There is no good time to find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having a sewer line clog in your home, but there are times when clogs are more likely to develop, so it pays to be aware of the potential causes and symptoms. Because of changing household usage and weather patterns, sewer lines are more vulnerable to clogging during summer months. Homeowners should be on the lookout for these indicators.
Increased use of the facilities. During the school year, families with school-aged children are often gone from the home during the day. In summer, however, the whole family may be home and using the wastewater system. Having more guests and family members using the bathroom and shower can increase the likelihood of a sewer line clog.
Sudden severe storms. During summer, storms are expected. In some cases, they can be severe and lead to flooding or downed trees and branches. When flash floods or prolonged periods of rain occur, it can put a strain on sewage systems. If the system cannot drain quickly enough, wastewater can back up into the drains in the home.
Invasive tree roots. Most plants and trees grow at a greater rate during the summer months when water and sunshine are plentiful. Root systems can damage and clog underground pipes, especially if pipes have been weakened by rust or deterioration.
Your drainage system will let you know when a problem has occurred. If the drains around your house are suddenly much slower to drain, or if a bubbling sound comes from the drain, there may be a clog. And if wastewater is backing up into the drain, an unmistakable smell will be present. It will probably smell like sewage, sulfur, or rotten eggs. If you have a septic tank, you may also notice that the grass over the tank is greener or wetter than the rest of the yard. Once these signs appear, it is time to contact a licensed plumber to evaluate the situation. Exposure to sewage that has backed up into drains or flooded a yard is a health risk for everyone present.
The first step is to contact a licensed plumber to come out and detect exactly where the clog is located. Once the location and degree of the problem are known, the plumbing professional can clear the line and restore your system to peak efficiency. If you live in a flood-prone area, the plumber may also recommend the installation of a backflow valve, which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) often advises.
Avoid future clogs in the summer by upgrading your plumbing system, having your sewage tank emptied frequently and avoiding overuse and abuse of the entire system. Call Ragsdale today for a complete plumbing evaluation.