What are the signs of a broken sewer pipe?

While shopping for a house or any other real estate, we often look at the location, the aesthetics among other factors. However, rarely do we pay attention to what lies underneath the house. Ideally, one should be very thorough with the inspection, especially if the property is a few years old.

Older properties tend to have a lot of issues with plumbing and pipes underneath and the mishaps can be really frustrating to handle. Since you cannot pinpoint the flaw, it becomes a hassle to find it and then go through the entire process of scraping and mending the whole thing.

Various factors such as changes in soils, tree roots or broken pipes can cause issues in the sewer. If you think that there is some problem with your sewer, then here some definitive telltale signs that it is because of a broken pipe:

1.     Slow draining water

If you have clogged drains or slow running shower, it is a sign that there is some damage in the sewer pipes. If there is only one drain that is not working, it might only be clogged and you don’t need to do much effort. However, we do recommend that you call a professional to look at the issue. Using off the shelf drain cleaner may seem to be a clever idea, but the toxic chemicals in them have the tendency to weaken the pipes and cause corrosion.

Replacing the sewer is a costly affair. It costs around $3000 to $25000 to replace the entire sewer. So think twice before experimenting with your drains.

2.     Unusual smell

You enter the house and it is stinky as if something has died in there. You clean up and spray loads of air freshener, but the smell just would not go away, it is highly likely that your sewer line is damaged and the foul smell has made its way into your home.

Some of the common sources of sewer gases are septic pipe leaks when there is a hole or a blockage. Toilet sewer gas leaks are also quite common and happen due to loose connections or worn off rubber linings.

The smell can be quite toxic and hence you should not ignore it and call a plumber right away.

3.     Damaged walls

Broken sewer pipes slowly affect your walls, and over time you start noticing mild dew. This is because of all the moisture. While a lot of leaks can cause this issue, a sewer leak is as likely to cause it.

Apart from the mild dew, you may also notice cracks in your walls. Sometime it is only the paint that is coming off. However, when the cracks are deeper than that, it is likely that the damaged sewer pipes have caused the earth beneath your property to shift.

This could indicate a serious issue and hence you should consult a professional right away. Sometimes, all you may need is a simple water line repair. The latest techniques cause less of a hassle and can help you with putting a dent in your pocket.

4.     Changes in your lawn

Changes in your lawn can be a good indicator of any sewer pipes damage. When the pipes start leaking, the moisture underneath displaces the soil and causes holes in the lawn. If you notice that your lawn has become considerably uneven, a damaged sewer line may be the culprit.

Also, the grass may start to look greener in some patches since fecal matter can act as a fertilizer. In the worst case scenario, the bacteria will damage your landscape.

5.     Pest attack

Whether it is the cockroaches or mice, all those little culprits love the sewers and they can easily gain access into your home through the cracks in your plumbing. Pests may not always indicate a sewer problem. However, if you have done your due diligence with fumigation and still cannot seem to get rid of them, then you may have a bigger problem.

These pests can be quite dangerous as they bring a host of problems with them. They may infect your house and food. They are also known to cause allergies and asthma issues. 

What to do?

Don’t panic if you have seen one of these signs at your place. Sewer problems can cause a lot of trouble, but if handled in the right manner, you can easily deal with them. Don’t try to solve issues on your own or you may end up worsening the problem. Contact a professional as soon as possible.

The solution to your problem also depends upon the contractor you choose. Hence, do a thorough research before investing your money. Check the company’s license, past experience and reviews if possible. An inexperienced company can add to your troubles.

Author Bio:

Evie Harrison is a blogger by choice.  She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. Find her on Twitter:@iamevieharrison

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