There’s no delicate way to talk about sewage. Sewage problems are just… gross. Ever smelled backed-up sewer pipes? Ugh. Worse yet: Ever had sewer water actually back up into your shower or spill out onto the floor? Barf.
Without a proper waste disposal system, you can experience a whole host of issues: spreading diseases, mold outbreaks, and breathing problems. As your Northwest Arkansas, Fort Smith River Valley & Southwest Missouri plumbers, we’re just as serious about helping your family stay healthy as we are about plumbing.
We’ll come investigate any problem you might be having, but there are some issues we tend to hear about more often than others. Here are four top causes of sewer damage.
Sewer Damage Cause #1: Tree Roots
Tree roots are one of the top external causes of problems with your sewer lines. Tree roots are attracted to the… ummm, “fertilizer”… in the wastewater. As roots grow around your pipes trying to get at these nutrients, they create cracks big and small. Tree roots have been known to crush or completely fill whole sewer lines! Even if you don’t have trees in your own yard, a neighbor’s tree could easily become your plumbing nightmare.
Sewer Damage Cause #2: Physical Obstructions
Clogs are one of the top internal causes of sewer damage. So repeat after us: “Your toilet is not a trash can.” We’ve pulled all sorts of things out of sewer pipes: garbage, toys, diapers, cooking grease, paper towels, menstrual products, even too much toilet paper at one time. All of these can lead to blockages or clogs in your sewer pipes. And even if you take care of your pipes, dirt, debris, and hair can create obstructions in your sewer lines over time.
Sewer Damage Cause #3: Normal Wear-and-Tear
Time isn’t kind to your pipes. General corrosion and sediment build-up can create leaks and blockages. Natural soil movement over time causes sagging sewer lines, which can become a problem when the low spots create repeat blockages, ruptures, or leaks. Regular monitoring and maintenance can help, but ultimately sewer pipes have a shorter lifespan than your sewage needs.
Sewer Damage Cause #4: Improper Installation
We often find that the method used to install sewer lines isn’t up to par or that improper materials are being used to complete the installation. This can result in breaks, separations and clogs in the lines and sewer service.
When should you call a Northwest Arkansas, Fort Smith & Southwest Missouri plumber about sewer issues?
Here are six obvious signs that point to possible sewer damage:
- All your drains are backing up at once. If you flush the toilet and the toilet, sink, and shower drains all spit up water, there’s a clog in a main pipe somewhere.
- Weird things are happening when you use your toilet. We’re talking toilet water bubbling, gurgling sounds when you flush, or backed-up water in the shower after flushing your toilet.
- Your lawn starts to change. Indentations in your yard may indicate a break in the line or a sagging pipe. Changes to your grass are also a big red flag. Soggy patches or extra green, lush patches mean sewage is probably coming up from the pipes below and fertilizing your lawn.
- It smells. This is an obvious one. If it smells like sewage, it’s probably sewage.
- You’re growing mold. Leaking sewage pipes mean moisture in places you don’t want moisture. This can cause fungi and mold to grow in seemingly strange areas of your home. If you notice a mold spot, look for other signs of sewer damage.
- Your drains are slow. If your drains are slow to… well, drain… you’re on your way to a larger clog. Don’t use chemical drain cleaners, which can ultimately make the situation much worse by corroding your pipes. Try natural alternatives or calling in the pros. It’s worth it!
Very few people in the world would attempt a DIY fix for their sewer damage. Even if you’re one of those folks, please give us a call first! We want to help keep our Northwest Arkansas, River Valley & Southwest Missouri plumbing customers safe and healthy in their homes.