Some of the costliest homeowners insurance claims are from sewer and water backup mishaps. The most common cause of a backup in your sewer lateral (the pipe that runs from your city’s sanitary sewer main to your home) is from items the line is not meant to handle. We’ve gathered some practical prevention tips to help you to avoid sewer pitfalls.

There are several simple things you can do to prevent backups in your lateral and main sewer line.

  • Paper products – Do not flush anything other than toilet paper down your drain. Disposable diapers, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, etc. are not designed to deteriorate quickly and can clog your sewer line.
  • Cooking grease – As grease goes down the drain and cools, it solidifies and gets trapped. Instead of rinsing grease down the drain, dispose of cooled grease in your garbage
  • Foreign objects – Watch out for items that accidentally fall into the toilet, such as keys, combs and toothbrushes. While it may seem harmless, flushing items that accidentally fall into your toilet is a major culprit in blocking your sewer line. One simple prevention tip? Keep the toilet lid down!
  • Shrub and tree roots- Seeking moisture, it’s not uncommon for the roots of trees and shrubs to make their way into sewer line cracks. After time, roots can cause the sewer line to crack and allow debris to build up. If you have continuing problems with tree roots in your sewer lateral, consider hiring a professional to trim tree roots or replace your sewer line with a pipe made of plastic
  • Illegal plumbing connections – Connecting sump pumps, French drains and other flood control systems to your sanitary sewer only spells trouble. Consult a plumber to correct any illegal connections.

Often, most water entering the basement is not due to a sewer backup but rather from poor soil grading around your home’s exterior. If you have a water problem and have ruled out sewer backup, making sure that water is draining away from your home’s foundation properly can often fix the problem.You can count on BHC Insurance for all your home matters, including sewer backup coverage and flood insurance. Contact us today at 479-452-4000 for more information about our affordable coverage options.