Floods and Sewer Line Problems

Construction & Contractors Blog

If torrential rains cause flooding in your home, you will worry about water damage to the structure and to your belongings. Due to the damp conditions, you may fear a mold outbreak as well. Another problem you should be concerned about is possible sewage backup in your home. Not only is this a smelly, unpleasant issue, it can cause serious health problems. If you experience home flooding, be on the lookout for signs of sewage backup.

Problems

During heavy rains, the municipal sewer system can be overwhelmed and force sewage back into your home. The stench of sewage will alert you to the issue. If you encounter standing water in your home, never walk into it until you know that the power has been turned off. Even when the power is turned off, avoid contact with the water because it is teeming with bacteria such as salmonella and E.Coli that may cause diarrhea and various infections. In severe instances, contact with raw sewage can cause Hepatitis A, tetanus, and leptospirosis, among other afflictions. 

Actions

When your area is threatened with flooding, avoid putting pressure on your home's system by limiting the times you flush your toilets. Also, do not use your dishwasher. Instead, invest in paper plates and plastic utensils as much as possible. If you do prepare food, choose meals that will not dirty many dishes. Take your laundry to the laundromat. In short, do whatever you can to relieve pressure on your system to avoid possible backup into your home. 

Prevention

If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, consider removing or raising washers, sinks, and toilets to avoid the sewage backup that can occur. Also, waterproof your home's foundation and fix any cracks.  Consider investing in an outside shut-off valve that will allow you to "disconnect" from the city's system when necessary. You will need to acquire the city's permission to take this step, so make sure you follow proper procedure before you install such a device. 

Flooding causes more than structural damage. If your home is overtaken by water, you frequently will have to deal with sewage backup, which is a dangerous and thoroughly unpleasant experience. You can take some preventative steps, but if sewage backup occurs, do not go into the water. Exposing yourself to raw sewage leaves you vulnerable to a number of diseases. Contact a professional like Drain-O-Rooter for an evaluation and estimate for repair.

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