Your home’s sewer line is where all of the wastewater in your home ends up. This includes the water from your kitchen and bathroom sinks, shower, bathtub, and toilet. Unfortunately, clogs, old age, or other issues can create a problem with your sewer line. Left unrepaired, this sewer line problem can lead to further repercussions in your home.
Common Causes of Sewer Line Issues
It often takes some investigation to figure out what is creating a sewer line problem. These are some of the most common causes.
- Invasive Tree Roots: Tree roots are well known for causing damage to sewer lines. Over time, roots can infiltrate a sewer line through small cracks or wrap around the pipe and cause it to collapse.
- Clogs Due to Improper Drain Care: Unfortunately, your home’s drainage system is not equipped to handle everything that might travel through it. Clogs are often formed when multiple things that are not good for a drain end up tangling or sticking together. Some of these items include wipes, paper towels, napkins, feminine hygiene products, dental floss, hair, grease, cooking oils, and soap scum from bar soap.
- Shifting Soil: When the earth shifts around your sewer line, it can cause the pipes to break or collapse. This can also cause a “belly” to form in the pipe, where waste will begin to accumulate, rather than travel through the pipe to the municipal sewer or septic tank.
- Aging pipes: As pipes age, they corrode. If your home’s sewer line is constructed of metal, it is especially prone to corrosion that will weaken its structure.
Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Repair Your Sewer Line
If you discover a problem with your sewer line, it’s never wise to postpone the repair. Remember: your sewer line is where all the wastewater from your home ends up. If something is blocking the flow of wastewater down that line, the water will be forced to back up (into your home). If the backup is severe, you may end up with raw sewage pouring over the edge of a toilet or shower and soaking into your floor and walls.
A leak in your sewer line can lead to other health and structural hazards as well. If a leak in your sewer line occurs behind your walls or under your floor, the excess moisture can contribute to mold growth in these places. A leak from a deteriorated sewer line can also infiltrate your foundation and the earth around it, threatening the structural integrity of your home.
If you’re experiencing slow drains or a pest infestation, or if you notice a foul smell or especially green patches of grass in your yard, contact an expert plumber at once to examine your sewer line.