One of the many things we take for granted in our home is our sewer lines. But just like electricity, appliances, and other important equipment in our home, our sewage also requires proper maintenance and usage.
When sewer lines are clogged and not properly maintained, it could lead to sewer backup that could cause extensive water damage to your property and harm anyone who gets exposed to it.
As a homeowner, you probably understand what contains sewage water and you don’t want this nightmare to be in reality.
What Causes Sewer Backup?
There could be a lot of causes of sewage backups. Some of them can be controlled by a homeowner and some cannot. Whatever the cause is, it is important to deal with the damage immediately.
Clogged Sewer Pipes
Often than not, sewer backup happens due to clogged sewer pipes in our home. Clogged sewer pipelines happen due to throwing grease or oil to drains and flushing non-flushable items such as toilet towels, tissue paper and diapers to toilet bowls.
Sewer clogs can be prevented when proper maintenance and care is done. Make sure to avoid throwing the items mentioned above in your drains or toilet bowls.
Blockage Due To Tree Roots
Tree roots are the most common cause of blockage among sewer lines. The trees and shrubs can find nutrients and moisture from a sewer line. As the trees grow, so does the roots, and creating blockages to the sewer lines.
In some cases, city trees are the ones causing the problem. So, it is best to seek a plumber to evaluate the type of tree that is causing the blockage.
Sewer-Sanitary Main Blockage
The blockage that occurs in the sanitary sewer main pipe is really uncontrolled by a homeowner. In some cases, the blockage is detected and treated before it could cause damage to residential and commercial sewer lines. If you think that the cause of the backup is due to sewer sanitary main, call your city public work office and report the problem right away.
Extreme weather, such as a heavy rainstorm, can damage sewer lines. Unfortunately, even if we have done any preventative steps, an extreme weather condition can cause major damage to our sewer lines. A prolonged and continues rainfall can exceed the capacity of the sewer lines making its way to our water lines causing a sewer backup.
Can I Cleanup Sewage Backup Myself?
DIYing seems to be a very popular job nowadays. With just simple video tutorials and a bit of reading, people tend to do things on their own. That is actually a good way of saving money.
The big question now is, “Can I DIY sewage backup cleanup?”
The answer is “no”.
Homeowners do not have the proper equipment and skills that are needed to clean materials that are exposed to wastewater.
Bleach alone cannot solve the problem. It could remove the stains brought by sewage water but it cannot remove the contaminants that have spread in the affected areas. Everything that has been exposed to wastewater should be fully sanitized and dried out to prevent any further damage.
The Danger Of Sewer Backup
Aside from the extensive water damage it can cause to your home, sewer backup can pose a lot of serious illnesses. Sewage contains bacteria, viruses and other contaminants that can harm those who are exposed to it. The wastewater, considered as category 3 water damage, contains toxic substances like fungi, protozoan, pesticides, and others. What is even worse is these contaminants can cause death to humans. According to the National Resources Defense Council, every year, there are more than two million cases of reported illnesses caused by sewage backup contaminants. That is how risky this problem is.
Below are some bacteria present in sewer water and their effects on humans.
- E. Coli – causes abdominal cramping, diarrhea and potentially death.
- Acanthamoeba – causes severe infections to the eye, nose, throat, and ear.
- Salmonella – causes abdominal pain and serious diarrhea
- Heliobacter Pylori – increases the possibility of developing ulcers
- Hepatitis – causes liver problems
- Leptospirosis – causes vomiting and muscle pain
These contaminants are not easy to deal with and when you get exposed to it you might end being rushed to the emergency room. It is always risky to handle sewage cleanup – so it is best to hire professionals to do the job.
What To Do If You Have Sewer Backup?
Since we don’t have an easy access to our sewer lines, it is difficult to handle this situation. If sewage backup happens, remember to call a plumber. But if wastewater has started to leak into your home, it is best to call in a professional water damage cleanup company. They understand the danger of sewage backup and will attend to your needs immediately.
Sewage backup cleanup is not just like some of a DIY project. Everything that was damaged by sewage water has to be sanitized properly. Trust our professionals. They have all the skills and experience in handling sewer backup. Call our local water damage restoration company today!