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Cracked Drain and Sewer Pipes Pose Serious Risks to Your Home

Leaking Pipes Under Homes and Lawns Cause Serious Damage

There is no such thing as a “good” plumbing leak. There are, however, “worse” plumbing leaks and they may not happen as you would expect. When plumbing leaks are more obvious, like a burst pipe, they tend to be repaired quickly so that extensive damage doesn’t have time to occur. But, the slow leaks tend to do more damage because they can go unnoticed for months. This is particularly prevalent when it comes to sewer and drain leaks.

Sewers and drains are generally not pressurized. Due to this, their leaks tend to be slow. The slow leaks may occur in the living space in your home or they may occur under the slab or in a crawlspace. Because of this, it is important that you know the dangers of drain and sewer leaks and the signs to look for.

Causes of Sewer and Drain Line Breaks

causeFirst, it is important to know what typically causes sewer leaks so that you can recognize the conditions that make them likely to happen. Sewer and drain leaks can occur for a variety of reasons but here are some of the most common.
  • Foundation Shifts: As houses age, it is common for the home foundation to settle. However, sometimes it settles in a way that can crack sewer and drain lines.
  • Freezing: Drains that were improperly guarded against the cold can be susceptible to freezing. If they freeze, the line will break and allow sewage to escape.
  • Corrosion: Older homes may use iron pipes for sewer lines. Iron is subject to corrosion and rust that can lead to sewer leaks.
  • Tree Roots: Clay and iron drain lines can be penetrated by tree roots. Tree roots will cause frequent clogs in your sewer system. When the tree roots are killed, the holes they entered into the pipe still exist and can leak sewage.

Dangers of Leaking Drain Lines

Leaking drains can wreak havoc on your home and expose you to harmful biological agents. Even slow leaks cause a build-up of moisture. Excess moisture is all it takes for mold and bacteria to begin to grow. Often, mold and bacteria growth can go unnoticed behind a wall or inside a cabinet.


Drain leaks can also allow moisture to migrate through your concrete slab. If a drain leak occurs, sewage will be allowed to absorb upwards into your living space and can contribute to mold growth along baseboards and under carpets and laminate floors.

Signs Your Drains or Sewers Are Leaking

signsTo protect against drain leaks, try to perform routine inspections and take note of anything out of the ordinary. Check plumbing under sinks and showers to make sure all the drains are intact.

Smell is usually a good indicator of sewage leaks, either from mold growth or raw sewage. Take note of bad odors coming from under floors, behind walls or inside cabinets.

If you have frequent clogging issues, it could be due to a compromised drain pipe. Cracked pipes and tree roots have a tendency to create clogs. If you’re dealing with excessive clogging, you should call a plumber.

Professional Leak Detection

The plumbers at Time Plumbing, Heating & Electric Inc. in Denver, CO use state-of-the-art pipe inspection cameras to look inside your pipes and locate any water leaks. They are ready any time, day or night, to help you with any of your plumbing problems. They also offer slab leak repairs and drain cleaning services to make sure your sewer system keeps working for you.