Drainage pipes are the invisible backbones of efficient waste management systems. You only notice them if a problem like a clogged or collapsed pipe demands attention. Thankfully, you can catch a collapsed drain early before it disrupts your home.
Signs of Collapsed Drains
You may have a collapsed drain if you answer “yes” to any of the questions below.
- Are Your Walls or Floors Damp?
Sometimes there’s excess moisture in the walls around your plumbing fixtures or the basement floor that doesn’t dry out completely. This condensation may come from a broken drain pipe.
- Are There Damp or Soaked Patches in The Lawn?
Puddles or standing water in your lawn may be a symptom of a collapsed drain. The soil absorbs the wastewater and makes the yard damp or soaked.
- Is Sewage Backing Up into Your House?
Blocked wastewater flows backwards and appears in your drains. The most common backed-up drains are in the lowest levels of your home, like on the ground floor or basement.
- Is There Mould On the Walls?
Leaking pipes increase the humidity in your home, making it conducive to mould spores. Call a plumber if you clean the mould from your walls, but it keeps coming back.
- Are There Sunken Areas on Your Lawn?
Too much wastewater weakens the soil and makes it sink. This symptom usually indicates a broken or leaking pipe directly underneath the indent.
- Do Your Sinks Drain Too Slowly?
If a plunger doesn’t unclog your drain, this could indicate blocked or damaged pipes. Avoid using chemical drain cleaners that corrode the pipes.
- Is There A Bad Odour?
The distinct smell of raw sewage is a symptom of a collapsed drain. Along with the odour comes other signs like damp walls and mould.
- Does Your Lawn Grow Faster Than Expected?
If some parts of your lawn appear lusher or grow much faster, this could indicate leaking sewage from a collapsed pipe. That’s because sewage contains nutrients that fertilise the grass and other plants around your home.
- Do You Have A Rat Problem?
If you suddenly have rats on your property, they could be coming through broken pipes in the drainage system.
- Are Insects Coming Through the Drains?
If wastewater accumulates in the pipes, insects like cockroaches, fruit flies and drain flies may find their way into your home. Check the pipes for damage if you can’t find any other reasons for these pests.
- Do You See Cracks Along the Floor?
Excess wastewater can weaken your home’s structural integrity, and the most common sign of this are cracks on the foundations. The worst-case scenario is a sinkhole caused by neglected collapsed drains.
How To Fix A Collapsed Drain
If you see any of the above symptoms of a collapsed drain, take a few basic precautions to prevent further damage. Switch off the water and disconnect appliances like the washing machine or dishwasher. Next, call for professional assistance. A licensed plumber can accurately diagnose a collapsed drain. Trust an expert to assess the drainage symptoms, locate the collapsed drain, and offer the best repair options to get your home in top shape.