Floods are often the culprit of home water damage, and even worse, sewer backup. And since flooding is more often associated with spring and summer, you may think you’re safe during the winter season. Not so. While heavy rainfall and flooding is a common cause of sewage line problems, they are certainly not the only factors at play.
It likely goes without saying that a sewer backup is a big mess. In addition to water damage to your home and personal possessions, sewage backup can also create health risks for you, your family, and your pets, as sewage contaminants are filled with bacteria, viruses, and toxic substances. Preventing a sewer backup is always better than dealing with the aftermath. And to do so requires a better understanding of sewer backups beyond flooding. Here are a few:
Even though you may understand what causes a sewer backup, it may seem impossible to know if one is coming since most of the indicators–blockages, defects, leaks–are hidden underground or within the structure of your home. While you might not be able to diagnose the actual problem, sewer lines do throw out a few warning signs when a backup is imminent.
To avoid a sewer line backup, there are precautions you can take all year long, including: properly disposing of grease, not putting hard-to-grind items in the garbage disposal, avoiding the flushing of blockage-causing items, and checking on the working order of your sump pump–or installing one if you don’t have one already. But there are also a few winter things you can do as well: