Sewer SOS: What To Do When A Sewer Backs Up

A home has incoming water lines and outgoing sewer lines, which move wastewater coming from your washing machine, sinks, showers, or toilets away from your home. Sometimes, torrential rainwater (which can also cause silt to settle inside the pipes), clogged pipes, tree roots, and aging lines block sewer lines, which can cause a sewer backup.

The sewage removal experts at Rytech Nashville know that a sewer backup can damage your home and expose your family to various health risks. Sewage is considered a Category 3 contamination, which means it contains germs and disease-causing bacteria.

How to detect a sewer backup

Slow drains throughout the house are one of the early signs of a sewer line problem. Another sign is when waste backs up into another pipe when you flush the toilet or use the shower. When waste comes in from a drainage pipe and overflows into your home, you are dealing with a major sewer backup. You may also notice a strong, putrid odor coming from these pipes.

Fortunately, you can take action against sewer backups even before the Rytech Nashville team comes in to help.

What to do in case of a sewer backup

Open windows and allow your home to air out as soon as possible. Take extra precautions and do not enter rooms with electrical outlets and power cords that have come in contact with water. Block off the area to prevent children and pets from coming in.

The EPA warns inexperienced homeowners not to attempt to clean a sewage backup on their own. It’s better to entrust the task to a water damage restoration company such as Rytech Nashville that has the expertise and the protective equipment to get the job done correctly and safely.

Call a plumber as soon as your home is out of immediate danger. They can run a camera through your sewer line to identify the cause of the backup. Whatever caused the backup must be dealt with immediately before you find yourself ankle-deep in sewage yet again. Yikes!

Be a proactive homeowner and do these preventative measures to avoid potential sewer backups:

  • Dispose of grease properly. Don’t pour cooking oil or grease into drains. Cold grease solidifies and can cause clogged pipes.
  • Watch what you flush in the toilet. Toilet paper, dental floss, baby wipes, and feminine products take a while to decompose and should be disposed of properly; these should go into the garbage bin instead.
  • Create a barrier between trees and sewer pipes. Metal or wood barriers buried 6 to 12 inches deeper than the pipe and running vertically next to sewer lines will stop roots from getting at the pipes.
  • Use a shower drain catcher. This will help keep hair from clogging up the drain.
  • Clean drains once a week. Remove any debris in your kitchen sink or bathtub drain.

Rytech Nashville has become a leader in the water damage restoration and mold remediation industry. From its humble beginnings in one location, the company has reached exponential growth and currently provides service to 49 major markets across 25 states. Call (615) 751-8445 for more information.