One of the greatest benefits of your sewer systems is also one of its greatest drawbacks: you can’t see it. Your sewer lines are underground so you don’t have to worry about working unsightly pipes into your interior design. But it also means that, unless something major has occurred, you won’t be able to tell if they’re cracked or broken. For most people, by the time you know for sure your sewer lines are damaged, you’re looking at an exceptionally expensive repair or replacement job.
So how can you avoid losing a lot of money on damaged sewer lines? Barbosa Plumbing & Air Conditioning has a list of six signs of sewer damage, three indoors and three out, that can help you identify and address sewer problems before they you cost an arm and a leg.
1. Slow Drains — Pay attention to how quickly your drains move, as they’ll be the first indicators of sewer damage. If you’re constantly fighting soap scum buildup from slowly draining sinks, tubs and showers, it’s a sign of a blockage in your sewer line. If it’s a single drain, that means it’s a smaller branch line, which is less costly to fix; if it’s every drain, the blockage is in your main sewer line, a much larger repair job.
2. Sewer Gas — One unmistakable sign that you have a sewer problem is the presence of sewer gases in your home. Sewer gas is not only noxious smelling, posing a serious risk to your health and wellbeing, it’s also highly flammable. If you can smell sewer stink inside, call Barbosa in to find and fix the problem.
3. Vermin — Most people think of vermin as a problem that only occurs in dirty kitchens, but they’re also associated with sewer problems. Rats, roaches, and other vermin are attracted to the water that looks and pools when your sewer line is backed up or broken, so if you’re suddenly experiencing a serious pest problem, it could be a sign your sewer line is damaged.
1. Greener Grass — An early sign of a sewer breakage under your yard is a patch of grass that is greener, lusher, and more healthy than the rest of your yard. This is caused when sewage leaks out of your broken sewer pipe and fertilizes the grass above it. So if a section of your yard is suddenly growing better, you probably need sewer repair.
2. A Sinking Lawn — Another signal that your sewer lines are leaking is the formation of a sunken patch. You may first notice a sunken area as a puddle in a place you don’t usually get puddles. Have Barbosa evaluate your sewer lines immediately, as a severe sewer leak could cause a sinkhole to form in your landscape.
3. Foundation Cracks — One of the most subtle, and therefore most likely to be overlooked, signs of sewer damage is foundation settling and cracks. As a broken sewer line leaks into the ground, your house settles deeper and deeper into the ground, causing cracks that can put the structural integrity of your home at risk. Don’t ignore any foundation crack you see; call Barbosa for a sewer inspection.