Backed-up sewer system? YUCK!


Nobody wants their sewage system to get clogged up and start pushing all of the gross bacteria and materials that were flushed down the drains to start reentering their home or business property! That’s why it’s so important to understand the causes of sewage backup and the preventative measures you can take to ensure the consequences of sewage backup don’t afflict your property.


The worst-case scenario of a backed-up sewer line is flooding, which can cause water damage and contamination in your home!


Keep reading for all of the information you’ll ever need on sewage backup and how to prevent it from happening to your home.


What Are the Signs of Sewage Backup?

Maybe you aren’t familiar with the beginning stages of a clogged sewage system and don’t know what to look for. Let’s address the various signs leading up to a sewage backup.


Multiple Clogged Drains

When you notice that more than one drain in your home is clogged or water is barely making its way through the drains, then this could be a sign of sewage backup. All pipes are supposed to be clear, but when some are clogged, this can lead to more drains backing up.


Toilets Aren’t Properly Flushing

Toilets that aren’t flushing, the tank is filling up higher than normal, or you’re noticing some remnants didn’t flush can be a sign of sewage backup. It might be a small problem that the mechanics of the toilet aren’t working properly, however, it could also be a sewer line blockage.


There is a Foul Smell Coming from the Drains

If you’re noticing a horrific smell illuminating from any of your drains, that’s one of the main signs that a sewage backup is starting to occur. There are regular smells that come from drains like your kitchen sink because of food that hasn’t been through the garbage disposal. But if it’s more than just food from last night’s meal, you’ll know that the sickening odor means problems.



Bubbles appearing when water is passing through the drain typically means there is a problem. If the water is slowly moving through the drain and there are bubbles, there is definitely blockage.


What Are the Causes of Sewage Backup?

Unfortunately, there is a multitude of causes for your sewer line to back up. If you’ve noticed any of the signs listed above, any one of these reasons could be the problem.


Throwing Non-flushable Items Down Drains

Drains are only meant to handle what they’re intended for. The purpose of a kitchen drain is to dispose of food and liquids, provided that those foods and liquids are appropriate to be run down the drain. For instance, you shouldn’t be putting your eggshells or rice down the drain as these aren’t as easy for the drain and pipes to properly dispose of. Your garbage disposal can only process so much.


For toilets, flushing non-flushable items like feminine hygiene products, paper towels, and thick/harder materials will prevent it from flushing in the future and may lead to backups. If you notice that your plunger isn’t doing the job, you might have a bigger problem and need to remove the materials lodged in your toilet by hand (obviously by using gloves). If the materials are further in the pipe system and the blockage is occurring, then it’s time to call a professional.


Damaged Sewer Pipes

While sewer pipes are meant to last for years, they don’t last an eternity. Damaged pipes or pipes that have a poor structure for draining can cause sewage backup and worse headaches.


Tree Roots

Oddly enough, tree roots are one of the most common issues when it comes to drains backing up, especially with older homes. After some time, the tree roots grow into the pipes and crush them, leading to clogged pipes and further issues since the drains don’t have a place to run the sewage.


How to Prevent Sewage Backup

Not everything can be prevented since your sewer line can become blocked and backed-up through various causes. For the causes that are in your control, here is what you can do to prevent sewage from backing up.


  1. Don’t flush materials down the toilet or other drains that are meant for the garbage, not your sewer.
  2. Clean your drains often. Shower drains tend to become clogged due to a buildup of hair. Even with your drain strainer catching some of the hair and other materials, it won’t catch everything. You should also ensure that you’re not running chemicals down the drains that could cause blockage. When bacteria grows and materials build-up, this will clog the drain.
  3. Hire a professional to clean out your drains as soon as you notice any problems. Only some issues can be dealt with DIY, like using a plunger to unclog a toilet; in most cases.


Is a Sewer System Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance?

Unfortunately, many resources online will tell you that a sewage backup issue isn’t covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy – that isn’t always the case. Though many restoration companies, such as Restoration 1 of Central Denver, work with all insurance companies, we don’t guarantee that your insurance covers sewage cleanup.


We’ve perhaps seen one or two sewage losses not covered in the last 1.5 years, so if we work with you we can help navigate with your insurance on the coverage side. It really depends on the source of the backup when it comes to the determination of coverage and it varies for every insurance carrier.


You’ll need to contact your insurance company and review your policy to ensure that sewage cleanup is covered in your plan. At Restoration 1 of Central Denver, we’re here to help you with this process to save you your hard-earned money.


What Happens if I Have Sewage Backup?

If it’s already too late and you have sewage backup, call a professional sewage cleanup company. Sewage backup literally means that all of the disgusting bacteria, human discharge, flushed materials, and contaminated water invade your property’s space. This should not be a DIY project. When a sewer line backs up and leads to flooding, this becomes a job for a restoration company with the right equipment.


Many sewage backup problems turn into water damage projects, which is what you want to avoid. The water that enters the living space from your backed-up drains are contaminated and will soak into the floor, walls, carpet, and furniture. Once the visual mess has been cleaned up, the real clean up happens.


At Restoration 1 of Central Denver, we use advanced restoration equipment and techniques to ensure we clean up all of the sewage backup and water damage in your home. We remove all of the contaminated materials and objects in your home, disinfect the areas, and restore your home to the way that it was.


Sewage cleanup isn’t a simple project and you shouldn’t try to deal with it yourself as this can lead to health risks. Instead, contact a trustworthy name in the restoration business to bring your home back to the beauty it once had. Give us a call today if you have sewage backup and need cleaning.


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