What to Do After Sewage Backup or Clog in Your Basement
A sewer line clog causes extensive damage to your home and health especially if it creates sewage backup. While it may be unseen, let’s review the symptoms of sewage backup and save you significant time and money. Sewage backup, after all, contains toxic waste capable of thousands of dollars in damage to your home.
The Health Risks of Sewage, AKA “Black Water”
Sewage carries toxic viruses and bacteria. Likewise, it can carry toxic substances like pesticides, fungi, and protozoans. There are more than two million sewage-related illnesses each year. Contaminants in sewage water are harmful and even toxic to humans and animals. Sewage backup releases physical, air-borne contaminants. Inhaling these vapors can lead to a variety of symptoms, including cramping, vomiting, fever, and severe forms of gastroenteritis. If left untreated, inhaling sewage backup for long periods of time may lead to death. Therefore, deal with sewer clogs immediately.
Common Sewer Backup Symptoms
Water Backup in Other Drains
If you notice water bubbling from other drains, this is a clear sign something is wrong with your sewer line. Are you running the washing machine and hear a gurgling in the kitchen sink? Do you notice water in the basement after you take a shower? Take note of these symptoms and call a licensed plumber to take care of the problem.
Stenches are also a clear sign something is wrong, especially if the smells linger. Odors indicate sewage isn’t draining properly, and could potentially be coming in through your drains, which is a major health hazard.
Slow/Still Water Around Drains
Does water take a while to drain after a shower or a bath? Do you notice sitting water around drains? If so, a sewer line clog is a likely cause.
What Causes Sewer Backups?
According to the Civil Engineering Research Foundation, the number of sewage backup incidents is increasing at a rate of about three percent. This is considered an alarming number by experts in this field. While not all basement flood damage is due to sewage backup, there are some main culprits. These include:
Tree Roots in Sewer Line
As they seek moisture and nutrients from organic material, tree roots wiggle into service pipe joints and cracks. These tree roots in the sewer line quickly grow into a major clog and sometimes, destroy the pipe. If you have (or your neighbor has) mature trees or those with invasive root systems, watch out for this problem. Usually, a camera inspection is the first step to verify if tree roots in the sewer line are the source of the problem. The tree’s owner is commonly responsible for the cost of cleanup and repair.
Some municipalities combine stormwater and raw sewage pipelines. During heavy rainfall, the volume exceeds the pipe system’s capacity. As a result sewage backup flows into basements and other low-lying drains.
Blockages in the Sanitary Main
Occasionally, there’s a blockage in the city’s sanitary main. Typically, the symptoms present slowly over time. If you suspect seepage around your basement’s floor drain, for example, request a licensed plumber from A.B. May to assess the problem and any damage. If, however, sewage water enters your home rapidly, report the problem immediately to your public works office.
Older Sewer System Wear & Tear
In a study performed by the American Society of Civil Engineers, (ASCE) they rated the wastewater systems in the U.S. with a D+ and drinking water a D. Why? There are more than 800,000 miles of public sewage pipes in the U.S. and the majority of water mains and pipes were laid in the early to mid-1900s. With a projected lifespan of 75 to 100 years, several are already crumbling.
How to Fix a Sewage Backup
Sewage Camera Inspection
A licensed technician performs a camera inspection. During a camera inspection, the plumber feeds the line through the main sewer line. The camera captures video of the inside of your sewer line. With a transmitter to pinpoint the location of a blockage, our licensed plumbers confirm the exact location of and reason for the sewage backup. This process eliminates the need for guesswork which saves time and money.
Once our plumbers assess the problem through a camera inspection, they provide you with options for repair and/or replacement. We work with you to select the best option for your home, health, and wallet.
Total Sewer Line Replacement
There are two options for replacement: traditional trenching and trenchless repair.
Otherwise known as the “open cut” or “trench” method, traditional trenching requires a backhoe or other heavy machinery to open the work area. This allows our technicians to access the damaged portion of the pipe. This may be a large disruption of your yard, but it may be less expensive for you. We make every effort to keep the area as clean as possible while working.
Also known as a pipe bursting or no-dig excavation, this method causes less damage to your yard than traditional trenching. Instead of opening up the entire area, our technicians open a small access hole where the damaged parts start and end. Then, they use a hydraulic machine to pull a replacement pipe through the old path. This method costs more but causes considerably less damage. They may end up saving you money in the long run.
Concerned about Sewage Backup? Call A.B. May for Sewer Line Repair and Replacement in Kansas City.
We know sewer replacement is a major home investment no one seeks out or is excited to make, but we also know reputable professionals walking you through the process make it a lot easier. Our team fully explains your options. You can be confident we will do the job right. Plus our finance options make it easier on your budget. It’s our pleasure to serve you, and we aim to exceed your expectations. Schedule a free estimate today.
30% of audit is eligible for the Energy Efficient Home Improvement Tax Credit.
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