It’s never good seeing thick, black water rush up through your drains or out of your pipe. Besides the terrible smell, this sewage can be disastrous to your health and your home.
Sewage and wastewater contain viruses, fungi, bacteria, and parasites that can cause a range of illnesses and infections. If it is severe enough, sewage backups can cause property damage that could be costly to fix.
Here are some tips to prevent sewage backups and protect your home and family.
1. Proper Sewer Lateral Maintenance
We know that our taxes should be going to good use, and maintaining the sewer lines is included in that. But while the city works to keep the mainlines in good order, it’s up to you to maintain your lateral.
You should be periodically inspecting your lateral for any issues. Most issues that can be avoided with this little step are tree roots, cracks, or deterioration that allows groundwater to seep in.
Keeping your lateral clean is an important step. Depending on the age of the house and the products you use that end up in the drain, how often you clean your sewer lateral will differ.
Across the board, it’s recommended that you clean it at least once every two years. You can use standard cleaners or opt for environmentally friendly ones.
2. Handle Grease Smartly
Speaking of what ends up in the drain, a lot of people don’t mind dumping grease down there. Some may not know the effects it can have or maybe they view it as convenient, but it could ruin your pipes.
This can clog your drains and cause sewage backups. When you pour oil down the drain, it may seem to disappear without issue, but that’s not the case.
After the oil is poured down the drain, it cools and then solidifies. This makes it harder for things to move through the drain and eventually causes clogs. Whenever you have grease leftover, pour it into a heat-resistant container instead of the drain.
From there, throw it in the trash once it cools off.
3. Proper Paper Product Disposal
Here’s another well-known clogger. A lot of what we use is made out of paper or packaged in it. So, it’s hard to avoid using and disposing of paper, but we can control how we dispose of it.
Hygienic wipes, paper towels, feminine products, and disposable diapers, among many other similar products, take a long time to break down. This means that once you flush them down the drain if they get stuck, they’ll be there for a long time.
This is a common cause of clogging and sewage backups. You can prevent this by disposing of them in the proper bins after use. Sewage cleanup professionals at Flood Doctor report that taking the time to dispose of paper products properly can save homeowners a lot of trouble.
These products can and will cause problems in the homeowner’s lateral and even the city’s main.
4. Keep Tree Roots Under Control
Having big beautiful trees in your yard can look great but they can have a devastating impact if their roots are left unchecked. As the tree matures, the roots grow with it and can burrow into or constrict sewer lines.
If these roots become a problem, or they are already a recurring problem, ensure that you hire a professional to routinely cut the roots and clear the line. If you’re replacing trees, be mindful of where you place them.
5. Replace Your Pipes
Most of the nation’s pipes were once made out of cast iron and clay piping which deteriorated quite quickly. These old sewer lines still connect to many homes today and as they break down and crack, they cause basements to flood and sewage to back up. It’s recommended to replace your current pipes with ones made from plastic.
Plastic lasts a lot longer and tree roots can’t damage it as easily as they would other materials.
6. Use Backwater Prevention Valves
This can be a powerful last line of defense. Sometimes, the cause of the backup isn’t something you can individually prevent (e.g heavy rainfall or when the city’s sanitary main is blocked up).
In cases like these, a backwater prevention valve keeps you safe by only allowing sewage to flow out and not back in. These can be installed on sewage lines or drain lines.
Keeping your family and your home safe from sewage backups may not be as hard as you think. To prevent any severe illness or property damage, you can use the tips above to help keep your sewer line clear, clean, and soundly intact.
If you can’t handle some of these steps by yourself, don’t be afraid to reach out to professionals for help. Getting ahead of these problems will save you a lot of money and trouble.