Spring Sewer Backup

The coming of spring means the wonderful blooming of flowers, but it also means the down pour of rain showers. By all means, rain is great when it’s outside, but when the puddles start forming in the basement, it means trouble. A common type of water damage from the heavy spring rain is sewer backup.

Sewer back-up occurs when the city or municipal drainage system overflows from large quantities of water on the ground. This causes the water to be sent back through the pipes to your home. The most common causes of sewer back-up are heavy rain and excess snow melt – both coincidentally occurring during spring time.

Not only does sewer back-up cause a great deal of mess in your home, it can bring additional problems such as:

  • Formation of mould
  • Sewage bacteria in the home, leading to disease
  • Damage on carpet, walls, furniture and personal property
  • Electrical malfunctions from water damage
  • Expensive clean-up

Yet, fear not as there are certain measures you can take to help prevent your sewer from backing up.

  1. Install a mainline backwater valve in your main sewer line. This valve will automatically close off your main sewer line if the sewage backs up.
  2. Install a sump pump to remove built-up water in the basement.
  3. Install water sensors in certain areas of your home (basement, laundry room, bathrooms, etc), which notifies you when the water levels are above normal in that area.
  4. Invest in an in-pipe check valve, which prevents water from backing into the basement. Note that this does not prevent water from backing up in sinks, showers or toilets in the basement.
  5. Check and test your pumps every spring.
  6. Maintain your yard from debris (trash, branches, leaves, etc) so that water can drain effectively off your property.
  7. Ensure that downsprouts are 6-8 ft from the house and do not drain directly into the basement sewer. This will prevent water seepage from entering your basement.
  8. Avoid running water during heavy rain fall to prevent the sewer line from overflowing with water.
  9. To prevent blockage in the sewer, do not through garbage in sinks or toilets or pour grease down the drain.

If the worst-case scenario happens and your sewer backs up, you should promptly clean-up the affected area. This may include:

  • Wet-vacuuming the spillage
  • Mopping floors and wiping walls with disinfectant
  • Steam cleaning carpets and drapes

Most importantly, you can minimize your costs from cleaning and repairing your home from sewage leakage by having coverage for sewer back-up. Sewer back-up is an added optional coverage to your home owner insurance policy. If you do not have this coverage yet, you can contact one of our registered brokers at Pacific Insurance Inc. and we can help you get started immediately. Let us help make your spring season safer.