How Do you Prevent Sewer Backups?

If you’ve ever experienced flooding in your basement after heavy rainfall, you know that there’s more than just water damage that comes with it. Sewer backup claims typically involve sewage/wastewater, which is categorized as level 3 water damage.  A category 3 poses a health hazard, therefore the mitigation can be very costly when cleaned up properly. 

Here are some ways to prevent sewer backups at your property:

  • Disposal of grease. Grease leftover from cooking that is poured down a drain can cause problems.  It should be poured into a heat-resistant container and disposed of properly after it cools off, not in the drain. Washing grease down the drain with hot water is eventually going to cause problems. When the grease cools off it solidifies either in the drain, the property owner’s line or in the main sewer causing the line to constrict and eventually causing a backup.
  • Disposal of paper products. It is not recommended to put anything other than toilet paper down your toilet drain.  Paper towels, hygienic wipes, and feminine products do not disintegrate quickly, thus causing a back up in the property lateral and the city main.
  • Consistently cutting tree roots. If you have trees or shrubs near your sewer lines, it is in your best interest to regularly have the roots cut by a professional.
  • Swap the existing sewer line with a new plastic pipe. Plastic pipe prevents tree roots from entering your sewer line.   It will cost money to do this swap, but it will save you money and time in the long run. 
  • Resolving illegal plumbing connections. You should never have french drains, sump pumps, and other flood control systems connected directly to your sanitary sewer. It is illegal to do so, and debris and silt will clog your sewer line. Consult a plumber to check and then correct any of these existing illegal connections.
  • Install a backwater prevention valve.  It is a fixture installed into a sewer line (and sometimes into a drain line) that is designed to prevent sewer backflows. A properly installed and maintained backwater valve allows sewage to flow out of the property, but not to flow back into the property. For this installation, it is in your best interest to use a qualified plumber.

If you do experience a flood due to a backed-up sewer at your home or business, Expert Restoration of Utah can help you with the water damage cleanup and the mitigation of the space.


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