Last month, we discussed the 4 most common causes of sewage backups. This month, we are sharing ways that you can prevent a sewage backup in your home.

Dispose of grease, fats, and oils properly – What happens to grease and oil when they cool down? They solidify. If you pour grease down your kitchen sink’s drain, it will become solid and eventually cause a clog in your pipe or the main sewer. Allow grease and fats to cool in the pan and then scrape it into your garbage. Alternatively, you can pour the oil into a heat-resistant container and then dispose of it once it has cooled.

Dispose of food properly – Oils are the worst culprit when it comes to clogging drains, but foods are a close second. Things like sauces, rice, coffee grounds, pasta, vegetables, etc., can clog your pipes. But there is an easy fix! Use a drain basket or strainer to catch food that would otherwise go down your drain.

Another quick tip! Once a month, pour one cup of baking soda down your drains. Follow it up with one cup of white vinegar and warm water. This will help to break down anything that has built up over time in your pipes.

What are you flushing? Other than bodily waste and toilet paper, nothing should be flushed down the toilet. Nothing. Common products that get flushed and can cause significant sewer problems include:

  • Paper towels
  • ‘Flushable’ wipes
  • Diapers – both disposable and cloth
  • Feminine products

Throw these items in the trash!

Plastic pipes to the rescue – Did you know that tree roots can’t penetrate through plastic piping? Replace your old piping with plastic pipes.

Trim tree roots – Depending on the scope of the problem, you may be able to trim your own roots, or you may need to hire a professional. Periodic trimming can prevent a much bigger (and nastier) sewage backup problem.

Consider installing a backwater prevention valve – A backwater prevention valve properly installed by a plumber and maintained by the homeowner allows sewage to go out but not back in.

Schedule an inspection – Not sure what shape your pipes and sewage system are in? Schedule a sewer line inspection to check for potential problems and blockages.

Remember, a little prevention now can mean avoiding a big mess later!