Most of us have experienced our fair share of plumbing issues. Clogged drains, no hot water and leaky toilets can all seem like the end of the world in the moment. The bathroom is actually a complex system that involves a lot of working parts to run smoothly; for some reason, however, when even a minor issue in the bathroom arises we take all of this for granted and take tremendous pity on ourselves. In stressful times the most helpful thing is often a little perspective. So the next time you have a plumbing emergency in the bathroom, understand that it could be worse. It could be sewer damage. For the fortunate people who have never experienced sewer damage, and the potential health and financial risks that come with it, be thankful that you haven’t had such misfortune. While they are not as common as the more routine bathroom plumbing issues that were listed above, they can strike at anytime—it is important to be vigilant.
Below is a list of symptoms that may indicate that your underlying (literally) problem is sewer damage. Of course, if you are experiencing any of the following damaged sewer warning signs, it’s urgent that you contact a DC sewer services company or trained professional before it becomes a more serious health or financial issue. Keep in mind that the older your house is, the more susceptible you may be to a problem originating with your sewer line. Especially if you know you have a copper sewer pipes or drain lines.
Sewage backups will usually occur in and below the lowest sitting drain in your bathroom. Whether or not it is a problem with the sewer or a simpler clog in the drain is a matter of frequency and location. If the backup occurs frequently, for example, every time you run the drain or every time you flush the toilet, it is likely a problem with the main sewer line, since all of your bathroom pipes run through it. If the problem is clearly limited to only one drain, you may be in luck and only have a single clogged drain. That is a problem that can be solved without a trained professional—all you need is good enough eyesight to read the instructions on the back of a bottle of drain cleaner and some elbow grease along with a plunger.
Smelling sewer gas is a clear indication that there is a problem with your sewer line. These odors are not only unpleasant, they can actually be a health hazard for you and your family. If you are experiencing consistent sewer gas odors, it’s important to contact a professional to nip the sewer line issue in the bud.
In the same vein as odors, mold is another indication of sewer line problems that is both unpleasant and unhealthy. If mold is forming on the walls of your bathroom it may be due to a crack, rupture or puncture of the sewer line behind it.
There are many other indicators of a sewer line problem. These include septic waste, rodents, insects, foundation cracks, sinkholes, lawn indentations, slow drains and more. Any nagging plumbing issues that you’ve been unable to solve on your own may require the investigation of a plumber to rule out these potentially hazardous problems.