Whether you own a home, are running your own business or work in an industrial facility, sewer pipe problems are the last you a headache you want. The problem is if left untreated, small sewer headaches will turn into full-blown and costly migraines. Our team at CME Sewer Repair wants you to stay proactive about your pipe health, which is why we’ve put together a list of several of the most common sewer pipe problems and their symptoms to help you determine whether you need to seek professional help for your sewer pipes before a minor headache turns major.

Common Sewer Pipe Problems

Residential Sewer Pipe Problems

Most homeowners call us with complaints of a backed up toilet or a horrible sewer smell. Some see dips in their front yard and/or cracking in their driveway. Slow draining water in sinks or tubs is another common complaint. Some of these symptoms may result from clogs in the pipe formed by organic material or flushed items such as wet wipes or other products. Another cause may be tree roots that have found their way into the sewer through cracks in the pipe or gaps in the fittings. If this problem is not addressed the tree and its roots will continue to grow resulting in a dense and impenetrable clog and possibly even complete pipe disintegration.

Commercial Sewer Pipe Problems

Commercial properties experience essentially the same signs of probable sewer pipe damage as residential properties. These include backed up toilets for no apparent reason, strong sewer smells, slow sink draining and water damage to ceilings or walls. These can be the result of the sewer pipe under the building or lot being deformed, cracked, eroded or even partially collapsed. Also, older commercial buildings (and residences) typically have clay sewer pipes, which rot-out and lose their bottom structure over time. If you’re a commercial business owner you’ll want to take immediate action to prevent any long-term or major damage that may result in an unscheduled closure of your business.

Industrial Sewer Pipe Problems

Industrial sewer (and process) pipe problems are much more complex since the pipes often run below reinforced concrete flooring that houses multiple pieces of functioning production equipment, meaning that these pipes are not easily excavated. That makes it so much more important to be able to recognize the signs of a possible underground pipe problem early on, so that you can call in the lining professionals before the damage becomes so bad that lining is no longer an option, and stopping production, moving production equipment and digging up floors is your only option. Some of the most common signs to look for in an industrial facility are loud clanging pipes, strong sewer odors, visible water in floor drains and frequent clogs or backups in the system. These issues are often the result of damage to and blockages of the pipes due to corrosion, cracks, leaks and even misaligned pipe joints, which allow for dirt or gravel ingress and the restriction of the flow of wastewater.

Municipal Pipe Problems

Whether it’s a municipal building or the main sewer line owned by the city, the same issues apply. Municipalities, however, are responsible for a huge network of pipes, many of which have been in place for decades – if not a century or more. Older pipes were made of cast iron, which corrodes and erodes over time, allowing gravel and dirt to fall into and block the pipes, roots to penetrate and eventually leading to the collapse of the pipe altogether. Municipal pipes typically serve multiple residences or businesses so the consequences of a dysfunctional pipe are far broader-reaching than those of a single home or business.

It really does behoove you to understand the importance and value of maintaining the integrity and proper functioning of your sewer and wastewater pipes. The cost of ignoring or neglecting them is far, far worse than the time and effort you will invest upfront. Always use your best judgment, but if you see any of the warning signs listed above, be sure to identify and address the issues quickly to prevent further damage and much more costly repairs down the road.