The thought of sewer problems is enough to make any homeowner’s blood run cold. These problems are often extensive, expensive and almost impossible to predict.
Sewer problems occur when something happens to the outflow line that connects your home to the municipal sewer system where you live. When everything is in good working order, wastewater simply leaves your home bound for the treatment plant, and all is well.
However, when something happens to disrupt the wastewater flow, bad things happen. Today we’re going to take a look at the biggest threat to your home from sewer problems.
Understanding a Sewer Line Blockage
Blockages in a variety of forms are the main culprit behind sewer line problems. Often, blockages occur from interference, such as tree roots penetrating the sewer line, or from internal issues, like grease and other waste backing up the pipe.
There are, of course, other problems that can cause a sewer line issue. These include breaks, punctures and leaky joints.
If you have a sewer line blockage or break, you will become aware of the problem fairly quickly. Often, sewer line issues present themselves with slowly draining shower and sink drains. This may be accompanied by slight backflow and overflow into basement drains.
Obviously reduced drain speed and backed up drains can lead to flooding issues, particularly if a sewer line problem is overlooked for too long.
Sewer Problems and Homeowner’s Insurance
The biggest problem with a sewer backup, blockage or break is that sewer problems are not covered under most homeowner’s insurance policies. This means that the cost for repair or replacement and any residual issues from flooding are the homeowner’s responsibility alone.
Additionally, sewer line maintenance is the owner’s responsibility up until the point where the line intersects with the city’s main line. In the event of a sewer line failure, you as a homeowner are entirely responsible for every aspect of repair up to the intersection. This includes the underground area both on your property, and likely underneath the sidewalk and road in front of your house.
Sewer line repairs are very expensive – often running homeowners upward of $10,000 to repair. There is, unfortunately no way to predict when sewer line problems will occur. Additionally, you won’t get the money invested into a repair when you go to sell your home, because a functional sewer line is simply something you just have to have.
Catching problems quickly and being diligent about what items leave the home through your sewer line are the best ways to minimize the likelihood of running into sewer trouble.