Symptoms Of A Damaged Sewer Pipe
Sewer pipes over 25 years old have a very high probability of failing at any moment. Regular check-ups and maintenance of sewer pipes before they’re completely damaged can save thousands of dollars. Intruding tree roots, poor pipe connection, or cracks can completely destroy an old drainage line. It is advisable to call a professional to regularly check on your sewer line to avoid experiencing a complete failure. This article focuses on the ten most common symptoms of a deteriorating or broken sewer line.
How To Tell If Your Sewer Line Is Broken
1. Sewage Backups and Blockages
Backups of sanitary sewers are common. Frequent back-ups when you run water in your bathtub or sink likely means there is a problem in the main sewer line. This is because all the drains rely on the functionality of the main sewer line. In cases where the backup is only experienced in a single drain, it is more likely that the problem is restricted to that drain alone. It is also important to note that regular back-ups may be a sign that your sewer lines are deteriorating or have broken down. These damages may be as a result of intrusion by tree roots, cracks in the piping allowing soil particles and stones into the tract, or an unfitting pipe connection. The convenient way to detect these issues is through the use of a sewer video inspection.
2. Sewer Gas Odour
A smelly sewer in or around your home is a significant indication that there is a crack somewhere in the sewer pipes. The sewer system should be airtight with ventilation only in necessary places near the roof. Smelling sewer odour calls for immediate attention to the sewer pipes since it means there is a crack or an opening somewhere.
3. Mould Problem
Another major indicator of a damaged sewer system is the growth of mould. Mould can indicate that the sewer has a break somewhere behind your walls. Most mould requires a humidity rate of 55% or more for growth to begin. With that fact in mind, a crack in the sewer pipes can often cause such high levels of humidity, which allows for mould to start growing. A combination of mould on your walls and the sewer odour in or around your house should tell you that there is a high chance there is a break in the sewer lines. Contact a professional for assistance.
4. Slow Drain
The sight of a slow drainage can be a sign that there is a gradual blockage forming somewhere, which will cause a major sewage backup inevitably. The slow drainage can be visible in bathtubs, toilets, or sinks even after efforts to clear the line. Slow drainage can be caused by hair, greasy residue from the kitchen, cracked pipes, or tree root penetration. It is highly recommended to avoid the use of harsh chemicals to solve slow drain as it can lead to corrosion of the iron pipes.
5. Extra Green and Lush Patches in Grass
The presence of a new green, lush patch of grass on your yard may be caused by an underground leak in the external sewer line. Since the composition of sewage can act as fertilizer for vegetation, a breakage in the system can cause a visible boost to a patch of your lawn, as the soil nutrients become supplemented to give an uncommon bright green appearance.
6. Indentation In Lawn or Under Pavers
Patches of indentation on your lawn is also another symptom pointing to a damaged sewer line. Extra moisture coming from leaking pipes will saturate the surrounding soil to a level that it becomes dissipated and sunken in. This may result to a sagging lawn or under pavers, creating a noticeable indentation.
7. Cracks in Foundation, Settlement, and Sinkholes
More severe indications of damaged sewer lines include some issues on your home’s foundation, like the appearance of cracks on the foundation slab, driveway, pavement, and in some instances, the cracks may be visible via a massive sinkholes. Development of a leak under the pavement may create a dangerous pothole if not immediately treated. This will finally develop into severe structural damage as cracks form in your building’s foundation. A sign of these cracks on a building demands immediate attention, from a foundation repair specialist and plumber, to avoid the devastating possibility, collapsing of the building.
8. Pooling of Septic Waste in the Yard
A collection of septic waste in your yard is an automatic sign that you are experiencing a breakage in your sewer line. The pooling may result from clogged drains, a broken septic tank or a crack in the main line. The point of weakness will usually be found directly below the pool of sewer water.
9. Rat Problem
The presence of rodents in your home can be an indicator that your sewer line is broken. Rats inhabit the sewers and can find their way from the main line to the pipes running behind the walls of your structures. It is possible for an average rat to squeeze its way through a crack in your sewer pipe into your home. Rats can spread diseases such as Plague and Hemorrhagic Fever through contact with their urine or droppings or direct bites. You can use the sewer video inspection to identify the point of entry of rodents if the problem is persistent.
10. Insect Infestation
Broken sewer lines may also be caused by an infestation of insects such as cockroaches, sewer flies or palmetto bugs in your home, which easily find their way through cracks in the sewer pipes. Cockroaches have very bad consequences since allergens are found in their feces, and other body parts may trigger symptoms of asthma or cause an allergic reaction, especially to children. A temporary solution is regularly getting rid of these insects, but a permanent remedy requires fixing of their entry point in the sewer line.
If any of the discussed symptoms are evident in your home or building, you should get the assistance of a qualified plumbing professional to conduct a sewer inspection. Old sewer pipes, cracks, or failure of your plumbing system may cause substantial damage and losses to your home.