Your plumbing is often one of the most important systems in your home. While your homeowner’s insurance may cover emergencies, damage from broken sewer lines is often specifically excluded. That means when you have a broken sewer line, you’re on your own. At Southport Home Services, we can help you determine when you need a new sewer line and how to maintain the line once it’s installed.

In many cases, sewer line breaks are entirely preventable. Our maintenance services can help your lines last for as long as they should. Pipe material, usage, and the environment all play a role in determining the lifespan of your underground pipes. In general, a sewer line should last for 60 years or more, but in older homes, that may mean replacement is right around the corner.

Clay pipes, which aren’t used anymore, may be installed on older homes, and they have a relatively short lifespan of only 50-60 years. Cast iron pipes, which are still in use, last anywhere from 75-100 years. For the most durable and long-lasting solution, PVC is the material of choice. PVC pipes can last indefinitely under ideal conditions. So the first thing we do is take a look at your sewer line to determine what material was used.

If you’ve already noticed problems with your sewer line, then the pipe material might be a secondary issue. We can check for leaks and other damage to determine the right solution for your pipes. With older clay pipes, replacement is almost always the best option, even if the immediate damage might be repairable. With other materials, you may have more options.
The earlier you call Southport Home Services, the more likely we can fix your existing pipes rather than replacing the entire line. To determine when you need sewer line reair, you need to know the signs that can indicate major damage.

Below are some of the most common signs that may indicate a problem with your sewer line. If you notice any of these issues, it’s likely time to give us a call to schedule an inspection.

Unpleasant Odors Start to Waft Around Your Home

The smell of sewage is noticeable and very unpleasant. Unfortunately, while it’s easy to notice the smell, it’s not always easy to determine the source. If you only smell sewage outside, you might not realize that your sewer line is the source of the smell.

Musty odors or the smell of mildew might also be attributable to a damaged sewer line, so it’s important to pay attention to any new odors in or around your home. If you smell something that could be sewage, give us a call.

Gurgling Noises Come from Your Toilet

Your used to the sound of a toilet flushing and tank refilling. But why is the toilet making noise when it’s not in use? The sound of water moving when the toilet wasn’t flushed can mean a problem with your sewer line. Gurgling is often the biggest warning sign that you’re about to have a sewage backup.

The gurgling sounds happen because of a block in the line. As sewage travels down the line, it hits the block and has nowhere to go. As the sewage is forced backwards along the line, it creates noises and air bubbles that disrupt the water in your toilet bowl. If you see bubbles in your toilet bowl, it’s a plumbing emergency.

Standing Water at Your Drains

If you’ve noticed your drains are moving a little slowly, it might mean you have some buildup in your pipes or the start of a clog. These are fairly simple and straightforward plumbing issues. However, clogs, especially if they reoccur frequently, can be a sign of a more serious problem.

You might be able to shift a small clog yourself, but if you have a repeating issue, it’s definitely time to call in the experts at Southport Home Services. We can quickly shift any clog and diagnose the issue. If the problem is related to a crack in your sewer line, we can help.

Your Lawn is Looking Good, In One Spot

Fertilizer can make your lawn look better than ever, and sewage is a great fertilizer for plants. But, it’s not so great for you and your family. If you notice that your lawn is looking particularly lush and green in one area, it can mean a problem below ground.

Assess your lawn regularly. Are there bright green patches that look better than the surrounding grass? Do you have more foliage popping up when you weren’t planting? If your yard is pushing out plenty of green, give us a call to double check the status on your sewer line. If sewage is what’s giving your lawn that extra energy, it’s only a matter of time before it’s an indoor problem.

The Ground in Your Yard Stays Wet

Sure, after a day of rain, you might get a few puddles or have some squelching as you walk on the grass, but that should dry up quickly without any additional water. A broken sewer line can often lead to puddles in the yard. As the sewage leaks directly into the soil, it creates soft spots. Keep an eye out for low lying areas and places where the ground never seems to harden.

You Notice Mold Growth

Any damage to any of your pipes increases the humidity level in your home. When the humidity goes up, it helps promote the growth of mold and mildew. The two most common sources of mold growth are HVAC system malfunctions and plumbing problems. If you see mold growing, even in a room without any plumbing, it’s time to call in a professional to diagnose the source. At Southport Home Services, we handle both HVAC and plumbing work, so we can quickly figure out the source and recommend a long-term solution.

Sudden Infestation

While rats and mice are a common urban issue, these rodents tend to be attracted to the smell of sewage. If you notice you’ve suddenly got a mouse infestation, it could mean you also have a break in your sewer line.

Other pests can also be a result of sewer line damage, including a variety of flying insects. Gnats and biting flies may all come from your pipes. If you can’t seem to get rid of what appears to be a cloud of fruit flies, give us a call. If your plumbing is the culprit, we can fix that issue so that your pest control solutions actually start to work.

Unexplained Toilet Backups

If the wrong thing gets flushed down the toilet, a backup is pretty much guaranteed. However, if there’s nothing obvious clogging the pipes, it could mean there’s a more serious problem down the line.

If you have sewage backing up through your toilet, immediately shut off your water at the main and call us.

Expert Sewer Line Repair

A regular maintenance schedule and fast repairs are the best way to keep your home in good condition. As soon as you notice a problem, the expert plumbers at Southport Home Services are ready to help. We offer upfront and transparent pricing along with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so you know exactly what to expect when you call Southport Home Services.

If you suspect you might have a problem with your sewer line, give us a call today! The Southport Home Services team is always ready to spring into action when a plumbing emergency strikes.

Meet the Author
Thomas Suchla
Thomas Suchla


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