Raw sewage cleanup, in particular, is especially laborious and risky as it not only causes a lot of hassle and inconveniences, but also presents a variety of health hazards (sewage spills contain contaminants that can cause serious diseases) and sanitation issues. Professional help is your best option in such situations, but you can do a few things to limit the extent of the damage before the experts arrive (or even deal with the problem yourself if the damage is not too severe).
A sewer backup is a nasty surprise that nobody enjoys, and it seems to show up at the worst time. There are 3 main culprits that cause most household sewer clogs.
- Just like the drain in the kitchen or bathroom sink, your sewer can become clogged and cause a backup. A one-time backup is probably just a clogged toilet or sink, but if you have problems every time you flush, most likely you have a clogged main sewer line. This can be caused by using your toilet as a garbage can to flush things like napkins and diapers, or when a small child decides to throw in a toy and see what happens. It can also happen when you put large amounts in the garbage disposal at one time, or when you pour grease down the drain. It may be liquid when it goes in, but grease hardens quickly and forms a solid mass that blocks the drain pipe.
- Tree roots are a hidden cause of sewer clogs. Even if you don’t have trees in your yard near your lines, roots from your neighbors’ trees may be the culprit. Tree roots can stretch a long ways underground and have been known to grow right into pipes, causing holes and blockages. In some cases, they can even crush sewage pipes, leading to expensive excavation and repairs.
- Older homes are at higher risk of broken or collapsed lines. Newer construction uses plastic lines, but older homes use cast iron or clay pipes, which can rust and/or break and collapse over time, leading to backups.
When to Call a Professional
It’s important to pay attention to sewage backups. If it happens once, it’s probably just a simple matter that you can handle on your own. But if you experience repeated backups, call a plumber immediately. If these backups have led to water damage at your home or business in Houston, TX, call the ServiceMaster experts at (281) 358-0363. Our industry certified professionals arrive quickly to mitigate the damage and begin the restoration process.
The cost to repair water damage varies, depending on the spread of the water and possible existence of mold.