Risk Management Tip
What’s in a pipe?
It’s easy to take a properly functioning sewage system for granted – until it stops working. A malfunction can result in a big, expensive headache for a homeowner. In order to properly protect yourself from the risks of a sewer backup, it is important to consider:
- Aging pipes that can’t withstand sewage and heavy rain. Although plastic sewer lines have now become the norm, older homes were built using cast iron and clay piping that can break down over time and create sewer problems.
- A clog. If it is just one toilet, sink or tub that seems to be giving you a problem, it may just be a clog in that drain. If, however, every flush creates a sewage backup in your home, you likely have a blockage in your main sewer line.
- Tree roots. They can grow into the pipes and cause holes and blockages that may wrap around your sewer line and crush it.
- Properly dispose of materials that can lead to backups like cooking by-products (grease, fat, oils, gravy and sauce), excess amounts of toilet paper, diapers, feminine products, food and paper towels.
- If you suspect problems with your pipes, you may want to have them replaced with modern plastic or PVC pipes.
- Since sewer backup coverage is generally not covered by a standard homeowner’s policies, you should ask your independent agent about how to add a sewage backup rider to your existing policy.