What Happens When Sewage Backs Up

Encountering a sewage backup is every homeowner’s worst nightmare for not solely the mess it creates but the potential health hazards and property damage it poses. So, in this blog, we’ve covered the ramifications of sewer backup, the possible risks involved, and what to do in such instances. Since this predicament might be detrimental to one’s health, employing professional Modesto plumbers can provide peace of mind knowing they will handle the issue safely and precisely.

Causes of Sewage Backup

Sewage backups can occur for various reasons, including:

Clogged Pipes

Grease, hair, and other debris can build up in your home’s plumbing system, causing blockages that prevent wastewater from flowing freely. 

Tree Root Intrusion:

Tree roots can grow into sewer lines, causing blockages and eventual backups. 

Damaged Sewer Lines:

Aging, corrosion, or ground movement can cause sewer lines to crack or collapse, leading to backups.

Overwhelmed Municipal Sewer Systems:

Heavy rainfall or flooding can cause city sewer systems to become overwhelmed, resulting in sewage backing up into homes connected to the system.

Health Risks of Sewage Backups

You mustn’t take sewage back up as a joke or overlook it, as it can bring lethal germs, viruses, and parasites into your surroundings, jeopardizing your and your loved ones’ health. Among the most widespread sewage-borne pathogens are:

E. coli


Hepatitis A


Exposure to these dangerous pathogens may inflict nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever. Moreover, they can pose severe health complications or even fatalities in extreme situations. Thus, safeguarding yourself from such illnesses is essential by taking necessary precautions and seeking timely medical attention.

Property Damage Caused by Sewage Backups

In addition to the health risks, sewage backups can cause extensive property damage. The water and contaminants introduced by a sewage backup can:

Damage Flooring and Carpets:

Sewage water can seep into carpets, rugs, and hardwood or laminate flooring, causing warping, staining, and unpleasant odors.

Ravage Furniture and Personal Belongings:

Upholstered furniture, clothing, and other personal items can be permanently damaged by contact with sewage-contaminated water.

Cause Structural Damage:

Prolonged exposure to moisture can weaken your home’s structural components, such as drywall, wood framing, and concrete foundations.

Lead to Mold Growth:

The damp conditions created by a sewage backup provide the perfect environment for mold growth, which can cause additional health problems and further damage to your property.

What to Do When Sewage Backs Up

Experiencing sewage backup in your home? Act quickly to protect health and minimize property damage by following these steps:

Prioritize Safety:

Firstly, ensure you and your loved one’s Safety and avoid contact when dealing with sewage-contaminated water. Wear gloves, goggles, and rubber boots before entering the afflicted area.

Turn off Utilities:

To prevent any incidents of electrocution or fire, shutting off the electricity and gas supply in the affected area is pivotal, or else contact a professional electrician for your Safety if you’re not confident doing so.

Consult a Professional:

Professional plumbers in Oakland should always address sewage backups since they are outfitted with the necessary expertise, equipment, and protective gear to identify the cause of the backup safely while removing the blockage and repairing any damaged pipes or plumbing fixtures.

Document the Damage:

Cover damages by taking photos or videos of the affected areas and damaged materials to report the incident to your insurance company and discuss your coverage options, ensuring you receive the necessary assistance to redress the situation.

Prepare for Cleanup and Restoration:

Once the plumbing issue is resolved, meticulously clean and disinfect the afflicted areas to alleviate remaining pathogens and thwart mold growth. Depending on the damage severity, you might need to engage a professional water damage restoration company to ensure a safe and sanitary environment. 


Handling sewage back can endanger your health while significantly damaging your property. It’s a dire situation that necessitates prompt action by professionals to get your home back to normal. Take pre-emptive measures to avert sewage backups, helping you maintain an immaculate, healthy, and safe living environment for you and your family!