Sewage backups often occur when sewer lines become clogged or damaged, causing wastewater to flow back into homes through drains, toilets, and the basement.
What’s frustrating about a sewage backup or leak is that it introduces murky, foul-smelling fluid into spaces it shouldn’t be. Since sewage contains waste and other disease-causing substances, even a minor spill can create significant health hazards. Of course, excessive wastewater also causes extensive damage to property and possessions.
If you’re dealing with a sewer backup in your home, you’ll need the help of professionals to ensure your space is clean, sanitized, and deodorized. How much does sewage cleanup cost, exactly? What factors influence these costs, and is there a way to save money on sewage removal services?
The Expenses Involved in Sewer Backup Cleanup
Besides the meticulous cleanup required, sewage can leave behind severe damage that can drive your expenses up pretty quickly.
Removing sewage water can cost around $7 and $14 per square foot, based on industry averages. In total, wastewater cleanup and restoration falls between $2,000 to $10,000, depending on the severity of the spill. It may even cost up to $50,000 in some rare cases, especially if it involves serious plumbing issues.
With all of this in mind, remember that other factors, such as the extent of the spill and water damage repair and restoration, can affect your final bill. This is why it’s crucial to enlist professional cleanup services before the backup creates more issues.
Does Insurance Cover Sewage Backup?
Besides asking, “How much does sewage cleanup cost?” it also helps to understand how your insurance policy can help shoulder the costs of restoring your home.
Unfortunately, most homeowner’s insurance plans don’t cover sewage repair or replacement. Some companies offer additional coverage for flooding or sewer backups on standard policies for around $5 per month, providing policy owners $10,000–25,000 in coverage.
Note that these could include basic sewer line repair or replacement but not necessarily damage to the property or personal items.
The Main Factors That Affect Your Total Sewage Backup Cost
There are two primary things to consider when estimating the expenses involved in your sewage removal and cleanup project.
1. Leak Repair
Addressing the source of the sewage spill should be your top priority after a backup to prevent further damage. This inevitably involves the help of a plumbing professional and will likely cost you between $60 and $80 per hour. Of course, these rates may be higher in cases of emergency call-outs.
2. Cleanup and Restoration Costs
Stopping the leak is only half the battle. Cleaning up sewage water and restoring all the items it affected also require the expertise of a professional, and this is where your expenses can begin to add up.
Repairing floors, drywall, and other water-damaged materials is one thing, and cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing your place is another.
Other Aggravating Factors To Consider
The following conditions can drive your sewage backup cost further:
- A large volume of wastewater to remove
- Sewage contaminating an extensive part of your home
- Sewage that has sat for a long time and seeped into floors and walls
Possible Additional Expenses on Top of Sewage Backup Cost
Sewer backup cleanup doesn’t always end with addressing the leak and cleaning the affected area. If it was caused by an underlying plumbing issue, there are other extra expenses you may have to shoulder.
Sewer Scope Inspection
Sewer backups are often caused by clogs, blockages, or damage in the drain pipes and sewer lines. A sewer scope inspection may be needed to view the inside of your drains and check for any cracks or congestion.
Factors such as your location and the inspector you hire can influence your sewer scope inspection bill, but this service generally costs around $250 to $500.
The buildup of soap, grease, and other debris can quickly develop into blockages that cause sewage backups. If this is the source of your sewer leak, a plumber can snake your line for about $45 to $150 an hour to resolve the problem.
Other plumbers offer hydro jetting, a safer and more effective alternative for clearing sewer pipes. This involves using pressurized water to break up clogs and costs an average of $400 to $800.
Septic Tank Pumping
In some cases of backups, the septic tank may simply be full. With a full tank, you may notice that even light use of your toilets, showers, or drains quickly leads to sewage leaks and overflows.
Having your tank professionally pumped can solve this problem, and this service can cost anywhere from $300 to $600.
Sewer Line Repair and Replacement
Cracked or collapsed sewer lines can also cause blockages, leading to nasty backups in your home. The average cost of replacing short sewer lines starts at $1,000, but a complete replacement can total as much as $6,000.
Trenchless Pipe Repair
Trenchless sewer line repair is a repair method that only requires one or two small holes to reach and repair pipes. This does away with the destructive process of digging up the yard to replace underground lines.
The average cost for trenching typically starts at $6,000, while dig-and-replace repair is around $4,000. While trenching seems the more expensive option initially, dig-and-replace methods often involve uprooting, landscaping, and lawn damage that can quickly drive up the expenses.
Tree Root Removal
Tree root infiltration is another common cause of sewage leaks. Roots of nearby trees can reach and penetrate sewer lines, causing damage and blockages that eventually lead to backups.
Generally, professional tree root removal will cost anywhere between $100 and $600. It’s crucial that you entrust this job to trained technicians, as any misstep can cause further damage to your sewer lines.
Sewer line repairs and other similar services are usually beyond the skills of sewer backup cleanup companies. While they often mean additional expenses, having professionals look at your sewer system to catch possible problems early is well worth the investment.
How To Save Money on Sewage Cleanup and Restoration
While the figures mentioned earlier can be overwhelming, here’s some good news: there are actionable steps you can take to bring down your sewage backup cost:
- Be prepared for any issues with your wastewater treatment system after a storm.
- Stop performing any activity that produces wastewater (e.g., using the toilet or doing the laundry) as soon as you notice signs of a septic tank failure.
- Contain wastewater so it doesn’t flow and contaminate other areas.
- Call a professional sewage cleanup team as soon as possible to clean the mess, prevent further damage, and sanitize the affected area.
The Sooner Experts Get on the Job, the Better
A sewage spill can be damaging not only to your home, but also to your finances. Most sewer backup cleanup and restoration services cost between $2,000 and $10,000. However, other factors such as the extent of the damage and other plumbing issues can add to your expenses and burn a hole in your pocket.
More importantly, a sewage backup in your home is also dangerous to your health, so the help of a professional is non-negotiable. Expert help is essential to clean up the wastewater, sanitize your home, and ensure it is safe and healthy again. Fortunately, the sooner you call your local professionals for help, the more you can avoid further complications – and additional items on your bill.
If you need help returning your home to a livable condition, don’t hesitate to call Restoration 1 today. Our certified professionals can address the mess, eliminate odor, and reclaim your home after a sewage disaster, no matter its severity.
Get in touch to find a local expert near you. Our local teams nationwide are ready to mobilize 24 hours a day, seven days a week.