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Sewer Line Burst: An Underground Disaster

A busted sewer pipe can be a hidden disaster. A broken sewer pipe does not present itself as a rush of leaking water, or a loud bang. Instead, the sewage from the pipe will just slowly leak out underground. Sewage buildup causes a large problem. Inspectors do not actively go out of their way to check the condition of the pipes. It’s a lot of work to dig out the pipes only to see that traditional sewer line repair isn’t needed. It is important for the homeowners to understand the signs of sewage problems so they can get it quickly taken care of.

Signs of sewage pipe problems

1) The smell of sewage

One of the easiest ways to detect a pipe problem is the smell of sewage. The smell could appear in the basement, around the house, or in the yard. The smell is a sign that sewage is leaking underground somewhere.

2) The sink or toilet backups or drains slow

If the water is backing up in the sink, it could be a sign of a damaged pipe. The first thing to do is to use a drain cleaner. If the pipe is just clogged, it should do the trick. If a broken pipe is the problem, it’s a temporary fix at best.

3) Cracks in the foundation

As the sewage sits underground, the cement of the foundation will wear down and crack. The cracks will not be visible at first but will get larger over time. It is important to seek a professional as soon as the cracks are spotted. The longer the problem persists, the more damage the foundation will take.

4) Mold

Leaking water under the floor, or inside the wall will eventually attract mold. Mold likes to live in wet, humid surfaces. Consistent mold in the bathroom could be a sign of broken pipes.

5) Changes in your yard

A lush patch of grass might make your yard look beautiful, but it could also indicate a problem. Sewage fertilizes the yard. Another sign there could be a leak in the yard, a patch of the yard appears swampy, or the ground easily gives when someone steps on it.

Reasons a pipe may be broken

There are several factors that can lead to problems with the sewage pipes.

  • The pipe is old. The average life of a pipe is 40 to 60 years.
  • Roots have invaded the pipe
  • The pipes have not been properly maintained
  • The pipe has been damaged due to construction

What to do about broken pipes

At the first sign of a problem, call a professional. Traditional sewer line repair is the only way to keep sewage from continuing to leak underground. The professional first snakes the line to clear any debris. A good sign of pipe damage is the snake hitting a point it can’t go past. The professional will then run a camera through the pipes to see the damage. After the inspection is complete, replacing the pipe is the best course of action. Relacing a line saves from the future cost of pipe repair.

How to find a reputable contractor

One of the best ways to find the best company for the job is to check reviews. People love to tell about their experiences rather than good or bad. Another place to check is with the Better Business Bureau. Check to see how long the company has been in business, and rather they have the proper licensing.