Common Sewer Backup Causes & Quick Fixes

Your sewer system is the lifeblood of your property. In order for it to be functional, it needs to be able to handle the daily flow of water and other liquids. But over time, the sewer can build up grease, tree roots, and other items on its walls which prevent it from flowing properly. When this happens, you are left with a backup that will make your home smell terrible and may even cause flooding in your basement or hallway. With so many causes for sewer backups out there, we wanted to take a look at what some of them are so that you can easily identify them on your own.

Sewers can be the source of more than just a lumpy sewage problem. If they become clogged and backed up with debris, it can cause serious structural damage to your home or business. The best way to prevent sewer backups is by taking care of them early on so they don’t get worse over time. There are several common causes that lead to sewer backups in homes and businesses across the country:

Tree Roots

Tree roots can cause sewer backup. Tree roots can grow into the sewer line, causing a blockage. If you have a tree in your yard or near your sewer line, make sure it’s not blocking the flow of water and sewage away from your home. If you do find that there is an issue with tree roots growing into the pipes, contact a plumber immediately so they can fix the problem before any serious damage occurs.

Sediment Buildup

Sediment buildup can occur due to a variety of causes, including:

  • Silt, sand and other debris entering the sewer system through rain runoff or erosion of soil.
  • The use of harsh cleaners (e.g., bleach) that irritate the lining in your pipes.
  • Excessive use of water (e.g., flushing). 
  • The drain inlet pipe is too small or improper for the amount of water being used.


Infiltration is the leakage of wastewater into the soil. It can be caused by a leaky pipe, a cracked pipe, or damaged sewer line. It may also be caused by storm water runoff, or other water sources such as water from a broken sprinkler system or pool.

When it happens at your home, you will notice an odor coming from your drains that smells like rotten eggs; this means there’s an inflow in your drain right now! The best thing to do would be to call an experienced plumber immediately so they can check out what exactly is wrong and fix it as soon as possible.

Corrosion or Pipe Deterioration

Corrosion or pipe deterioration is the most common cause of sewage backups. It can be caused by a number of factors, including water quality and pipe material. Root growth, leaks and improper installation also contribute to corrosion.

To prevent sewer backups from happening again:

  • Inspect your pipes for cracks or other damage that may cause leaks.
  • Keep an eye on root growths around drains and culverts in your yard—especially if you have hardwood trees near them! They can cause severe damage over time without you noticing until it’s too late (and then it costs more than just replacing the old line).
  • Don’t let tree roots grow into the pipes that lead out of your home. This can cause a blockage and back up sewage into your basement or laundry room. If you have hardwood trees on your property, consider planting coniferous trees instead.

Structural Damage

If your sewer is damaged, it can cause a backup. If you experience a structural problem, contact a plumber immediately.

Union or interceptor sewer lines are responsible for carrying wastewater from homes to treatment plants and away from private property boundaries. These pipes are usually made from concrete and installed underground; however, they can also be located in other locations such as aboveground, if needed for certain circumstances (such as when digging up an area that needs more space). When these pipes get damaged—either by weathering over time or because someone cut through them with an excavator—they may leak sewage into your home’s basement or attic spaces without warning!

If you notice any signs of water dripping from underneath your foundation wall panels, check inside all the basement walls where there appears to be any damage; look for cracks around window trim pieces near sinks or baths since these areas tend towards leaking first due to poor drainage capabilities compared with other areas within same structure such as crawl spaces under doors leading outside yard onto lawns.

If you do find any cracks, it is time to call an expert for repairs. If you don’t see any signs of water damage on the outside of your home, check the inside of your basement walls.

Foreign Objects

Foreign objects are often flushed down the toilet, which can cause sewer backups in your home. Plumbers can remove the object and fix the problem for you, but you should never try to remove a foreign object yourself.

It can cause serious injury, and you may not be able to fix the problem yourself. If you notice that your toilet is running more than usual, it’s a sign that something is wrong.

If you experience sewer backup, contact a plumber to resolve the issue.

If you experience sewer backup, contact a plumber as soon as possible. A plumber will be able to fix the issue and identify what caused it in order to prevent future occurrences. The longer you wait before contacting a professional, the more likely it is that your problem will get worse before it gets better—and if left untreated long enough, sewer backup can become an expensive headache for homeowners or businesses alike!

Sewer backup can be caused by a number of things, including tree roots, plumbing problems and even natural disasters. If you suspect that your sewer line has been compromised in any way, it is important to get help from a professional as soon as possible.

Avoid creating bigger problems down the road.

Sewer backups can be a dangerous situation in your home, but with the right tools and techniques, you can fix them quickly. The first step is to contact a plumber to deal with any underlying issues that might be causing the problem. Then, they will recommend solutions so as not to create bigger problems down the road.

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