What are the Most Common Causes of Home Sewer Backups


Using your sink or toilet just to find that water is backing up into your property can be as annoying as it is off-putting.


Thankfully, it’s not something that can’t be fixed, though doing so often requires intrusive methods, depending on what the challenge is.


Here’s a quick look at some of the most common reasons you may be experiencing sewer problems.


Blockage in the Drain


Among all the issues that could occur, there is no denying that this is the one Americans struggle with the most.


One of the key identifiers is the fact that one drain seems to have this problem while the others are all perfectly fine.


It’s usually an indicator that some form of blockage is present in that drain, which requires removal.


Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that there’s a right way and a wrong way to use drains, and the latter is a recipe for clogging.


For example, not even paper towel should be flushed down your toilet, as it can create a blockage. Your toiled is for toilet paper and human waste products only.


Tree Roots


Even when the space atop the ground may be sparse enough as far as foliage is concerned, you would be surprised to see the extent of tree root coverage underground.


Being essential life forms, trees generally don’t cause many problems unless they find themselves near certain structures. Power lines, for example, become a real hazard when trees are too close to them.


It just so happens that tree roots can also grow far inside your sewer pipes, blocking the internal surface area that was meant for water.


The sewer flow disruption is a huge problem, which, unfortunately, is often accompanied by the buildup of mold or mildew.


Left long enough, flooding could come along destroying the structural integrity of your home.


Leaking Pipes


Leaking pipes often start as small challenges, which can translate into more severe ones.


Moisture buildup comes to mind, which is often a recipe for unwanted black mold build-up. Additionally, it leads to sewer damage, which may be accompanied by progressive destruction of the property’s structure.


Collapsed or Cracked Pipes


While Americans may not necessarily enjoy home maintenance tasks, many of them are critical in preventing catastrophic consequences.


Among these are the repair or replacement of cracked or collapsed pipes that form a part of your sewage system.


The reality is that pipes can crack and break down over time. Of course, extranormal phenomena such as earthquakes or hurricanes can accelerate this process in the wake of their disruption.

Of course, the damage prevents the natural flow, causing sewage to get stuck in places or pass through to unintended ones.


Weather Effects often lead to Plumbing Emergencies


The previous point slightly alluded to the fact that the weather can be a problem for a sewer system.


The damage is not always from impact, though. For example, extreme weather events, such as continuous heavy rainfall, can also present an excess of rainwater that overloads the system. This is another reason that you may see backups happening.




Sewer problems can come from several sources. The pipes themselves may have gotten old, or external factors such as tree root growth, improper drain use, or inclement weather can present challenges.


Pay attention to slow drains, gurgling toilets, bad smells, cracks in your foundation, or sewage backups.


All these are indications of underlying challenges, which when caught early enough, can often prevent you from having a serious repair job down the line.

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