Just as you would probably imagine, sewer backups can cause great damage to your property, including your business. They occur when heavy rainfall exceeds what your city’s system can handle. When that happens, the water then has no place to go, overflowing into your property. It will come out from your plumbing, generally on the lower floors, and tends to smell extremely bad. The worst sewer backups are those that occur from the main sewer line, which is the pipe that all of your drains connect to. It is also the pipe that takes wastewater to the main municipal sewer line as well as private septic tanks.
Causes of Sewer Backups
Sewer backups are commonly caused by:
- Water in a basement
- Tree roots
- Damaged sewer lines
Although not as common, rinsing or flushing grease or large pieces of food down the sink or toilet can result in a backup. While backups caused by human activity can often be fixed with the use of small tools that help to snake the drain, sometimes even those don’t work. You should be aware that when a sewer backup occurs, one of the first things that you will notice is a gurgling toilet.
Are Sewer Backups Covered by Insurance?
While sewer backup coverage is generally available for purchase, most business insurance policies don’t cover them. The best thing that you can do is to review your insurance policy and to add coverage if you don’t have it. However, if a sewer backup has already occurred, you’re out of luck.
How Can You Prevent Sewer Backups?
Luckily, there are quite a few things that you can do to prevent sewer backups. These include:
- Properly disposing of paper products such as diapers, paper towels, and feminine hygiene products (e.g., not flushing them down the toilet)
- Properly disposing of grease by pouring it into a heat-resistant container and throwing it out after it has cooled and solidified
- Properly connecting your plumbing system and avoiding connecting any sump pumps, French drains, and flood control systems to your sanitary sewer
- Replacing your current pipe with a new plastic pipe, which can prevent tree roots from entering your line
- Periodically cutting your tree roots
- Hiring a plumber to install a backwater prevention valve, which, as its name suggests, can prevent backflows of sewer water
When a sewer backup occurs, it can cause great damage to your property (water damage, mold, etc.), valuables, and electricity, as well as serious illness due to its unsanitary nature. If you experience a sewer backup, be sure to minimize additional damage by having a professional company cleanup the property as soon as possible.
PALUMBO LAW Helps Those in Rhode Island with their Real Estate Needs
Property damage claims can be very overwhelming – especially when you’re not familiar with exactly how they work. That’s why consulting with a knowledgeable and experienced property insurance attorney can help.
At PALUMBO LAW, our experienced Rhode Island Property Insurance lawyers work strategically to help our clients to get what they deserve. We have deep experience working with insurance companies and understand how to deal with them. If you plan on filing a claim or have done so and been denied, we can help. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us today!