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How Does Sewage Get Back Into A Building?

August 12, 2021 | Sewage Damage

How Does Sewage Get Back Into A Building?

When people think about sewage water entering a building, the first thought that comes to mind is a flooded home with people sitting on the roof. While it’s true that sewage water can enter a home through doors and windows in a major flooding situation, this is not the only time property owners have to worry.

Sewage can—and does—enter buildings in other less severe environmental situations. So here’s what you need to keep an eye out for if you want to be prepared for it happening to you.

Heavy Rainfall/Snow Melt

It’s not just the bursting of a dam or the arrival of a hurricane that can cause a rise in water levels. Heavy rains or a particularly warm day melting a lot of snow can cause more water to enter the environment than the soil and sewers can safely handle.

In this particular situation, every property in an area is vulnerable to sewage backup. The sewage drainage system itself presents the threat. Too much wastewater is now traveling through the system and pushes itself up the drain pipes of homes and workplaces.

Blocked Pipe

Carelessness, or in some cases, curious children, are often the culprits here. Sometimes, sewage water returns through toilets or basement drain because the wastewater never even got a chance to leave the property. This is because the water was blocked in the drainage pipe itself.

The most common cause of a blocked pipe is something unsuitable for toilet disposal that is flushed down the toilet anyway. Toilet paper, for example, is designed to be both soft and highly fragile when exposed to water, breaking up easily on contact. Paper towels, however, are designed to be more durable against water. Toys or other things flushed down a toilet can also block a pipe easily, leading to backed-up sewage from the property itself.

Tree Roots

It may seem hard to believe since pipes are made of solid metal or plastic, and trees are softer organic plants, but it’s possible for the growth of tree roots to block a sewage pipe. This happens when the pipe itself cracks or shows even the tiniest sign of structural breakdown.

Roots are, as expected, drawn to sources of moisture. So even a tiny crack in a pipe that leads to a leak may be enough to attract the attention of a root. Once the root grows into the break, it grows into the pipe. Given enough time, it can block the pipe, resulting in a sewage backup that will require professionals to assess and resolve.

Always Get Professionals

There are some issues that property owners can and should resolve on their own, such as unscrewing a tap and cleaning out the aerator to restore a strong flow of water. However, for a blocked sewage pipe, this is something that is best left to the professionals.

If you have a problem with sewage being blocked, you’ll need specific tools to trace and assess where the blockage is and the best way to clear it out. If you need sewage cleanup in your home or business, contact Dry Patrol. We can help.

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