Common causes of sewer backups

Sewer backups are never fun to deal with.  When they occur, they flood areas with contaminated and toxic water that make your home or office unusable, and can also cause major property damage. As such, it’s so important to prevent sewer backups from happening to protect your property investment. Here are some common causes of their occurences, as well as some quick fixes to prevent irreversible damage.

Clogged Drains

One of the most common causes of backups is clogged drains. This is what happens when things that shouldn’t go down the drain get flushed down it. When this happens, things like grease, soap scum and hair get stuck within the pipes. After a while, they can build up to a point where they can completely block your pipes and prevent water from going through them. It’s at this point that your property will flood with contaminated water.

To prevent this from happening, you should purchase a drain opener. This will help break down any buildup within your pipes so that water can continue to flow through them. If this doesn’t do the trick, there are also drain snakes that can be used to manually remove clogs from your bathroom sink or toilet.


Another common cause of backups is overflow. When too much water gets through your pipes at once, they become overwhelmed and start overflowing into your home’s plumbing system. This can cause serious damage to your property and belongings, and it’s often what people think of when they think of a water backup. To prevent this from happening, though, you should simply purchase a sewage overflow valve. This will help reduce the amount of water that gets through your pipes so that they don’t overflow.

Tree roots

Tree roots in your pipes often cause sewer backups. Trees, especially when they’re older or unhealthy, can send out roots that burrow into pipes. Over time the roots expand and crack the pipe walls until one day…you guessed it! The tree roots will sprout in your toilet, shower, sink or any other fixture too!

To seal off cracks in pipes you can try using concrete sealant (available at most hardware stores) to fill the cracks and give them a stronger structure. You can also try covering the pipe with a rubber gasket to help keep the water out. Additionally, being smart about your landscaping is the best way to prevent tree roots from clogging up your pipes.

If you have a sewer backup, one of the first things you should do is call a professional so they can take care of it. At AMS Plumbing, we have a fleet of vehicles at the ready for when emergency situations like this arise. Give our friendly team a call, and we’ll fix it quickly and at a fair price!