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Disaster Recovery
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One of the major headaches a business or homeowner can face is a sewer blockage. Not only can they be inconvenient but they can also be costly. So, what are the warning signs to look for?

Sewer line breaks and backups can be costly, know what to look for before it’s too late.

Sewer Line Backups

One of the major indicators of a sewer line backup is an overflowing drain. Drains can overflow anywhere but pay close attention to the lowest drain in the building. A strong indicator of a blocked main line is the lowest drain in the business or home overflowing. Overflowing sewage contains bacteria and should be remediated and decontaminated by a professional. Contractors performing this type of service should follow the IICRC S520 Standard for Category 3 water/sewage mitigation.


Mold can be a side effect of broken pipes behind walls or under floors. Blockages can be a perfect storm of bacteria and moisture for mold growth. For health reasons any mold remediation should be handled by professionals. After the cleanup is complete any remaining materials need to be dried out and should be monitored with a moisture meter to prevent mold.


Any unexplained infestations could be caused by broken sewer lines. Rats and cockroaches use broken pipes to gain entry to buildings. Once inside their excrement can cause serious health problems for any occupants of the building.

Lawn or Landscape Changes

Some breaks and blockages can happen between the building and the street. Telltale signs to look for are extremely lush patches of grass or landscaping that haven’t been watered. This can indicate an underground leak feeding the vegetation above.

Another indicator is a dip in the soil or under paving features that appear seemingly out of nowhere. This can happen when a broken pipe erodes the soil underneath weakening whatever is above it until it buckles.


Properly working sewage systems should be air tight. Any sewage odor should lead to an investigation of the source and be mitigated immediately. If there is a broken sewage pipe it could be depositing sewage into the area surrounding the building instead of properly ushering it away from the structure.

Foundation Cracks

Similar to the landscaping indicators, foundation cracks can be caused when broken pipes erode soil under foundations causing cracking and settling in the foundation.

About Insurance Restoration Specialists, Inc.

Insurance Restoration Specialists, Inc. (IRS) is a premier provider of disaster recovery mitigation, environmental remediation, biohazard emergency response and HVAC inspection and cleaning in the New Jersey-Philadelphia-New York City area. IRS is certified by NADCA and have Certified Air Systems Cleaning Technicians and a Certified Ventilation System Inspector on staff.

IRS has been selected to provide disaster recovery services to members of the Educational Services Commission of NJ (ESCNJ), the largest co-op in the state service school districts, colleges, universities, housing authorities, and other county and state agencies throughout New Jersey.