What is sewer backup?

DOK Insurance Agency

Sewer backup is sewage from sanitary sewer lines backing up into houses through drain pipes. It is often very expensive and difficult to fix damages caused by backed up sewer. In addition, it can also cause many health hazards in your home. By default, an insurance policy does not cover damages from backed up sewer. Do you know if your renters, condo or home insurance includes coverage for sewer backup? If you do not or aren’t sure if you do, give us a call today!

You can protect your property, both residential and commercial, for a very affordable premium. In fact, you can purchase the coverage starting at as low as $30 per year.

What causes sewer backups?
  • Blockages can occur in a city sanitary main which can lead to sewage from the main to back up to houses through floor drain. Sanitary main blockages normally happen slowly, but if not detected in time, it can cause a large problem for home and business owners. But if the blockage is caught in time, the owner can call a licensed plumber to assess the damage and get it fixed.
  • Water in the basement is not normally related to the sewer system. Many cases of water in the basement is actually caused by rainwater flowing towards the building and down the foundation wall. Particularly in older houses, the water can find its way into the building through cracks that may have developed in the foundation. This can be prevented by making sure water drains away from the building, or water-sealing the basement.
  • In a lot of cases, it is common that tree roots and shrubs will find their way into sewer lines through cracks which can cause extensive damage to pipes and cause blockages. When tree roots are found in the pipes, you (or your plumber) may have to contact the city if city owned trees are involved. In this case, the city will be responsible for cleanup.
How can you prevent sewer backups?

Some water and sewer backups can be unavoidable, but there are many precautions that can be taken to decrease the chance of a one occurring.

  • Ensure that when you are flushing the toilet, you are only flushing toilet paper down the drain. The problem with paper towels, disposable diapers, and feminine products is that these products may not deteriorate as quickly and can cause blocks in the drain. It is best to dispose of those in the garbage rather than down the drain.
  • Cooking grease will cause major problems if they are rinsed down the drain. Some people believe that they can rinse grease down the drain with hot water, but as the grease cools off, it can solidify while in the drain, property owner’s line, or in the main sewer and will eventually clog. It is best to dispose of cooled grease in the garbage.
  • One way to prevent tree and shrub roots from growing into your sewer lines is to replace lines with new plastic pipes. This can decrease the chance of blockages caused by roots.
  • Refrain from making plumbing connections, with French drains, sump pumps, and other flood control systems to your sanitary sewer. This is an illegal action, and the debris and silt can result in blockages.
What should I do when I experience a sewer backup?

Some sewer backups will be inevitable or unpreventable. Sewer backups can cause safety hazards and destroy valuables, appliances, and damage the property. In the event of a sewer backup, it is important to understand what should be done. The cleaning and repairing process should include the following:

  • Wet-vacuuming or removing spillage
  • Mopping floors and wiping walls with soap and disinfectant
  • Flushing out and disinfecting plumbing fixtures
  • Steam cleaning or removing wet carpets or drapes
  • Repairing or removing damaged wallboard or wall covering
  • Cleanup of duct-work

All of this is important but stressing the importance of sewer and sewer line maintenance can save you a lot of money that would be used for repairing sewer backup damage. Sewer backup coverage is readily available and affordable for most all. Don’t hesitate to email us at info@dokagency.com or give us a call at 424-242-5252 if you have any questions.

T: (425) 242-5252
O: 425-242-5252
E: dom@dokagency.com
A: 1500 Benson Road South, Suite 201 Renton, WA 98055

Dominik Kunigk

Managing Broker & President

Dominik was a German exchange student in high school before graduating from the University of Washington in Business Administration – Information Systems and Retail Management. His insurance career started in 2008 when he decided leave his retail management career behind to start his own business. His American Family Insurance agency quickly grew to service 700 clients and families. While the idea of becoming an independent broker started in 2010, a horrific car accident put that plan on hold. In 2014, Dominik and his wife Michele changed from a captive agency to become the independent agency that you see today.

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We have seen and gone through a lot of changes since we opened our doors in 2008, but one thing hasn’t changed: We are a family owned business that not only care about our clients but also about the communities that we live in.