Understandably, sewer line repair work is something you'll want to address as soon you notice there's a problem. You might wonder, though, what the signs are that you'll need to start a sewer repair project. Here are five things you'll need to pay attention to.
Smells are usually the first sign of trouble. Gases can build up when a sewer line is obstructed, pinched, or collapsed. These tend to feed back into the system, and they're often first noticed in basements or other areas where sewer lines connect to a building.
If the damage is outside the building, you might notice smells outdoors. This is especially the case on days with little to no wind. Rather than feeding back through the lines, the gases may simply float up from the ground and cause a smell.
The animals in a household almost always have better senses of smell than humans do. If you notice that a dog or cat seems to be regularly checking out vents, pipes, or the basement, they might be picking up a hint of some smells that you're not.
Sewage Backing Up
Another sign of potential issues with a sewer line is when sewage backs up. You might only see this problem when there's heavy flow, such as a draining bathtub. In some locations, the backups might not occur unless the ground outside is saturated from rainfall and filling the pipe, too.
Backups may still drain, though. This means you might only see a waterline on the basement floor, for example.
The Ground Outside Feels Soft
If a patch of the ground outside feels soft, it may be a sign that the sewer line is compromised. You should identify where the line runs. If the soft patch is even remotely in the vicinity of the line, you ought to be suspicious. This is especially the case if the ground was previously solid.
Sometimes this issue manifests in odd ways. For example, the grass above the sewer line may grow more prolifically than surrounding grass. This happens because the sewage is acting as a fertilizer.
A sewer line may not fail completely before it causes trouble. Rather than causing backups, the trouble with the line may simply cause everything to drain slowly. You'll usually notice this first with things that use high volumes of water, such as washing machines, dishwashers, and bathtubs.
Contact a sewer repair contractor to learn more.