Lately, you may have noticed a strong, foul odor in or around the outside of your house. This odor may get stronger as you approach any drains or walk in the same area in your yard. If so, your home may have a damaged sewer line leaking. Besides the foul sewage odor you are detecting, there are three other warning signs indicating that the sewer line is leaking and needs to be repaired.
1. Bubbling Sounds While the Sink or Bathtub Drain
When a main sewer pipe is damaged and has started to leak, air will often enter into the otherwise closed line. This air will create pockets that become displaced as sewage flows through the pipes.
Especially when large amounts of sewage or greywater pass through the line, such as when the washer drains or the toilet flushes, the air pockets can be forced back up through the pipes. As they reach the drains, you may hear bubbling as the air is released.
When the leak is in the main line, you will hear these bubbling noises in different parts of the house from where the influx of sewage and greywater is coming from. For example, if you drain your washing machine, you may hear the bubbling sounds in the shower drain.
2. Dark Damp Spots on the Floors or Walls
When the leak in the sewer line is located somewhere in your house, you may start to see inexplicable damp spots appear on the floors or walls. While these dark spots could also be caused by a leak in one of the water pipes, the coloring and pattern are different when the leak is coming from a sewer line.
If sewage is present in the leak, the damp spots will often have a darker color. They may also have darker rings in the center of the spot that gradually become lighter. You will also detect the same foul odor you have been smelling, which will become stronger as you approach one of the dark damp spots.
3. Sudden Appearance of Rats Inside or Outside the House
Even if you have never experienced a problem with rats at your home, you may suddenly start to see the vermin scurrying about around your home’s exterior. You may even find signs of their presence inside your home.
Since rats are scavengers, they are highly attracted to the scent of raw sewage. If the sewage is escaping the main sewer line and leaking into your home’s walls or being absorbed into the yard, rats will be drawn to it, causing you to see more of them on your property.
If you suspect your home has a leaking sewer line that needs repair, contact us today at Almighty Plumbing in Antioch, CA to schedule a service call.