6 min read

How To Prevent Toilet Overflow


With over 500,000 sewer backups affecting homeowners in the US every year, there may come a time when you’ll have to deal with one in your own home. Unfortunately, experiencing issues like toilet overflows and drain backups can be messy, frustrating, and potentially hazardous to your health. 

The key to preventing these sewer problems from affecting your home is understanding their common causes. From deterioration due to aging and malfunctioning components to stubborn blockages, they can cause extensive and expensive problems, which are avoidable as long as proactive measures are implemented.

This guide delves into some practical tips on how to avoid overflowing a toilet and drain backups. We also discuss what to do if you have a significant sewage spill/backup to help you get your home back to normal as soon as possible. 

Common Sewer Backup Issues at Home

Before going through the steps to prevent and clean up after a backup, it helps to understand the sewage disasters that can strike your home in the first place. 

Toilet Overflows

Toilet overflows are a common household nuisance. They can occur for various reasons, from a malfunctioning flapper or float mechanism to severe clogs. When they happen, unsanitary water can flood your bathroom floor, creating a mess requiring immediate attention. 

Drain Backups

Drain backups can occur when wastewater flow is obstructed and affects different parts of your home, including your sinks, showers, and basement drains. This obstruction often happens due to a buildup of debris, grease, or foreign objects in your pipes. 

Sewage Spills

Sewage spills are even more severe. They often involve the release of wastewater from your plumbing system into your property. As they can contain harmful bacteria and pathogens, sewage backups and spills pose significant health risks and can cause extensive damage to your home’s interior. 

How to Avoid Overflowing a Toilet or Causing Drain Backups 

Protect your home and your loved ones from the dangers of sewage backups and spills with these actionable tips: 

1. Watch What You Flush  

It helps to remember that toilets are designed to discard human waste, not for anything else. When it receives items that don’t easily break down, it can develop clogs that eventually prevent water from flowing normally. The result? The flushed material often goes back out the way it came. 

With this, never flush wipes, paper towels, feminine products, and other paper products down your toilet. It’s also crucial that everyone in your household knows what can and cannot be flushed.

If a clog does happen, it must be taken care of quickly with a plunger, snaking drains, or a professional plumber’s assistance. 

2. Regularly Inspect Your Toilet 

Regularly inspecting your toilet allows you to notice signs of wear and tear early and, most importantly, prevent an overflow from happening in the first place. 

It’s best to call your trusted plumber if you notice any of these signs:

  • Your toilet is constantly running. 
  • Your toilet bowl has developed visible cracks. 
  • The flapper has already started cracking due to aging. 
  • The flapper chain is rusty or too short or long to work properly. 
  • The float is set too high or too low. 

The longer you wait to address these issues, the higher the chance that you may have to deal with an overflowing toilet. 

3. Discard Grease Properly 

It’s easy to take household drains for granted until problems start popping up. Fortunately, it’s equally easy to keep your drains working without a problem, and keeping grease out of them is one way to get started. 

When you pour cooking grease down your kitchen sink, it will solidify when it cools off, either in the drain or the main sewer line. Regardless of its location, solidified grease can quickly trap other debris moving down the pipe and form a stubborn blockage. 

Instead of pouring grease or cooking oil down the drain, let it cool and discard it in the trash. 

4. Schedule Professional Drain Cleaning 

Prevention is always better than cure. The same applies when maintaining your home’s drains. Complement your efforts in properly using your toilets and drains by scheduling regular drain cleaning. Professionals have the equipment to remove any debris buildup or blockages in your drain lines. 

What to Do After a Major Sewage Backup

Facing major sewage backups and spills in your home can be overwhelming. Still, it’s essential to take action immediately to mitigate the damage and save as much of your property as possible. 

1. Stop Using Your Plumbing 

Refrain from using your toilets and kitchen and bathroom drains the moment you notice backups. Doing so prevents more wastewater from coming back up and adding to the mess inside your home. 

2. Evacuate The Area

Knowing how to use a plunger or snaking drains will not be enough to address an extensive sewer backup issue. In severe situations, it’s best to avoid touching contaminated areas, evacuate your home, and call for professional help. 

3. Enlist Professional Sewage Cleanup Services

Once everyone is safe and out of the house, hire professional sewage removal and cleanup services immediately. Certified professionals have the equipment, training, and experience to perform sewage cleanup, disinfection, and property restoration. 

The sooner you get professionals involved, the more you will be able to minimize destruction to your interior and prevent further complications, like water damage and microbial growth. 

Get Sewage Cleanup Assistance From Restoration 1 of Cary

Dealing with toilet overflows and sewage backups can be both messy and potentially hazardous to your health. While some minor incidents can be resolved with DIY efforts, it’s crucial to recognize when to seek the help of professionals. 

Major sewage backups and spills require the expertise of experienced sewage cleanup companies, like Restoration 1 of Cary. As your reliable local experts, we have the skills and solutions to ensure that the job is done correctly, safely, and thoroughly, protecting your home and your family’s health.

Call Restoration 1 of Cary for your sewage removal and cleanup needs 24/7. We are available around the clock to respond to your emergency and restore the health and safety of your property.