How to Protect Your Basement From Sewer Backup
Have you ever experienced a large amount of standing water in your basement after a heavy rainstorm? Do you wonder where it comes from and how so much ends up in your home? If the water has come up through any plumbing fixtures or you have standing water over your floor drain, there’s a good chance that you are experiencing municipal sewer backup.
It is not uncommon during heavy rainstorms for municipal sanitary sewers to become overloaded with more volume than they can handle. And the result, since almost all municipal sewer systems are gravity fed, is the excess water being forced back through your sewer line towards your home and into your basement and other low lying drains in that area. Large quantities of sewage-contaminated water can be pushed through floor drains, toilets or showers and can create a potentially dangerous and unhealthy environment in your home.
If your sewers backup into your basement, the most important thing to remember is DO NOT WALK IN or TOUCH the standing water! The power must be turned off first to help avoid risk of electrocution.
You do not have to live with the fear of your sewers backing up into your home. You can help protect your home and your family from the unhealthy environment create from municipal sewer backup. A sewer backup prevention system can help.
Generally, these types of systems are beyond the skill level of your standard do-it-yourselfer and will require professional help. Sewer backup prevention can likely be accomplished with the help of professional basement waterproofing contractors and/or licensed plumbers experienced in these situations.
A professional contractor should install a double- or triple-valve system that provides protection and comes with a significant warranty. Most systems can be installed in your front yard and are almost undetectable. The check valves are placed into the sewer line so when the sewer is overloaded and pushes water toward your home, they will automatically close and keep the sewage contaminated water out of your basement. The pump and basin, as shown above, will provide the advantage of being able to use your household plumbing during times of sewer backup.
[Editor’s note: Sewer backups aren’t typically covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy; talk to your agent to see if additional coverage options make sense for you]Content and images courtesy of Perma-Seal.