Sewer backups aren’t something most people think about until it’s too late. By then, unfortunately, the damage is probably going to cost quite a bit of money, not to mention the time spent.

However, a lot of this trouble could be prevented with some relatively simple precautions. So, in this article, we are going to list a few causes of sewage backups and some things you can do to prevent them.

Causes of Sewage Backups

Sewage backups are caused by a variety of issues, but there are some common causes of this costly problem. We are going to discuss a few of these issues below.

  • Roots: Roots from trees or other plants can infiltrate or wrap around your pipes. This may cause blockages due to the roots blocking the flow of materials, such as toilet paper and solid waste, through the pipes. Also, if the roots wrap around the pipes tightly, they can contract the pipes causing a blockage. Either of these problems may result in a sewage backup.
  • Drain Line Clogs: Flushing items other than waste and toilet paper down the toilet may lead to a toilet clog and possibly a sewage backup. Also, pouring grease and oil down your kitchen sink drain can cause solid grease buildups in your pipes, which could become severe enough to cause a sewage backup. Even letting too much food go down the drain can cause sewage problems in the future.
  • Broken Sewer Lines: A sewage backup could be caused by a broken or cracked sewer line. This is more of a problem in older homes with clay or cast iron piping.
  • Regular Drain Cleaning: Try cleaning your drains at least monthly. A good chemical-free way to do this is by pouring one cup of baking soda followed by slowly pouring an equal amount of white vinegar down the drain. Finish by running the hot water for a short time.

Prevention Tips

You can do some things to help prevent sewage backups, and we will list a few of these below.

  • Use plastic pipes. Using plastic pipes can help prevent serious problems since tree roots can’t penetrate these pipes.
  • Watch what you flush down the toilet. Items including paper towels, facial tissue, and feminine hygiene products don’t break down as easily as toilet paper and may cause clogs.
  • Clean your drains: You should clean your drains regularly to avoid clogs. But instead of using harsh chemicals, try pouring a cup of baking soda down your drain and then a cup of vinegar. After you do this, run some hot water down the drain. This will help keep your drains clean.
  • Don’t pour grease down the drain. The grease will solidify in your drain pipes or possibly even the sewer line. This can result in a severe clog and even a backup.
  • Add drain catches. Putting drain catches on your drain will keep food, hair, and other items that could clog your pipes from going down the drain.


A sewage backup is one of the most unpleasant and costly household disasters you can go through. But, luckily they are often preventable. Now that you understand what causes sewage backups, you can take action to prevent one from happening in the first place.

Contact Us

For more information on preventing a sewage backup or for help on an existing issue, call RestorePro at 1-800-847-0114, or connect with us on Facebook.