Most Common Causes of Sewage Backups

As a homeowner, there are few things worse than a sewage backup which happens anytime there is damage to the plumbing system or when blockage of wastewater occurs. Sewer backups also take place externally and interiorly, so some problems are difficult to detect before an overflow takes place. Damage is often severe as it leads to flooding that requires water damage restoration. Here are the most common causes of sewage backups and how to respond to prevent them.

Clogged Pipes

It’s no surprise that clogged pipes and drains are the most common reasons for sewage backups. Once a drain or pipe clogs, it will cause water to drain slower and even overflow. In some of these cases, it will lead to blockages because the pipe is unable to empty into the municipal sewer line. The causes are widespread, so here are a few things to watch out for in your home.

Food Waste

Food waste is a significant problem even for households that have garbage disposals. Greasy or grainy food (like ground coffee or tea) tend to build-up.


Hair clogs are likely to occur in the shower because families share these spaces. It’s easy to lose hair when shampooing as well. The best prevention is to use a drain guard to catch the hair before they go down the pipes and cause a blockage.

Toilet Paper

Toilet paper clogs happen when someone uses too much of it. It does down, but the next person will likely experience a toilet overflow if it obstructs the pipe. Often, a plunger is the perfect tool to have nearby as it usually unclogs it quickly.

Dropped Objects

Anyone who has kids in the home knows that children love to play with toys in the bathtub and flush them instead. Anything going down after will get stuck. The same goes for the kitchen or bathroom sink. You’ll need to call a plumber for this.

Soap, Minerals, Or Dirt

Soap, minerals, and dirt are common causes of clogs. Soaps are made from fats, and when washing the dust off, will compact in the pipe. Minerals also dissolve in hard water that will build up over time. Having annual checks will prevent it.

Tree Roots

Tree roots look for water sources, so they tend to grow toward plumbing pipes to seek it out. It will lead to cracks and breaks of your plumbing pipes and will obstruct the flow of water. Watch out for overgrown roots and standing water.

Split Or Collapsed Pipes

Most plumbing pipes used today are made of PVC, clay, or cast iron because they are more durable than other material. Most homes, however, are decades old, so homeowners need to watch for deteriorating or broken pipes. Repairing or replacing pipes will prevent back-ups.

Gutter System

If your gutter system is clogged, water will not flow away from the foundation. It will find tiny openings through porous building material and cause flooding or mold growth to occur. Water pouring off the roof will overwork the sewer systems and cause flooding, so clean it annually.

Restore Pro is open 24/7 to assist our customers with any sewage emergency, including back-ups and flooding. Give us a call 1-800-847-0114 or at