Protect Your Bear Home from Sewer Backups
Don't Let Clogged Sewers Wreak Havoc on Your Home
Backed up sewers can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home and belongings. Learn about causes of sewer backups, what you as a homeowner are responsible for maintaining and steps you can take to protect your home against sewer problems.
Sewer Maintenance: Your Responsibility as a Homeowner
Homeowners may not realize that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their house or sewer lateral-that is, a privately-owned pipeline connecting a property to the publicly-owned main sewer pipeline (which is usually located in the street).
- The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner
- The property owner’s responsibility includes any part of the lateral that extends into the street or public right of way.
Causes of Sewer Backups
Aging Sewer Systems
The American Society of Civil Engineers indicates that the nation's 500,000-plus miles of sewer pipelines are on average over thirty years old. The increase in the number of homes connected to already aging sewage systems has also contributed to rapid increases in sanitary sewer backups, flooded basements and overflows.
Problems arise in systems that combine storm water and raw sewage into the same pipeline. During many rain storms, the systems are exposed to more volume than they can handle, and the result is a sewage backup situation that allows sewage to spew out into basements and other low lying drains.
Small roots of trees and shrubs make their way into sewer pipeline cracks and service pipe joints, and can cause extensive damage or blockages as they grow larger. The cost of the sewage cleanup may be the responsibility of the problem tree's owner. When the issue is a result of a combination of city and private trees, the costs are sometimes split between the city and the property owner.
Sanitary Main Blockages
A blockage can occur in a city sanitary main. If the blockage is not detected in time, sewage from the main can back up into your home or business through floor drains. Typically, this happens slowly and there are early indications of a problem.
Prevent a Sewer Backups
Properly Dispose of Grease
Cooking oil should be poured into a heat-resistant container and disposed of properly after it cools off, not in the drain. Washing grease down the drain with hot water is not recommended. As the grease cools off, it will solidify in the drain or the sewer pipelines, causing the line to constrict and eventually clog.
Properly Dispose of Paper Products
Paper towels, hygienic wipes and feminine products do not deteriorate quickly and can cause a great deal of trouble in the sewer pipelines.
Maintain Tree Roots
If you have continuing problems with tree roots in your sewer lateral, you may want to consider having the tree removed or have a professional maintain the roots on a regular basis.
Replace Your Sewer Pipeline with New Plastic Pipes
Plastic pipe will prevent tree roots from entering your sewer pipeline is to replace your pipeline and tap with new plastic pipes.
Correct Illegal Plumbing Connections.
It is illegal to connect French drains, sump pumps and other flood control systems to your sanitary sewer. Debris and silt will clog your sewer pipeline. Contact a plumber to correct any pre-existing illegal connections.
Install a Backwater Prevention Valve
This is a fixture installed into the sewer pipeline (and sometimes into a drain line) in the basement of your home or business to prevent sewer backflows. A properly installed and maintained backwater valve allows sewage to go out, but prevents it from coming back in.
What to Do If You Experience a Sewer Backup
Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is grossly unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. Special training and equipment is necessary to safely clean this type of contamination.
A failure to properly remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments. SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle, DE is trained to safely remove biohazards and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.
Equipped with the necessary safety apparatus and cleaning products, we can help transform these unhealthy environments back into clean, safe homes and offices.