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Working sump pump in homeowner’s basement with PVC pipe

Decatur, Illinois: What Happens When Your Sewer Backs Up?

Sewer back-up in your home is not only a pain to clean up, but it can cause expensive damage to your home’s basement or crawl space and become a health hazard with direct skin exposure. A lack of maintenance, frequent heavy storms, and deteriorating sewer systems are the main cause for sewage back-up. If your home has fallen victim to sewage damage, continue reading to find out why your sewer is backing up and what you should do in the moment and in the future.

Flooded basement in residential home with sewage backup covering rubber boots and a blue plastic binHow Does My Sewer Get Backed Up?

A sewer back-up basically means that the used water from your showers, tubs, toilets, sinks, and washing machines – that is meant to be moving away from your home – somehow gets blocked and flows right back in. This can result in excessive damage to your basement and belongings, while contaminating the walls and flooring with harmful bacteria and mold.

If you have been noticing your kitchen and bathroom drains becoming clogged easily, this may be a sign that your sewer system has a potential blockage. Did you flush your toilet and notice waste coming in through your kitchen sink? This is a sure sign that your connected plumbing system needs to be looked at by a professional before a significant amount of damage arises.

What Should I Do?

The first thing you should do if you know that you have sewage back-up spilling into your home is to assess the damage. Is it only in the bathroom, or is it in the basement as well? Identifying the amount of damage, you have will give the professional plumber an idea of how significant the damage is and if there are multiple connections or if it’s in one specific area.

Never enter the infected area for two reasons. (1) You never know what kind of bacteria is floating in the sewage back-up. If your skin encounters the sewer water, wash it off with soap immediately to prevent getting sick. (2) If the sewage back-up is in a space with electrical outlets, refrain from entering the room! You never know if there are electric currents running through the water that can cause you permanent damage.

All in all, call Riley’s Decatur Sewer Service if your home experiences a sewage back-up.

Profession drain cleaning and sewer technician draining a homeowner’s underground septic tankHow Do I Prevent It from Happening Again?

After you’ve dealt with a sewage issue, the first question homeowners ask is “How do I prevent this from happening again?”. That’s a great question! There are many ways to keep your sewer in proper working condition, here are some of the following solutions:

  • Foreign Objects: Never flush anything down the toilet that isn’t toilet paper! This may be a hard one to prevent with curious toddlers, but the less action figures and bouncy balls down those pipes the better.
  • Foods: This one may seem harmless, but flushing foods and especially fats or oils down the drain will create a hard material on the inside of your plumbing pipes that will eventually create another blockage.
  • Tree Roots: While this may be out of your control you can get a sewer inspection to make sure that there are no harmful roots trying to make their way into your sewer system.

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