from a variety of sources, such as toilet paper, hair, soap scum, grease, or the occasional toy that may get flushed down. Hygiene items that are flushed, such as cleaning wipes and diapers, will also clog up your pipes and cause a sewer backup.
If your sewer backup isn’t limited to one sink or toilet, it could be suggestive of a larger problem with your main sewer line. Issues with your main sewer system will need to be addressed by a professional plumber.
Believe it or not, that beautiful oak tree outside in your yard may be causing your sewer backup. Invasive tree roots are a leading cause of broken sewer lines; roots can penetrate your pipes, causing damage and sewer issues in your home.
Tree roots are attracted to sewer pipes because they are filled with nutrients, oxygen, and water. When not controlled, invasive tree roots will infiltrate your pipes and cause more than just sewer backups; they can lead to major pipe damage and cause expensive repairs
If you have old pipes, you may be more prone to sewer backups and other problems. Older pipes are usually made of cast iron, clay, or Orangeburg material. Over time, these pipes are likely to crack or collapse.
A collapsed pipe can also lead to more serious problems than a sewer backup; it can burst and damage your home, and result in an expensive sewer backup cleanup. If you suspect you may have a damaged pipe, it’s important to address the issue immediately.
5 Steps for Sewer Backup Prevention
In many cases, sewer backups can be prevented if you take the right precautions. By doing so, you can prevent the hassle and cost of fixing the problem. If you’re wondering how to stop a sewer backup, follow these five steps to help prevent one from occurring.
1. Do Not Flush Debris
Sewer backups are commonly caused by clogged pipes from flushing things that should not be flushed down the toilet! This includes hygienic items, paper towels, napkins, makeup-remover wipes, trash, diapers, and other similar objects. A toilet is not a trash can and it will clog and result in a sewer backup if it is treated like one.
These items should be disposed of in the trash, so place a trash can in your bathroom to prevent misuse of your toilet. Doing so will discourage any bad habits of flushing debris down.
2. Dispose of Grease Properly
Kitchen grease is another culprit of clogged pipes. Due to grease’s nature, it will harden and clog your pipes. Prevent a sewer backup by declining to dump grease down the drain and instead dispose of it properly.
One way to dispose of kitchen grease is to let the oil or grease solidify in a bowl. Once the grease is cooled, scrape it into a container that can be thrown away in the trash. For a commercial kitchen, it’s important to maintain your grease trap so as to prevent a sewer backup or other problems.
3. Prevent Invasive Tree Roots
You can deter tree roots from cracking and invading your pipes by intelligent landscaping. If you’re planting trees or large shrubs where your underground pipes lie, make sure they are species with limited root growth.
For planted trees, you can help prevent tree roots from damaging pipes through trenchless technology. Trenchless pipe lining can be an effective long-term solution to tree root intrusion since it utilizes PVC pipes which are considered to be very resilient to invasive tree roots.
If you already have a tree root invasion, hydro-jetting is an effective option to remove the pesky tree roots that are clogging your pipes. When combined with trenchless technology, hydro-jetting can ensure your damaged pipes can be restored.
4. Replace Your Old Pipes
If your pipes are over 100 years old, they may be prone to collapse. Even Orangeburg pipes that are a few decades old are susceptible to deterioration and collapse. Broken pipes can cause problems beyond sewage backups; they can severely damage your home and cause health issues to your family.
If you suspect your older pipes need to be removed. Trenchless technology can replace sewer pipes made from weakened materials or old pipes with a system that causes minimal disturbance in your yard or home. With trenchless pipe bursting, your old pipes are refurbished from within. With a pneumatic or hydraulic head, the old, damaged pipe is broken up and a new replacement is dragged in with little damage to the surrounding area.
5. Have Maintenance Inspections
If you do suspect of having a sewer backup, or have older pipes and want to maintain them properly, then scheduling an appointment with a professional plumber for a sewer video inspection may be wise.
With a video inspection, plumbers are able to look directly into your pipes and detect any cracks, fissures, or obstructions. If you have frequent sewer backups in your home, or have old pipes that are concerning you, then a video inspection can determine a larger issue in your main sewer line causing repeated sewer backups or if any clogs and cracks are forming.
Do You Need Sewer Backup Service?
If you have frequent sewer backups, then there may be a larger issue with your main pipe line and should have your sewer system inspected as soon as possible. A sewer backup can affect your own health and your family's health, and cause extensive damage to your home and belongings, as well as be inconvenient.
If you need help, we can provide video inspection, as well as sewer backup cleaning and trenchless technology installations. Contact us today and see how our sewer backup services can help you.