The worst nightmare a Vancouver homeowner can face isn't a sewer backup - it's cleaning up after a sewer backup. When tree roots or heavy rains destroy the sewer drain from your home, all that raw sewage has no place to go but back up through your shower, your sinks and your toilet. So what do you do when the sewer is in your basement?
Call a Professional
This is one home repair you absolutely do not want to do yourself. Professional plumbers know exactly how to repair the sewer pipes and can deal with the Vancouver utilities if that becomes necessary, as it often does.
Call another Professional
Get a pro to clean up the mess. The water damage alone is difficult to deal with but before that, the pathogens from the backup are literally sickening, or even lethal. Your best choice is to get out of the house as soon as possible and let the professionals take over.
Call Your Insurance Company
Unless you have opted for separate coverage, it probably won't do any good to call your insurance company but you should do it anyway. It certainly won't do any harm to file a claim but this kind of damage is rarely if ever covered by your homeowners or flood insurance. What may be covered however is the loss of use of your home while cleanup is underway. The only way to know for sure is to check with your insurer.
Call the Family Together
If the sewer backup is not the result of tree roots or excess water, it may be due to improper disposal of waste. Impress upon the family that grease, fats, gravies, oils and similar items should never, ever go down a drain. Sure they look like liquid when you pour them out but as soon as they cool down they solidify into a gooey mess that stops up the sewer pipe. And while you're at it, warn against putting anything down the toilet except human waste and toilet tissue, not even facial tissue. (It doesn't dissolve the way toilet tissue does.)
A sewer backup is messy, disheartening and expensive to repair. Give serious consideration to replacing old sewer pipes now, so you can rest easy.