A sewer backup is caused by the sewer system being clogged or overwhelmed somewhere along the line. The restriction may not necessarily be within you promises but when it affects your abode, then it’s something that cannot be ignored. Sewer backups can be man made, or caused by nature. Here are some major causes:
- Old sewer lines, whether mains or individual runs coming from a house, can break. Once their integrity is compromised, soil or other debris can fill the line, causing a flow stoppage. Tree roots can also cause sewer lines to break and become clogged. Keep an eye on trees that are growing near sewer lines. Over time, their roots can become entangled with the sewer pipes.
- Heavy rain can overwhelm the main sewer line, and not just in your area but all over a city. When this happens, sewers will backup and black water can inundate your house. Even if you have devices or systems in place to prevent backups, overwhelmed sewer mains will result in backed up sewer lines at your house.
- With a cracked line, household refuse can build up in the cracked portion, resulting in a backed-up sewer. Poor disposal methods are actually a large cause of sewer blockages. Pouring grease down drains and disposing of diapers, sanitary napkins, and paper towels down the toilet bowl will also clog, if not your drain, then your sewer line. An often unnoticed cause of backed up sewer lines is hair. Hair can enter the drains whenever a household member takes a bath. Even if you feel queasy picking built-up hair from the drain holes, regularly doing this will prevent headaches later.
There are ways that will help prevent black or sewage water from entering your house in case the worst happens. Installing backwater prevention valves is a common and fairly cheap way of controlling sewer backups from flooding your home. Standpipes are also good passive devices to install in a basement or in a lower house level. These simple pipes help divert backflow into a drainage line, preventing your floor from being covered in black or sewer water. A sump system can prevent lower level flooding, but these can be costly and is not applicable to all homes.
Although one cannot do anything about natural calamities that will break or clog mains sewers, responsible disposal habits will go a long way towards helping ensure that your house will not easily suffer from a backed up sewer line.