A sewage backup in your basement is hazardous to the home’s occupants, damaging to property stored in the area and expensive to clean up. Fortunately, flood damage restoration companies are equipped to handle the muddle of sewage backups, restoring your property to its pre-disaster state. You might also consider the following pointers referencing the cause of sewage backups and steps you can take the next time sewage backs up into your basement.
Here’s what to do when finding a sewer backup in your basement:
- Shut off the electricity and water to your home, since closed circuits are a danger.
- Stay out of the sewage water. In the event you need to access the water-logged basement, do so with careful preparation. Wear safety goggles, rubber boots, gloves and a facemask to prevent contaminated particles in the sewer water from making contact.
- Allow as much fresh air as possible to circulate within the home. A basement flooded with sewer water is not only unsanitary, but the situation will cause a surge of strong, unpleasant odors to waft through your home. The air within your home will become toxic, due to the spread of bacterial growth found in the sewer water. Combat the overpowering stench by encouraging proper ventilation. Open windows and doors, if weather permits.
- Do not run the water or use any water appliances, such as showers, hoses or the washing machine. Making use of these appliances during a sewage problem only intensifies the issue by adding unnecessary water pressure. Your sewer problem will be lessened at least slightly if you refrain from running any water until the situation is fixed.
- If your property connects to a city sewer system, notify the city’s sewer department of the backup. Workers will investigate and resolve the problems surrounding the main sewer line—not the one connected to your home. You’ll know if your sewer backup is due to a city backup if your neighbors also concurrently experience sewer issues.
Identify Sewer Backup Symptoms
Toilets, of all plumbing fixtures found in your home, utilize the biggest drains. So when the toilet produces gurgling sounds as water flows down the sink or washing machine drains, you may have a main sewer line dilemma.
If the shower in your basement fills with wastewater, it is a clear indication that the main sewer line is significantly backed up.
Trapped air within your basement’s plumbing may also indicate a sewer line problem. You might notice the toilet next to the sink gurgles or its water level rises when you run water in the sink.
Washing machines, often found in a home’s basement, might also deliver a telltale sign of a main sewer line issue. Any toilets that overflow or tubs that back up after the washing machine runs are solid indications of a main drain problem.
Determine What Caused the Sewage Backup
Main sewer lines can get clogged, which can lead to a sewage backup. You can tell your main sewer line is blocked when repeated flushes of the toilet as well as other plumbing fixtures cause the sewage to back up into your home. However, if either your tub, sink or toilet has a simple clog, you may just experience a one-time problem unrelated to the main sewer lines.
Burst Sewer Pipes
Sewer lines can become damaged over time. Older homes often feature cast iron lines or clay piping that can crack, break or collapse, leading to sewer backups. Newer homes now feature plastic sewer lines, offering better protection against damage.
Tree Roots Wrapped Around Pipes
Even if plastic sewer lines run through your property, tree roots can cause significant damage to sewer lines. Tree roots have been known to wrap around sewer lines, crushing the pipes. Or, sewer lines can be punctured by growing tree roots. Even if the area immediately surrounding your property is properly maintained so no tree roots are visible, neighboring trees roots can grow into your pipes, destroying them and causing subsequent backups.
Safeguard Your Home
When sewer water has backed up into your basement, take the appropriate, cautionary steps. Water and electricity don’t mix. You’ll salvage nearby appliances from flooding. However, if the water valve is submerged under the sewer water, let a professional handle the task.
Consult a Sewage Cleaning Professional
Sewer backups in the basement or anywhere in the home are considered emergencies. The harmful bacteria that floats through the sewer water poses as a health risk to the home’s occupants as well as the surrounding environment. Due to the environmental health risks sewer water causes, it is important to contact a sewage backup cleaning professional immediately upon discovering the mess.
While it may be costly to hire a sewage cleanup company (homeowner’s insurance and renter’s insurance only cover sewage backups if included in your policy as a separate purchase), having a safe, sanitary and restored basement is worth every penny.
ServiceMaster of North Texas Sewage Cleanup
One of the most dependable sewage backup cleanup companies to serve the Dallas, TX area is ServiceMaster of North Texas. Our trained technicians use advanced equipment and machinery to extract all traces of moisture as well as harmful bacteria from the property. Any affected porous materials, like drywall or wood, are removed from the premises to prevent them from harboring bacteria. Concrete walls and floors are thoroughly disinfected. An intensive deodorizing process takes place to remove any lingering odors. Our skilled team at ServiceMaster of North Texas works tirelessly until your home is returned to its original, pre-flooded condition.
ServiceMaster of North Texas is a recognized name in flood restoration services. We handle water damage due to a variety of sources, including sewage backups, natural disasters, and plumbing issues. Our professionals at ServiceMaster of North Texas are available 24 hours a day to respond to emergency calls. In fact, technicians will arrive at your home or business within two hours of your call to inspect the damage and begin the pre-cleaning process. We reliably serve the Dallas and Garland, TX communities of businesses and residences.