A sewage backup is without a doubt one of the grossest issues that can happen to your house. And sometimes when it starts, it’s very hard to reverse. Entire homes have been flooded with refuse, causing carpets, floors, woodwork, and cabinets to require replacements. But what about when you only have a little bit come back up? Maybe it only made it a few feet out of your toilet and is localized to your bathroom. Can you just wipe it up and have your local plumbers come by and fix it? This may seem like enough, but the lingering problems can remain. While popular TV might show the sewer as fun or even glamorous place to live, the truth is that sewers are by nature dirty; meaning professional cleaning is highly recommended.
If you haven’t had the misfortune of dealing with a sewage backup in your property, there are a few important things that you can do to make sure that your home stays pristine. Sewage backups are generally caused by one of three things: A major clog, tree roots, and a broken sewer line, any of which should be addressed right away.
By far the most common culprit of sewers betraying their function is a clog. Fortunately, small clogs usually aren’t too damaging. If you have a something that’s barely obstructing your pipes, there are a few easy ways to get rid of it.
Something that’s more difficult to detect is tree roots causing backups in the sewer. If you try all of the conventional clog removal techniques to no avail, the problem may not be a clog at all. And often when it’s not, tree roots are the next likely cause. But what if you don’t have any trees in your yard? Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily stop roots. Tree root systems, especially larger, taller trees, are expansive and can spread a significant distance. While you might not have any trees over your sewer line–or even in your yard–what about your neighbor? Their tall tree could have roots that eventually stretch to your yard and if you’re unlucky, grow right into your pipes!
Sewer pipes have a long lifespan because of the material that they transport. They’re built to withstand a lot of abuse, and typical usage won’t phase them for decades. But what if it has been decades since those pipes have been put in? It’s not uncommon for some homes near Portland to have sewage lines that are 50 or even 100 years old. After functioning properly for a century, these pipes can eventually give in and collapse; leaving you to clean up the mess. Your local plumbing contractor should be able to do a sewer line inspection if you suspect a wider issue which will check for tree roots as well as the condition of your pipes.
A sewage backup is considered a significant threat to your property. It quickly damages anything it comes in contact with, and while some things can be professionally cleaned, others will need to be replaced. And while the odor of sewage is hard to deal with, the associated health effects are far more damaging.
Not all water damage is equal. A tap inside your home that releases purified water that overflows is far less harmful than your sewage line breaking and flooding your house. Because there is such a difference in water damage, it is split into three categories:
The most important thing when handling a sewage backup is to wear comprehensive protection. And your professional water and sewer damage restoration company knows exactly what kind of safeguards are needed. Because sewage can be so dangerous, you should leave the cleanup to your local experts. However, there are a few things that you can do in the meantime to help make the process easier and mitigate damage after calling them.
Most importantly, make sure to keep you and your family safe!