What Causes Sewer Damage

Sewer line damage is a real issue in the United States. According to a report by the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 90% of homes built before 1980 have sewer pipe that needs to be replaced. And this number is growing every day.

The problem is so widespread that it affects nearly all Americans, whether they live in rural or urban areas. And it’s not just an inconvenience; it can also be a serious health risk.

Moreover, In the United States, sewer line damage is responsible for more than $4 billion in property damage annually—and that number has been growing every year.

If you notice any signs of sewer damage, it’s important to get the repairs done as soon as possible. 

In this article, Stafford Sewer Repair & Replacement experts will explain the causes of sewer damage, signs of damage, and how to fix it before it becomes worse.

Let’s find out.

What Indicates Damage to Sewer?

The sewer is a vital part of your home, but it’s also not something you want to think about. Unfortunately, when a sewer gets damaged, it can cause some serious issues.

The good news is that there are certain signs that indicate damage has occurred in your sewer system. Here are seven signs, and if you notice any of these signs, it’s time to call a sewer damage cleanup plumber right away:

Slow drains or backups

If you notice that your sink, shower, or toilet drains are taking longer than normal to drain, it could be caused by damage to the sewer line. This can lead to backups and overflows.

Foul odors

Sewer gas is caused by decomposing waste in the pipes. You may smell this gas coming from your toilet or drains when a sewer line is blocked.

Wet spots on the ground

Wet spots on the ground around your home are a sign of water leakage from inside your home’s plumbing system into the surrounding soil or street surface. This can cause damage to both your home and property, as well as lead to flooding and other issues if left untreated for long periods of time.

Gurgling sounds

If you hear gurgling sounds coming from your drain or toilet, this could indicate water in your pipes. This can lead to clogs and blockages, which cause other problems down the line.

Sinkholes or depressions in the ground

If you notice sinkholes or depressions in your yard or driveway, this may indicate a leak somewhere underground. You’ll want to call a plumber right away!

Water stains on walls

Water stains on walls can mean that there’s been too much water flowing through your drains at once and that they’ve overflowed their capacity. This can also cause clogs and blockages further down the line.

Increased rodent or insect activity

Damage to sewer lines can attract rodents and insects that are attracted to the sewage. If you notice a sudden increase in rodent or insect activity around your property, it could be a sign of a sewer problem.

What Are The Causes Of Sewer Line Damage?

Sewer lines are essential to your home’s function. They carry the waste from your drains to the city sewer system, where it is treated and released into the environment. If a pipe breaks or cracks, it can cause a major problem for your home.

Unfortunately, there are several common causes of damage to sewer lines, which can lead to problems with water drainage in your home. Here are eight of the most common causes of damage:

Aging and deterioration

Sewer lines are made of concrete, a material that can last many years when properly maintained. However, over time, the structure of the sewer line itself can deteriorate. This can cause cracks in the pipe, allowing tree roots to infiltrate and cause further damage.

Tree root infiltration

Tree root infiltration causes damage by expanding inside the pipe and causing cracks or holes in it. This allows water to leak out of your pipes and into your yard or lawn, creating a puddle of water that may lead to an overflow situation in your home if tree root sewer damage is not addressed immediately by a professional plumber in Stafford, VA.

Ground shifting and settling

This is the most common cause of sewer line damage. As the ground shifts, it can disrupt sewer lines, causing them to break or collapse. This may be due to natural phenomena such as earthquakes or human-made events like construction projects or heavy traffic. The best way to prevent this type of damage is by regularly inspecting your sewer lines. If you have any signs of damage—such as a leaky toilet or sink—take action immediately.

Heavy traffic or construction

Heavy vehicles driving over your sewer line can cause it to buckle, crack, or collapse altogether. This type of damage is usually irreparable and will require you to replace the entire pipe if left unchecked. If you suspect that heavy traffic has caused damage to your sewer line, call a professional plumber right away so they can assess the situation and estimate how much it would cost to fix it before further problems occur!

Blockages and clogs

One of the most common causes of sewer line damage is blockages and clogs. A blockage is any foreign object that prevents water from flowing through your pipes. This can be anything from food scraps to toys to tree roots. Tree roots are often one of the most common causes of sewer line damage, as they grow into your pipes and cause them to become blocked.


Another common cause of sewer line damage is corrosion. Corrosion happens when water reacts with metal in your plumbing system, causing it to break down over time. This can cause leaks in your pipes, which can lead to flooding or other problems within your home. Corrosion may also cause rusting on metal parts like fittings or joints, leading to leaks and other damage!

Extreme temperatures

When temperatures are extreme, even for a short period of time, they can cause water main breaks or cracks in your sewer lines. This is especially true if you live in an area that experiences extreme weather like hurricanes or blizzards. It’s always best to check your pipes before any major storm hits!

Poor installation or materials

If your plumbing was installed incorrectly or with bad materials, it may fail quickly and cause damage to your sewer line. This can happen when a plumber uses cheap parts or doesn’t use enough concrete when installing the pipe.

What Are The Dangers Of Sewer Damage?

Sewer damage can be dangerous, and it’s essential to understand the dangers so you can avoid them. Here are seven of the most common dangers of sewer damage:

Health Hazards

When a sewer line is damaged, it can lead to a variety of health hazards. This includes an increased risk of infections and disease and the possibility of chemicals being released into the environment.

Structural Damage

A broken or damaged sewer line can cause structural damage to your home or business. The damage may not be immediately noticeable (and thus easily repaired), but it will inevitably lead to bigger issues down the road if left unchecked.

Legal Ramifications

If your sewer line is broken and causes injury or property damage, then you may be held legally liable for damages incurred by others as a result of your negligence in maintaining proper upkeep on your property’s sewage system.

Electrical Hazards

You don’t have to be a professional to know that electrical hazards are dangerous. But if you’re not sure, here’s an example: if there’s a damaged pipe in your home and water is leaking out, the moisture can seep into the walls and cause corrosion on the wires and other electrical components inside. That could lead to an electrical fire!

Pest Infestations

Sewers are often home to a variety of pests, including rats and mice. While these animals may not bite or scratch you (unless they’re rabid), they can still carry diseases that can cause severe illness in humans. If you’re dealing with sewer damage, it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of pest infestation so that you can get help before it becomes a problem!

Environmental Contamination

Sewage leaks and overflows can contaminate nearby water bodies, soil, and vegetation. This can harm the local ecosystem, pollute water sources, and affect plant and animal life.

Sewer Damage Restoration

Sewer damage restoration involves the process of mitigating the effects of sewer damage, cleaning and sanitizing the affected area, and restoring the property to its pre-damaged condition. Here are the general steps involved in sewer damage restoration:

Safety assessment

The first step is to ensure the safety of occupants and restoration personnel. This includes assessing electrical hazards, identifying potential health risks, and taking appropriate safety precautions.

Water extraction

If there is standing water due to sewer backups or leaks, it needs to be promptly extracted using pumps or wet vacuums. Specialized equipment may be used to remove water from carpets, flooring, and other affected areas.

Removal of damaged materials

Porous materials that have been contaminated by sewage, such as carpets, drywall, insulation, and furniture, may need to be removed and properly disposed of. This is done to prevent further contamination and to create a clean slate for restoration.

Cleaning and sanitization

Thorough cleaning and disinfection of the affected area are crucial to eliminate pathogens and prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses. Specialized sewage cleaning experts and equipment are used to sanitize surfaces, including floors, walls, and personal belongings, ensuring they are safe for use.

Odor removal

Sewer damage can result in persistent and unpleasant odors. Odor removal techniques, such as air scrubbing, deodorizing sprays, and ozone treatments, may be employed to eliminate or reduce odors in the affected area.

Structural drying

After water extraction and cleaning, the affected area needs to be thoroughly dried to stop mold growth and further damage. Industrial-grade dehumidifiers, air movers, and moisture meters are used to ensure complete drying of the property.

Repairs and reconstruction

Once the affected area is clean and dry, repairs and reconstruction can begin. This involves replacing damaged flooring, drywall, and other structural elements. The goal is to restore the property to its pre-damaged condition.

Post-restoration testing

It is important to conduct post-restoration testing to ensure the sewage contamination has been fully eliminated and the property is safe for occupancy. This may involve air quality testing, microbial testing, and other assessments.


Does homeowners insurance cover water damage from sewer backup?

Yes, your homeowner’s insurance should cover water damage from sewer backup. However, you’ll want to make sure that your policy includes sewer backup coverage. This is an additional option, and not all policies include it. If you have this coverage included in your policy, the repair cost is typically covered as well.

How much does sewer repair cost?

The cost of sewer repair varies based on the severity of the issue. If you have a minor issue, you may only need to inspect the plumbing lines for cracks and replace a few broken parts. A major issue can require replacing entire sections of pipe or re-routing them through a new system altogether. Typically speaking, an average sewer line replacement costs about $2,000 for a single-family home. If there are multiple lines that need to be replaced, this can increase the cost significantly.

How long will it take?

This depends on a number of factors, including how extensive the damage is and whether or not you need to replace your entire plumbing system. On average, though, it takes about three days for an experienced plumber to complete this type of work.

Why do I need to repair my sewer line if it’s just a small hole?

If you don’t repair your sewer line, it will continue to expand and deteriorate until it collapses. That can cause major property damage and even lead to flooding.

What should I do if I discover a broken sewer line?

The first thing to do is turn off all water going into your house before calling a plumber. This includes taking all the faucets off their hoses and turning off the water valve on the street. Once you’ve done this, call Sewer Repair & Replacement experts at (540) 659-3295 so we can get out there as soon as possible!

What is the cost of a sewer line replacement?

The cost of a sewer line replacement varies based on your home’s age and condition, which is why we recommend getting an estimate from a professional. If you’re looking for an estimate, check out Hynes Plumbing Services for more information!

Call Professional Sewer Repair Expert in Stafford!

Are you looking for a professional sewer repair and replacement expert in Stafford?

Haynes Plumbing Services can help.

Our team of professionals has the experience and skill set to get the job done right. We’ve been serving the local community for over 25 years, so we know what it takes to deliver superior results. We’re committed to providing our customers with honest, reliable service that they can rely on time and time again.

Whether you need your sewer lines repaired or replaced, our experts will work quickly and efficiently to finish the job. With our quick response times, we can usually have your pipes back up and running within 24 hours of your call—even on weekends!

Our plumbing services include:

  • Sewer repair or replacement
  • Water heater installation/replacement
  • Plumbing fixture installation
  • Backflow testing
  • Burst pipe repair
  • Drain clogs and toilet clogs removal
  • Leak detection
  • Repiping solution
  • Toilet installation and repair
  • And many more…

We also provide emergency Sewer Repair and Replacement Services in Stafford

if your pipes break unexpectedly. We understand that this kind of thing can happen at any time of day or night, so if you’ve stuck without water or sewage flow again tonight, give us a call at (540) 659-3295!


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