The average person pays between $500 and $1000 per year on their home insurance policy. But there’s one major problem that your standard policy just won’t cover: sewage backups.
The main cause of sewage backups is due to a damaged sewer line. While it’s preventable, you may not always know you have a problem on your hands.
Here are a few tell-tale signs that it’s time to schedule a sewer line repair appointment to keep your home safe from damage.
1. THERE ARE STRANGE SMELLS AROUND YOUR HOME
Sewage has a very distinct smell. But when it’s coming up through your house, it’s not always easy to pinpoint.
Sometimes, it can smell musty or like mildew. Others, it’s unmistakable.
Pay attention to the smells around your house, especially around the drains. If you smell something off-putting, contact your plumber immediately.
When your sewer line is in good shape, the smells stay inside the line. They shouldn’t ever make their way into your home. But if it’s damaged, you’ll start to smell the problem.
2. YOUR TOILETS MAKE GURGLING NOISES
Every toilet makes noise when you flush it. But that doesn’t mean it should start making noise when no one is using it.
If you hear the water running or notice sounds like bubbles coming up into the bowl, you have a damaged sewer line.
The bubbling you’re hearing is often a precursor to an actual sewage backup in your home. That noise happens when water from the toilet encounters a clog in the sewer line. Since it can’t go into the sewer, it ends up getting forced back into your toilet.
This causes air bubbles to flow up with the water and displace the water in your bowl. If left unrepaired, you’ll end up with a major sewage problem on your hands.
3. THE DRAINS AREN’T DRAINING
Slow drains are one of the most common plumbing issues. But just because they’re common doesn’t mean they’re not serious.
Unfortunately, the only way to know how bad of a clog you have is to call your plumber. Trying to remove the clog yourself using chemical drain cleaners puts the rest of your plumbing at risk for damage.
Worse, it won’t fix the problem.
If the clog is minor, your plumber can remove it quickly and easily. But if the drains are moving slowly because of a problem in your sewer line, no amount of DIY repair efforts will fix the damage. You’ll need an experienced professional to fix the damage.
4. THE LAWN IS SUPER GREEN
Sewage does wonder for the plant life around your home. It makes a patchy lawn look incredibly lush. And while you might love the way it looks, it means you have a major problem lurking beneath the soil.
Take a look around your lawn. Are there patches where the grass is greener than anywhere else? Do you see more plants popping up in parts of your yard without added fertilizer?
If so, call your plumber. Your grass might be green, but it’s only a matter of time until the sewage gets backed up in your home.
5. THERE’S MOLD ON YOUR WALLS
Damaged sewage lines and pipes all increase the humidity inside your home. This often results in mold and mildew growth on your walls, even in parts of the house without plumbing fixtures.
If you notice discoloration on the walls or see strange colors spreading from the base of your toilet, schedule an appointment. Though mold can come from issues with your HVAC system, your plumber will be able to rule out any plumbing issues.
This will help you fix the problem for good.
6. PUDDLES AND SOFT SPOTS OUTSIDE ABOUND
When your yard and landscaping is properly watered, the moisture should dry up in a matter of hours. Remember, the goal is to water the roots deep beneath the soil.
But when you have a problem with the sewer line, it’s common to see puddles and soft spots throughout your landscaping. In between watering sessions, walk around your yard. Look for puddles and listen for squelching noises when you take each step.
If you hear any, it could be water from your sewer line leaching into the soil.
7. THERE’S AN INCREASE IN PESTS
People associate rats and mice with sewers for a reason: they love the damp and the smells of the sewer.
If you’ve noticed an increase in these pests around your house, it could be due to a sewer line issue. They’re finding the same conditions they love right near your home. And it’s only a matter of time until they start nesting in the walls.
Fixing the problem requires two steps: contacting your plumber and your pest control expert.
Your plumber will fix the damage that attracted the pests to your home. And the pest control expert will deal with the infestation.
8. THE TOILET BACKS UP WHEN YOU FLUSH
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize they have a problem until the toilet starts backing up. And when you have a clog in the sewer line, that backup probably won’t be clear water.
If your toilet starts to back up with either clear water or raw sewage, turn off the water supply at the back of the toilet and call your plumber immediately.
DON’T PUT OFF SEWER LINE REPAIR
Scheduling sewer line repair appointments as soon as you notice a problem is the best way to keep your home safe and your plumbing in good condition.
Watch for these easy-to-spot signs and contact us as soon as you think something might be wrong. Our dedicated team in Elizabeth Plumbing and Drain Service will keep your plumbing working properly whether you’re worried about a dripping faucet or are battling a backed-up toilet.