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Sewage Spill Damage: What Are The Causes And Prevention Methods?


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Sewage spill is often categorized as water damage too. Well, it is definitely the worst because of the smell and potential disease outbreak in your home. In case you end up with sewage backup in the house, ensure it is handled as fast as possible. 

This guide looks at what may cause sewage spills and quick ways you can use to prevent the same from happening in the future. Let us learn more. 

Causes of Sewage Backup in a Home

  • Clogs

This would definitely be the main reason you experience sewage backup in the house. The clogging can be something gradual or can happen overnight in case of flooding. 

Look at the behavior of other toilets to know if the backup is in one toilet only or the whole house. In case all the toilets have the same problem, then the clogging is in the main sewer line. Also, the sump pump in the basement might also have failed.

Clogs would consist of grease, hair, and other solid materials which are not recommended to go down the drain. 

  • Tree roots 

Trees will eventually grow and this sometimes can lead to a few problems with your sewer line. This is because the long roots would intertwine the sewer line and sometimes puncture it. When this happens, your sewer line is damaged and might lead to sewage spill damage too. 

  • Broken sewer lines

Sewer pipes in the past were mostly made of cast iron in addition to clay piping. Such pipes might not always hold up well with time. So, the aging sewer systems can easily break leading to flooding of the basement with sewer. You should always do inspections to identify the old pipes and have them replaced if necessary. 

  • Heavy rainfall 

What you might not know is that a lot of rainfall can overwhelm the city’s sewer system. As such, you might sometimes end up with a backed-up sewer system in the house too. Luckily, such issues are mostly resolved fast so that the sewer does not affect your home. 

Preventing Sewage Spill Damage in the House

Sometimes the things we do to our drains are what may lead to sewage backup in the home. Here are ideas to prevent such from happening. 

  • You should not pour grease or cooking oil down your home drain. Cooking oil may harden once in the pipes. This means it can keep debris from passing thus leading to a clog. You should always dispose of fat and grease as recommended, which is in a heat-resistant container, and get it into the trash. 
  • Paper products should also be disposed of correctly. A good example is when you want to dispose of paper towels, diapers, or related products. For such a case, ensure you do not flush them down the toilet. They should go into the trash to prevent clogging of the pipes. 
  • If a pipe is punctured by tree roots, ensure you replace it as soon as possible. You can also replace it with a new plastic pipe since it can last longer. Also, cut the roots occasionally around the sewer line. 
  • You could still install a valve to prevent backwater. The valve will be installed in the sewer line and sometimes the drain line found in your basement. Have a professional do the installation correctly. 
  • Your sump pump should also not sit in gravel, silt, or debris. The pump would easily get clogged in case it sucks up such content or even end up ruining the motor. Try to clean the area around it as much as possible to keep the pump in good condition. 

As you can see from above, if you can take good care of your sewer system, then it should serve you better. If you ever encounter sewer spill damage, call the professionals to handle it fast before it leads to health issues in your home. 

Southern California Restoration

The Southern California Restoration content team is made up of multiple contributors, writers, and editors. We are your resource hub for anything related to water damage, mold and restoration needs that you may be challenged with facing.