How to Reduce Michigan sewer and drain losses in the basement

Each year, sewer and drain backups cause millions of dollars in damage to Michigan homeowners. Prevention is the best solution to avoid the out-of-pocket expenses and the inconvenience of a major clean up. Here are a few ways to prevent sewer and drainage back up: 

Steps to take to reduce sewer and drain losses in your basement

Make sure your drainage system is working properly.

  • Gutter downspouts should extend at least 10 feet away from the foundation of the house, to carry water away from the basement walls.
  • Clear the gutters at least twice a year to prevent them from overflowing.
  • Grade your yard to slope away from the house to drain surface water away from it.
  • If your gutters connect to storm sewers, keep the drain lines clear.  

Anti-backflow devices reduce the chance of basement flooding. Several types of devices with manual and automatic operations are available:

  • Check-valve devices allow water and sewage to flow away from the drain, preventing water and sewage from backing up into the sewer.
  • Gate-valve devices operate as a gate, closing and shutting off the water flow.

Sump pump systems assist in keeping out unwanted water.

There are several types of pumps, including a single pump and dual-level systems. A battery generator can be used to power the pump in case of a power failure. Remember to test your system monthly. It’s important not to connect your sump pump outlet is to your home’s central plumbing system.  

Sometimes water still gets in. Items stored in basement areas should be on shelves or kept off the floor. The furniture should be on casters or shims and arranged away from the floor drains. Consult with a building code official or professional plumber for more steps you can take to reduce the chance of water damage to your home.

Speak with an insurance professional about appropriate coverage in your homeowner’s policy.      

Finally, for more information on the difference between drain losses and flood losses, visit our post on Michigan flood insurance to see if your home needs flood insurance.