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When Your Sewer Back's Up...

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

In this blog we’d like to discuss sewer backups and how to properly protect your home. A backed up sewer can cause thousands of dollars in damage. Preventative measures, proper maintenance, and knowledge of what causes sewer backups are all ways to ensure that this is never a problem you have to deal with.

Sewer Maintenance:

Your sewer lateral (the pipeline in the street between the city sewer main and the building) is your responsibility to maintain. A cracked or eroded line, or one in which tree roots have grown though can allow groundwater to seep into the system. Contact your insurance company to inquire about available coverage options.

Causes:

An aging sewer system as well as the amount of homes connected to them contributes to sewer back up’s, flooded basements, and overflows. Some pipelines combine sewer and storm into the same line which exposes the line to more volume than it can handle. Tree roots seeking moisture may find their way into the sewer line causing cracks or blockages. In this case, the cost of the clean-up would fall into the tree owner’s responsibility.  Depending on the situation the city may split the cost with the property owner. Sometimes a blockage in a city sanitary main can also cause a back up to occur. If you see seepage at floor drains this could indicate a problem with the main and you should contact a plumber for further assistance.

Prevention:

To prevent backups from occurring, be sure to properly dispose of grease and cooking oils. Washing these substances down the drain could cause blockage as it cools. Dispose of them in a proper container. Paper towels and other paper goods should be properly disposed of as well, not washed down the drain. Maintain tree roots in your lateral by having them cut by a professional service.

If a sewage backup does occur, disease, destruction of property and valuables, and even electrical malfunctions are likely to happen if the issue is not handled correctly. We here at SERVPRO of Garden City/Hempstead are always available to assist in the proper cleanup of a sewer backup or answer any of your questions!!