Of all the home emergencies that may cause stress, a sewer backup may be the most dreaded property disaster. Not only is it unhealthy, exposing families to potentially harmful, bacteria-ridden waste, it can be costly as well.
Unfortunately, until there is a major issue, such as toilet overflow covering the bathroom floor, or sewage oozing from the bathtub drain, into the tub, many homeowners don’t think much about their sewage systems.
The staff here at Tidal Wave Response recommends the following 5 tactics to implement into home maintenance routines to avoid major sewer issues.
- While it may seem like common sense, don’t use the toilet as a way to dispose of anything but what it was designed for. Avoid flushing things like disposable diapers, moist towelettes or baby wipes, cotton swabs and cotton balls, paper towels, cat litter, bandages, cigarette butts, or prescription medications.
- Treat the garbage disposal kindly, and don’t dispose of large quantities of vegetable peelings or other food refuse. Coffee grounds cause clogs, and large animal bones damage blades. Avoid disposing of fibrous foods like corn husks, or celery stalks that not only clog pipes, but jam the disposal. Keep grease out of the disposal. It may be a liquid when it’s poured in, but somewhere down the line, it will cool and harden, clustering with other debris to create a clog in the pipes.
- Avoid reaching for an over-the-counter drain cleaner to treat that clogged drain. While these products may work, it is likely a temporary solution and because of harsh chemicals present in some of those products, they can actually harm pipes.
- If there is a basement in the home, install a flood guard into the drain. Should a sewer backup occur, these inexpensive gadgets will seal off the drain opening. The guard contains a float inside that’s pushed up by rising water, preventing water or sewage from seeping into the structure.
- Older homes often have clay or cast iron sewer lines, which crack, and eventually collapse. Tree roots are a common cause of sewer problems. We recommend that homeowners have a sewer inspection, if that hasn’t occurred in several years. Being proactive and calling in a professional can deter costly damage and repairs.
Should a sewage emergency occur, there are professionals trained in sewage removal services that can clean and deodorize the home, and repair any damage caused. A reliable company like Tidal Wave Response will work with insurance adjusters, and answer questions regarding the work that will be required for restoration of the property.