Did you know the cost to repair a sewer line ranges from $5,000 to $20,000? It’s one of the most expensive repairs a homeowner may have to make.
What’s the worst part? A sewer line leak is gross and hazardous, but you already know that. The worst part is that most homeowners can’t tell if there is a leak.
If you’re unable to spot a leak early, your repair expenses rise dramatically. Homeowners, do you know the signs of a sewer line leak?
If you don’t, you need to learn and fast. Check out these five sure-fire signs of a leaking sewer line.
You work hard to keep your home clean and tidy. A spotless, bright home is a point of pride, and you do it despite your busy schedule. The last thing you need is that unmistakable sewage smell wafting through your house.
The smell of sewage gas indicates several issues, and should never ignore them. One strong whiff should be enough to get you on the phone to a plumber.
Here are some of the issues a sewage odor indicates.
- Biofilm Buildup: Shower products trap in your drains and emit a smell similar to sewage
- Sink Overflow Buildup: Grease and mildew trapped in your sink overflow smell like sewage
- Faulty Toilet Seal: Loose bolts or toilet seals allow waste fluids to leak into your bathroom
All of the above issues are easy to fix. If you notice an overpowering aroma, however, chances are good you have a leaking sewer line.
2. House Cracks
A main sewer line leaking is a health hazard. Living in a home where toxic sewer gas permeates can lead to health issues if not rectified.
This gas contains hydrogen sulfide, and low-level exposure causes respiratory inflammation, nervous system damage, or even premature death. These are all reasons enough for sewer line leak repair.
A leaking sewer line is dangerous in another way. If unattended, a sewer line damages the integrity of your house. The natural enemy of your house’s foundation is water. Any leaking water causes degradation and damage.
If you notice cracks forming in your foundation, odds are there’s a leak somewhere. The main culprit is often the sewer line.
Not only will you have to pay for sewer repair, but you’ll also pay the hefty cost of foundation repair.
3. Rapid Landscape Growth
Have you noticed the grass growing a little too fast? Maybe you see an abundance of weeds or other plant life you never noticed before.
A changing yard landscape is a sure sign that something is wrong. This plant life is somehow receiving an overabundance of water. It’s a good sign of a sewer line leak in your yard.
Abnormal plant growth isn’t the only sign. A leaking line causes sunken wet patches and foul odors.
These may not seem like bad problems. After all, who doesn’t want a lush yard? It won’t last long.
An overexposure to sewage wastewater can have drastic effects:
- Patches of your yard will die
- Leaking lines cause the ground to be constantly muddy and swampy
- Your yard will attract an abundance of insects
- Leaking sewer lines also attract rats and other rodents
- Plantlife other than grass wilts and dies
If you notice sudden bursts of lush green grass in certain spots, it might be time to call a sewer repair expert to investigate. These experts will perform a sewer line leak test to see what is causing these issues.
Remember, fast action prevents a more expensive problem.
4. Mold and Mildew Growth
Mold and mildew growth is nothing to be alarmed by, especially in old homes without adequate ventilation. A remodeled bathroom built without a fan can develop black spots and caulking mildew.
Old, underinsulated exterior walls can grow cold in the winter. When the chilled surface comes in contact with your home’s heat, condensation forms, and mold grows. In houses like this, mold mitigation is a constant battle.
Do you notice mold and mildew growing where it never has before? This type of abnormal growth is a leading indicator you may need sewer line leak repair. Too much moisture is never a good sign.
Mold and mildew feed off of moisture. An abundance of water, especially in your basement or interior, can cause rapid mold growth. These mold spores have harmful respiratory health effects if left unresolved.
5. Slow Drains
Slow drains, clogs, and backups are no fun. Slow drains often indicate a growing blockage. Depending on the location, you might need a plumber to resolve a clog.
A backup is another level of severity. A sewer backup sends wastewater back into your home and needs professional cleaning.
This cleanup doesn’t come cheap, and then you’ll have to deal with the cost of any structural damage associated with the backup. Slow drains, clogs, and backups are also signs of a damaged sewer line.
Tree roots love sewer lines. Trees pull water from the ground for sustenance, and there’s plenty of water in a sewer line. Backups, slow drains, and clogs are all a sign that tree roots damaged your line.
Don’t Wait to Repair a Sewer Line Leak!
A sewer line leak is nothing to ignore. Even if you don’t intend to ignore this problem, it can be a challenge to spot.
Sewer line leaks jeopardize your health and safety. They also damage the integrity of your home. If you notice any of the above signs, do not hesitate to call a professional.
The faster you resolve a leaking line, the more money you’ll save.
Do you need more home repair tips? Make sure to check out the rest of our page.