Common Causes for Sewer Backups

Causes for Sewer Backups Home Insurance

Sewer backups can wreak havoc on your home and cost you thousands of dollars in repairs for damaged walls, floors, electrical systems, and furniture. It’s definitely no fun to experience a sewer backup, but unfortunately, it can happen to anyone, including you. Below are some common causes of sewer backups.


A common culprit of sewer line backups is tree roots. Roots often grow into pipes, creating cracks or holes in them.  They can even wrap around a sewer line and cause problems.


Your drain pipes in your home can be clogged and can cause a backup in sewage. Clogs can be an accumulation of grease from cooking, hair or other solid materials that are not meant to be in the wastewater pipes.

Broken or Old Lines

If you have an older home, you might end up with deteriorated lines and drains. This makes it too easy for shrubs and tree roots to puncture or break your pipes.

Sanitary Main

The city’s sanitary main can get a blockage and if not detected in time, it can cause sewage to be forced back into your home and other homes through the floor drains. This is usually a slow process allowing you time to call a professional in to assess the damage. If, however, it is coming in rapidly, such as in your basement, you should report the issue right away by calling your local city public works.

The last thing you want to do is think you can fix a backup with common drain cleaning products. They are made for clogs, but they contain harsh chemicals that can be damaging to your sewer and pipes causing what was a simple fix into a more expensive repair.

You can instead, call in a professional plumber to come in and use a low-priced product that uses enzymes rather than chemicals which can solve your sewer backup problem and prevent problems in the future.

It is also important that you have adequate homeowners insurance, including sewer backup the event of damage from a sewer backup. For most insurers, sewer backup coverage is affordable. If your home has been damaged severely and is uninhabitable, your homeowners policy might provide coverage for ‘Loss of Use’ which will reimburse you for food, lodging and other living costs that you incur due to not being able to live at home. This is something you might want to ensure you have before an emergency happens.