Plumbing systems have improved dramatically over the years. Older homes might feature sewer lines made from clay or other porous materials. Because of the materials used, pipe connections may not be as secure or tight as today’s systems, which use PVC pipes. The result can be an invitation for tree roots and shrubs to enter.
As trees grow, their roots seek out sources of water. If roots make their way into your sewer lines, they will remain, latching onto your sewer pipe while continuing to grow inside. As the roots grow and expand over time, they can cause the sewer line to break, crack, or clog, all of which can have drastic effects on your system.
Flushing the Wrong Items
Many everyday items shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet as they can contribute to clogs. Those items include dental floss, sanitizer wipes, bandages, cotton balls, and feminine hygiene products. In addition to increasing the chances of backing up toilets and preventing waste from entering sewage systems, clogs can cause significant damage to lines. Homeowners who think their toilets might be clogged should seek drainpipe repair as soon as possible.
Wear and Tear
Unfortunately for homeowners, not all causes of sewer line damage can be avoided. Like any appliance in a home, sewer systems have life expectancies. While the life expectancy of your sewer system can be increased with proper upkeep and maintenance, it will reach its end eventually.
Properly installed and maintained systems are expected to last anywhere between 20 and 30 years. Systems at the end of their lifespan most likely will develop cracks and other damage due to corrosion. In these scenarios, pipe replacement often is the most effective solution.
Warning Signs of Sewer DamageAddressing your sewer system after extensive damage has already occurred likely will lead to costly repairs. Luckily, in many cases, systems will demonstrate warning signs of a problem before it has advanced. Homeowners who act quickly might be able to save themselves from needing in-depth repairs. Telltale signs you need drain repair include:
- Foul odor manifesting from drains
- Slow-moving drains
- Gurgling noises coming from the toilet
- An area of the lawn that seems lusher and healthier than its surroundings
- Insect or rodent infestation
- Mold or mildew in areas of the home where the sewer line runs