Although many homeowners think their insurance policies cover sewer backups, they are disappointed when they find out the hard way that sewer backups are not covered.
However, there is separate coverage available for this type of problem. Compared to the cost of dealing with a major sewer backup, the cost for this additional coverage is small.
Homeowners must maintain and repair the part of the pipeline that connects pipes in their homes to main sewer lines. The parts that connect them are also included.
Here’s what you need to know to prevent this from happening to you.
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Since a backup can be very costly and messy to deal with, it is important for homeowners to know how to prevent a sewer backup and to understand what causes them. Unless you purchase a separate sewer backup insurance policy, you could be on the hook for any of these issues:
Tree Roots Interfering with Pipelines
Since trees live on water, their roots typically move toward water sources such as sewer lines. The growth may only start as a few small roots penetrating the pipeline. However, the result is the roots growing thicker and expanding over time.
When a tree root grows so much it spans the inside of the pipeline, it may cause a major blockage or a total clog. If the roots causing the problems are from trees owned by the city, it is important to contact the city’s cleanup department promptly.
In most cases, the city will sample the roots to determine who owns the tree and who is responsible for the cleanup bill. If multiple trees owned by the homeowner and the city are both involved, the two parties often must split the cleanup bill.
Sewer Line Blockages
In the sewer line, there are many different types of possible blockages. These clogs or blockages cause sewage to back up into the home. And that’s when it becomes both a health issue and an added cost to the already expensive sewer line repair — for professional cleanup and water damage restoration.
Since the occurrence is gradual, there is still time to call a plumbing specialist before your house is completely flooded with sewage. There may be water coming in through the basement when this happens. If water is coming in, call the public works office promptly.
Rain Clogging Storm Sewers
If a storm sewer cannot contain the falling rain, a sanitary sewer backup can happen.
When this occurs, water usually comes into the home through bathtubs, toilets, and sump pump wells located in the basement. Damage is normally confined to the basement but can also be in other parts of the home. Making sure there is a sump pump and generator available will help prevent the problem.
Insurance for Sewer Backups: Is it Worth It?
Yes, for most homeowners.
These sewer line and sewer backup problems can be very expensive to deal with. Standing water and sewage are health hazards and can destroy almost everything they come into contact within the home.
Do this exercise to determine if it’s right for your specific situation.
Calculate the cost to replace items that would likely be damaged in your home from a sewer backup. Consider everything from cost to excavate, repair, and replace the sewer line to all the expenses for restoring your basement or home to its previous condition.
Now compare that number to the cost of purchasing additional insurance for a sewer backup (talk to your agent to get a range of costs). I think you’ll see what a great investment it is in your home, health, and peace of mind.
If you need help with a sewer line or sewage backup, don’t hesitate to contact us or call us at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237). We will immediately respond to and handle any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning and drain clearing, and water damage problem, including excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines.