If you have a home, it’s important to know what to do in case of a sewer backup. This can be a very messy and dangerous situation if not handled properly. This blog post discusses the risks of sewer backups and some preventative measures that you can take to reduce the chances of one happening.
8 Sewer Backup Risks You Should Know
The following are eight of the most important risks you need to know about sewer backups:
1. They Can Cause Health Problems
Sewage contains harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause respiratory illnesses, skin infections, and gastrointestinal issues. When sewage backs up into your home, it can create a serious health hazard. If you come into contact with sewage, it’s important to consult a professional sewage cleanup company near me as soon as possible.
2. They Can Damage Your Home
As sewage backs up into your residence, it can cause serious damage to your walls, floors, and ceilings. The water can also damage your furniture, appliances, and personal belongings. Sometimes, the damage caused by a sewer backup may not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.
3. They Can Lead to Mold Growth
If a sewer backup is not cleaned up properly or not rectified, it can lead to mold growth. This can cause serious respiratory problems, skin irritation, and other health issues. Moreover, mold can decrease the value of your home and make it more difficult to sell in the future.
4. They Can Be costly to Clean Up
Depending on the severity of the backup, it can be costly to clean up. If you have a small backup, you may be able to handle the cleanup yourself. However, you’ll need to hire a professional sewage cleanup company if the damage is extensive. The cost of the cleanup will depend on the size of the affected area, the type of damage, and the company you hire.
5. They Can Happen Without Warning
Sewer backups can happen without any warning. This is why it’s important to be prepared in case one occurs. You should know where your main water shut-off valve is located and how to turn it off. You should also have a list of emergency numbers on hand, including an expert sewage cleanup company near me.
6. They Can Be Disruptive
A sewer backup can be disruptive to your daily routine. For instance, if the backup occurs in your kitchen, you may not be able to cook meals at home. If it happens in your bathroom, you may be unable to take showers or use the toilet. Sometimes, you may need to evacuate your home until the cleanup is complete.
7. They Can Destroy Your Outdoors Space
In addition to damaging your home, a sewer backup can also damage your property. This includes things like landscaping, driveways, sidewalks, and patios. The water from the backup can also seep into the ground and contaminate the soil, making your yard or garden unsuitable for growing plants.
8. They Can Harm Your Loved Ones
The contaminated water can cause serious illnesses if they come into contact with it. In addition, the strong odor from the sewage can harm their respiratory systems, which may result in costly medical bills. Finally, your kids and pets are also at risk when a sewer backup occurs.
8 Preventative Measures You Can Take to Reduce the Risk of a Sewer Backup
While you can’t completely prevent a sewer backup from happening, there are some measures you can take to reduce the risk, such as:
1. Install a Backwater Valve
A backwater valve is a device installed in your home’s sewer line that prevents sewage from backing up into your home. Thus, your home will be protected if there is a backup in the city sewer system. However, a professional must install backwater valves and require periodic maintenance to ensure they are working properly.
2. Disconnect Downspouts
Downspouts are the pipes that carry rainwater from your roof to the ground. If they are connected to your home’s sewer line, they can cause sewage to back up into your home during heavy rains. To prevent this, you should have a professional plumber disconnect your downspouts from the sewer line.
3. Unclogg Your Waste Lines Regularly
If your home’s waste lines become clogged, it can cause sewage to back up into your home. To prevent this, you should have a professional clean up your waste lines periodically, or when need be.
4. Routinely Check Your Sump Pump
A sump pump is a device installed at the lowest point of your home that pumps water out of your home to prevent flooding. If you have a sump pump, it’s important to test it regularly to ensure it is working properly. It would be best if you also had a backup sump pump in case the primary one fails.
5. Know Where Your Main Water Shut-Off Valve is Located
In the event of a sewer backup, it’s important to know where your main water shut-off valve is located so you can quickly turn it off. The main water shut-off valve is usually located in the basement near the water meter or where the main water line enters your home.
6. Store Important Documents in a Waterproof Container
If a sewer backup does occur, it’s important to have a list of emergency numbers on hand, as well as any important documents that may be damaged. These documents could include your birth certificate, social security card, passport, and insurance policy information. You should store these documents in a waterproof container or safe deposit box.
7. Invest in Insurance
While your homeowner’s insurance policy may cover some of the damage caused by a sewer backup, it’s important to check with your agent. You may purchase an endorsement or a separate policy to be fully protected.
8. Hire a Professional Sewage Cleanup Company
If you experience a sewer backup, it’s important to hire a sewage cleanup company to handle the cleanup. This is because the cleanup can be very costly and time-consuming. A professional company will have the proper equipment and expertise to do the job quickly and efficiently.
Sewer backups are a serious problem that can cause extensive damage to your home and pose a health risk to you and your family. However, there are some measures you can take to reduce the risk of a sewer backup, such as installing a backwater valve or disconnecting your downspouts. If you experience a sewer backup, it’s important to hire an experienced sewage cleanup company near me to handle the cleanup.