Maintain Your Home Sewer Lateral
Signs of Sewer Problems:
Sewer problems often leave “Tell-Tale” signs that you can easily identify during a routine walk-through inspection of a property.
Replaced “Clean Out” Plugs
Sewer lines usually have a “clean out” access that is normally situated on the main sewer line in the basement, crawl-space, or outside the house. In residential construction prior to the 1980’s, a brass “plug” was used. If the original plug has been replaced with one of those pictured here, some sewer work, usually cleaning, has been needed in the past.
The presence of these stickers on or near sewer pipes often indicates the sewer has given the owner problems at some point. In addition, they may also indicate that the property is on a “preventative maintenance” program for regular cleaning to prevent future back-ups.
Water stains around the floor drain in the basement are an obvious sign the sewer line is not draining properly. Because the floor drain is usually the lowest access point to the sewer, it provides some of the first symptoms of a sewer problem.
Walls or floors cracking indicate movement of the foundation. Shifting foundations can be caused from excessive water in the soil which may be coming from a broken underground sewer line. Other “Tell-Tale” signs of a broken sewer are: sink holes, foul odors, water stains on walls or floor, or concrete patches over drill holes from “mud jacking” operations.
Unusual Spurts in vegetation Can Indicate Cracked Sewer Line
If an area near the sewer line has an unusual spurt in growth that is inconsistent with gardening efforts or the other areas of the garden, it could be that the roots have tapped into a break in a sewer line.
When this happens, it is a matter of when, not if, problems will arise. Call Bay Area Sewer Inspections about a power flush of your line to cut back invading roots. Although this is a temporary measure, regular flushing may prolong the working life of your existing sewer line allowing you time to budget for major repair or replacement.
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Regular maintenance can help prevent backups…and expensive emergency calls.