Sewer Backup Cleaning
Sewer water is intended to be channeled away from property through a gravity fed drain system. This system is a tremendously effective way to keep our homes and businesses from disease and bad odors. While being a mechanical marvel of convenience, when they fail and backup they can introduce tremendous water damage and germs in the indoor environment that will require immediate sewer backup cleaning.
Finished basements that backup with sewer water can cost homeowners thousands in cleanup and repairs that may or may not be covered by insurance. This unfortunate event is typically caused by some blockage in the sewer drain system that forces waste into the home. Not only is cost of cleaning an unexpected financial burden but the damages can affect the electrical, the flooring, walls, furnace and personnel contents. The services of a professional water damage company will absolutely be needed for sewer backup cleaning if the basement has completely flooded and is finished.
Are you Covered for Sewer Backup Cleaning?
After the initial shock and horror of discovering a sewer backup you do not need the additional anxiety of learning you are not covered by insurance for the sewer backup cleaning. The sewer drain system from the home to the street is the responsibility of the homeowner to maintain and repair, so if it fails, clogs or breaks the city will not involve themselves in the sewer backup cleaning.
So how do you know who will bare the financial obligation of the sewer water cleanup? Here are several guideline examples to equip you with information that can help you understand how insurance works prior to contacting your insurance carrier.
If the cause of your sewer backup is from a deteriorated, clogged or broken drain outside the home leading to the city main drain, you will not have coverage for sewer backup cleaning unless, you have purchased the special coverage known as a “backup of sewer or drain“, policy. If you have this policy there should be coverage ranging from 5,000.00 – 10,000.00 depending on the limits you selected. This often will be enough for the sewer backup cleaning and repairs.
If the cause of your backup is due to a clogged or broken sewer drain in the basement of the home itself, you should be covered under a normal homeowners policy for much higher limits than the “backup of sewer or drain”, policy.
Who to use for sewer backup cleaning?
Sewer water is so grossly contaminated and the threat to human health so great, only a skilled and reputable water restoration company should be considered for the sewer backup cleaning. The water is pathogenic and contains up to 100 different viruses that can enter the body through contact with skin, mouth or through breathing.
Consider Action Extraction of Macomb MI as they are highly rated, certified and experienced.
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The most important decision you can make after discovering a sewer backup is choosing the right company. We are a premiere water restoration firm with the highest customer service rating in all Southeast Michigan.
Causes of sewer backups
An aging and deteriorating sewer system will be responsible for many of the flooded basements that will affect some of the older cities in Macomb County like St. Clair Shores, Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Park, Eastpointe, Roseville and Warren. These communities as well as Huntington Woods, Berkley, Birmingham, Royal Oak and Southfield are more likely to experience a sewer drain backup due to aging systems that are subject to failing. Any sewer line over 30 years old is made from material that newer drains do not use and the older they get the greater chance there is for a sanitary sewer backup that will make a flooded basement.
Tree Root Blockages are perhaps the leading cause of sewer backups and in homes with large trees and shrubs that are older than 30 years often require annual cleaning. Tree roots are constantly growing and seek moisture and your underground sewer drain system over 30 years old is a great source for water. It starts out with a few small roots entering the drainage system through a small hole or crack and in almost no time the pipe is completely filled with theses roots. Eventually they will completely block the drain and a backup will surely happen typically after a heavy rain.
Combined pipelines of both sewer and storm water coming together. The reason that problems can arise in a sewer systems that combine storm water with raw sewage is because they can’t handle an aggressive flow of each. Under normal situations the sewer water can be managed with the storm at the same time, but what happens when a heavy rain deluges down? Can anyone say, “flooded basement”? That’s right, a high volume of sewer water and storm water can easily result in a sewage backup that will need sewer backup cleaning.
Blockage from a city sanitary main is rare but can occur and the quick inundation of sewer water can be shocking causing serious water damage. Floor drains have allowed hundreds of gallons in a basement per minute and risen to over 2’ in less than an hour. Sometimes this can manifest itself gradually and give you time to call upon a plumber to remedy the problem. However when a city main issue occurs it is more typical for it to be severe and fast. If this happens call your city’s public works department and report the problem so they can act accordingly. Sewer backup cleaning may be averted if they respond quickly.
Clogged toilet or clog in drain system from an object that is trapped. Couples with young children learn this the hard way as they watch their toilet water slowly creep up to the top after the toilet is flushed. Often little ones drop toys or flush a gigantic wad of toilet paper and it goes down the toilet so it is no longer seen, but becomes trapped somewhere.
How to Prevent a Sewer Backup
Dispose grease properly, but never down the sink drain. All cooking oil should be poured into a heat-resistant container and placed in the garbage. Washing grease especially bacon grease down the drain while running hot water will eventually cool off and settle in the sewer drain system. Each time you do this it clogs the sewer drain a little bit more till eventually you get a sewer backup. If it’s a small backup that is easy to cleanup is the best case scenario but all too often it is a full blown 4 alarm water disaster. When backups involve most or your entire basement it is advisable to call a professional water restoration company to do the sewer backup cleaning.
Dispose of paper products properly and in small amounts. Paper towels, disposable and cloth diapers, large amounts of tissue paper and feminine products can cause complete havoc on a sewer drain system and once clogged will make the system backup. Never place paper towels down the toilet as they are very thick even when wet and capable of clogging the drain and tissue paper should be flushed before to many accumulate.
Annual snaking of tree roots from main drain to city main as a prevention. Over time tree roots and shrub roots can build up in the sewer drains and regular drain snaking can keep systems flowing. Most plumbers are willing to give special rates to customers who want their maintenance programs.
Correct plumbing connections that are against city codes and illegal. If the former owners of your home had a plumber do something shady related to your drain system you may not be aware of it, but certain changes make a home more likely to have a sewer backup. Sometimes sanitary systems have a French drain or sump pump leading into them when they were never intended to be there. Licensed plumbers are able to make the necessary corrections which will reduce the chances of a future sewer backup and resulting sewer backup cleaning.
Installing a backwater prevention valve can increase the odds you will not have a sewer backup. These valves are installed in your sewer line from the basement of the home or business. Once properly installed and maintained will only allow the sewer water to drain but not backflow into the home. These fixtures can keep you from ever needing sewer backup cleaning.
Replacing your old drain system with new plastic PVC pipe is expensive but a tremendous investment. When a new system is installed the open walls of the new pipe are 6” and tree roots will never enter them if properly installed. Few homeowners have ever had the need for sewer backup cleaning once the old drain system is replaced by a new and updated one.