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Date Posted: 2022-03-07

According to reports, sewage backups are the leading type of home flooding in Canada. 

Are you struggling with a sewer backup issue in your basement? 

If so, you need to act fast. A basement drain backup is not only very unpleasant, but can also be hazardous to your health, and cause extensive damage. 

As with most things, prevention is better than cure. Ideally, you should take steps to stop a sewage backup before it even happens.

However, if you're already facing sewer backup down in your basement, you can still take steps to minimize the potential hazards and get it sorted out asap. 

Keep reading to find out the common sewer backup causes, how to prevent sewage backup, and what to do if you already have a sewer backup in your basement. 

Sewer Backup Causes

Wondering how on earth sewage could start accumulating in your basement? Here are the main sewer backup causes all homeowners should know about. 

A Main Drain Clog

One of the most common sewer backup causes is a main drain clog. If the main drainpipe running from your home has developed a clog, this can cause sewage to back up in the line until it overflows into your basement. 

Because the basement is usually the lowest and closest point of call, this is generally where the sewage backup will happen. However, before this occurs, you may be able to see some warning signs, such as slow draining water in the showers. 

A main drain clog can be caused by things like a build-up of grease or hair, or improper disposal of sanitary products. 

Tree Roots

Another way you could develop a main drain clog is from tree roots. If your sewer pipe is old or compromised, tree roots can easily work their way in and obstruct the line. 

A cracked sewer line is likely to attract roots from surrounding trees as it lets out water and small amounts of waste. 

A Cracked Sewer Line

Besides letting in roots, a cracked sewer line can also let in water and stop your line from draining properly. If the line has a large crack, the surrounding soil can become waterlogged. When there are heavy rains, this can result in the sewage pushing back towards your basement drain. 

Issues With the Municipal Sewer Line

Just like private lines, municipal sewerage lines aren't immune to issues. If there's a problem with the sewer line in your street, this could cause a sewer backup in your basement. 

In most cases, this will affect other houses on your street as well. 


Heavy floods can also cause your basement drain to backup. If your entire street is flowing with water, this can overload both the storm drains and sewers. 

A Full Septic Tank

Does your home have a full septic tank? If so, this can also cause a sewage backup if it's not emptied regularly. If your tank isn't full, and you still get a septic backup, this could indicate that your septic filter needs replacing. 

Sewage Backup Prevention

If you're worried about experiencing a sewer backup in your basement, here are some of the top prevention steps you can take. 

Firstly, make sure that you don't pour cooking oil or grease down the drain, as this can easily cause a main drain clog. Instead, decant the oil or grease into a sealing container and place it in the garbage. 

You can also install hair traps on your shower drains, and a sieve in your kitchen sink for catching food bits. Also, avoid disposing of sanitary products into your toilet. 

If your home has a septic tank, then you'll also want to make sure that you get it pumped out regularly to avoid a septic backup. 

Besides these simple prevention methods, you might also need to consider bigger steps like removing trees and potentially replacing your sewer line

If yours is a very old house, with lots of large trees, there is a good chance that the sewer line will need replacement. To prevent further damage to your sewer line, you might also need to remove any trees that have invasive root systems, such as figs and willows. 

What to do if You Have a Sewer Backup in Your Basement

If you're reading this blog, there's a high chance that you are already dealing with sewage backup in your basement. If this is the case, here's what you need to do. 

Firstly, try to shut off power to the basement. If your breaker box is in the basement and you can't reach it safely, then skip this step. 

You should also evacuate your family and pets, as contact with untreated sewage water can pose a number of health hazards. Besides this, try to get ventilation to the area. 

Then, turn off the mains water supply to your home and avoid using the taps, toilets, or drains.

Once you have the situation temporarily under control, the next step is to call in a professional team to clean up the area. You should also notify your insurance company of the event and find out whether you're covered for a sewer backup. Lastly, you must find a reliable plumbing and construction team to come in and fix the issue that caused the basement drain to backup.

If you can't afford to call in a professional clean-up team, you can opt to undertake the job yourself. However, you will need to equip yourself with a suit, gloves, and a respirator, and be prepared to thoroughly sterilize the area. 

When it comes to fixing the problem that's causing the sewage to back up, this shouldn't be a DIY job. If you don't get it professionally diagnosed and repaired, you may face another sewage backup down the line. You could also potentially damage your plumbing system if you try to fix the issue yourself. 

Are You Facing a Sewer Backup in Your Basement?

Having your sewer backup into your basement is an awful experience. Whether you are currently facing a sewage backup, or are worried that one might happen, you need to take action right away.

Here at Allto Construction, we specialize in septic tank inspection and replacement, as well as sewer line and water line repair services

Don't wait any longer. Contact us today and we will answer no matter the hour, come out to assess your sewage problem, and get your home back up and running in the minimum amount of time.

for your free estimate and consultation.

SINCE 1969.