What Causes a Sewage Backup in the Basement?

Imagine coming home from a long day at work only to learn that there’s been a sewage backup in your home. This tragedy is quite traumatizing for several reasons. For one, let’s talk about the horrible smell that’s now coming from your basement.

Along with that comes the risk of mold and mildew growing on your walls, and we won’t even go into details of what you might find once you travel downstairs to the source of the problem. With that being said, it’s safe to say that a sewage backup is one of the last things you want to deal with as a homeowner.

To ensure this unfortunate event doesn’t happen to you, you should know some of the things that cause a sewage backup. Knowing these causes will help you in preventing a backup from happening. Keep reading for more information!

Warning Signs of a Sewage Backup

Before we begin to discuss what causes a sewage backup to happen, let’s first discuss some signs that a sewage backup has happened. There are a few signs that your home should give you when it’s experiencing a sewage backup. Here are just a few of those signs.

Gurgling Noises

Have you heard strange noises coming from your drains or pipes? These gurgling sounds mean that the water is having a hard time flowing down the drain. Be sure to listen to all drains in the house for this sound.

Clogged Toilets

If your toilet is backed up, then there’s a good chance that your house is experiencing a sewage backup. Check your toilet to see if the water is backing up out of the drain or out of the toilet’s plumbing.

Other Clogged Drains

Any other clogged drain within the house might also be a sign that there’s a sewage backup. Just because it’s not the toilet’s plumbing that’s backing up doesn’t mean your sewage system isn’t having an issue. Be on the lookout for all types of clogged drains.

1. Broken Sewage Lines

Broken sewage lines result in a sewage backup. This is more common in homes that are older. When speaking about broken sewage lines, this could mean a line that has collapsed, a cracked line, or broken in any other way.

This is due to older homes being built with either clay piping or cast iron piping. Over time, these materials break down, leading to broken lines. Thankfully, newer homes are built with plastic sewer lines to prevent this from happening.

2. Clogged Sewage Lines

The next reason for a sewage backup might be clogged sewage lines. Just as you might experience a clog in your drain pipes, the main sewage line could become clogged as well. If you notice that only one drain in your house is giving you problems, then there might be a simple clog in that one drain.

However, if you notice that several drains are giving you issues and causing a backup every time you use them, then there might be a clog in your main sewage line.

3. Tree Roots Near Sewage Lines

Although this next cause might seem out of the ordinary, it’s not. That’s right, tree roots are a common cause of sewage backups. The worst part about this cause is that the actual tree doesn’t have to be near the sewage lines.

It’s the roots of the tree that are the problem, and this means that it could even be your neighbor’s tree causing the issues. When tree roots grow close to sewage lines, they can either grow around the lines, ultimately crushing them, or they can grow into the lines, breaking them open.

4. Washing Machine Backups

Again, don’t get stuck on the idea that a sewage backup is only caused by a clogged toilet drain. Washing machine backups are another cause of sewage backups. When a washing machine backs up, there’s a large amount of water involved.

In most cases, it’s a backed-up drain within the washer. However, you want to make sure that this is the problem and then fix it immediately before the issue gets worse.

5. Floor Drain Backups

If you have a floor drain in your basement that’s backed up, then you’ll need to ensure that your sewage line isn’t clogged. The floor drain isn’t a drain that normally takes in water, so having water backup from it means that the issue is coming from somewhere else.

In most cases, this is a sign that the house drain located under your basement is backed up. This has several causes. One of those causes is that a heavy rain clogged a public sewage system, and you’re now dealing with the consequences.

Heavy rains might also cause a clog in your home’s mainline, which could be clogged in the sewer.

6. Toilet, Shower, and Bathtub Backups

If you’re looking for signs of a sewage backup in your basement, the first thing you should check is your basement’s toilets, showers, and bathtubs. Although these might not be the cause of the problem, this is the first place that you might see the backup happening because the plumbing for them is low.

You can attempt to unclog these drains if you believe that one clogged drain is the problem, but keep in mind that if there are several drains backing up, then the clog is most likely further down the drain.

Sewage Backup Problems? Call the Professionals!

Are you experiencing sewage backup problems? If so, it’s time to call in the professionals! Here at Beehive Plumbing, our master plumbers are licensed, experienced, and dedicated to providing you with professional plumbing services!

Contact us today to see how we can help you!

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