Let’s face it, sewer backups can be one of the more unpleasant aspects of home ownership. In addition, they tend to strike during some of the worst possible times (like when the in-laws are visiting) and can be costly and complicated to fix – if you can find someone to fix it fast.
Homeowners are responsible for maintaining the sewer lines that connect their homes to a city’s system. Because of this, it’s important to pay attention to anything that could clog or disrupt a sewer line and cause major problems.
- Clogs: Sewer line blockages can occur for a variety of reasons, but some of the more common ones include items that shouldn’t be flushed or poured down the drain. Grease, larger paper products, baby wipes, and other foreign objects can build up and eventually obstruct the flow of wastewater.
- Tree Roots & Aging Parts: Over time, as tree roots grow, they can infiltrate sewer pipes through small cracks or joints, leading to blockages. And this is more likely to happen to older sewer pipes, which can deteriorate, collapse, or develop cracks and leaks.
- Weather: During heavy rainfall or flooding, excess water can overload the sewer system, and, in some cases, the water level can rise above the system’s capacity, resulting in sewage backing up into homes.
- Faulty Plumbing: Poorly designed or installed plumbing systems – including improper slopes for the pipes, inadequate venting, and using the wrong sized pipe.
- Keep grease and other harmful items (such as paper products) out of drains and toilets.
- Prioritize annual maintenance to help detect potential problems long before they become serious.
- Replace old pipes and/or install a backwater prevention valve to drastically reduce the risk of damage to your home in the event of a sewer backup.
- Minimize water usage during heavy rainfall or flooding to reduce the load on the sewer system.
- Plant trees and shrubs away from sewer lines to prevent root intrusion. If you have existing trees near the sewer line, consult with a professional to manage and prevent root growth into the pipes.
By following these preventative measures, you can reduce the risk of those dreaded sewer backups, which are inconvenient – and quite unpleasant – when they transpire.
For any home insurance questions, call or contact Hicks Insurance Agency & Associates, Inc. today.