How Can I Tell If I Have A Sewer Backup?
There are lots of warning signs for a sewer backup or a drain backup. Gurgling sounds coming from your toilets or sinks. A foul odour from your drains, particularly basement drains. Water is draining slowly. A drain backup can be significant of many problems. Call Emergency Plumbing right away if you detect any of these problems. Proactive actions can save you time and money.
Why Is Water Backing Up From My Basement Drains?
Water could be backing up from your basement drain or basement sinks for many reasons:
- Municipal sewer systems could be backing up into your home. Sewage backup is a common symptom of broken, clogged or damaged pipes that lead to and from your house.
- Surface water running down foundation walls
- Groundwater pushed into the basement by pressure (hydrostatic pressure)
Water Is Backing Up Into My Basement! What Should I Do?
- DO NOT ENTER A FLOODED BASEMENT
- Call Emergency Plumbing right away
- Shut off the water in your home
- Turn off the electricity
- Wear protective equipment, rubber gloves, boots, mouth and eye protection. The water may be contaminated and you want to protect yourself as much as possible.
- Open all windows and doors to air out the house
- Call the sewer department. See our links before for contact information to your municipal water works department
- Call your insurance company
- Do not use water appliances
What Causes Drain Backup?
The most common causes of basement drain backup are blockages from items that were flushed or washed down the drain such as fabric, fats and oils, toys and other objects. Also, tree roots and shrub roots are a common culprit. As trees grow the roots reach towards the moisture of the pipes and find their way into minute cracks and crevasses.
How Can I Prevent Drain Backup?
The good news is you can do lots of things to prevent drain backup in your home! For one thing, check out this link from the 'i don't flush' campaign. Read on for more tips:
- Check your gutters and downspouts, make sure they’re clear of obstacles and that the gutters are big enough to handle a heavy rainfall. You may have to consider additional downspouts to control the flow of water away from the foundation of your house. Make sure that the downspout is a good distance fom your house and don’t take the slope of your property into consideration. Water flowing towards your foundation could be problematic.
- Groundwater and natural springs can be controlled by installing a perimeter drainage system to relieve the pressure. A professionally designed system will drain the water into a sump pit where a sump pump discharges it out of the house.
- City sewer systems can cause problems for a homeowner too. Rainwater runoff and sewer backups can cost a lot and require big repairs. To prevent drain backup, consider installing backflow preventers that stop water from flowing backward into the house. However, as is often the case, as the homeowner you might have to get the city involved. Follow these links to find out how your municipality can help:
Is There A Sewage Health Risk I Should Be Aware Of?
Though there is some risk, it is relatively small. Accidents caused by electricity or explosions are more common. DO NOT enter a flooded basement or light matches until your emergency plumbing professionals or the municipality has come to check the safety.