Most sewer backups give off warning signs before they become big problems. Usually the problem builds up over time, and so if you are paying attention, you can catch the signals that show there is a major blockage occurring somewhere down the line. (There are exceptions, of course, like flash flooding or sudden weather systems that cause instant damage.)
Pipes do get clogged over time — grease, hair, toilet paper. You may have even heard of the “fatbergs” plaguing certain cities’ sewer systems. For homes, it’s important to take proper care of your drainage, keeping things like “disposable” wet wipes and grease out of the pipes as much as possible.
Even so, sewer backup can still happen. If you notice any of the following, there is a chance that things are going haywire in the pipes and that a sewer backup is coming for you.
You know what we’re talking about here. The stench can resemble rotten eggs or much worse, and you can trace the source directly back to the sewage pipes. If there is an unpleasant odour coming up from your drain, it’s a good idea to think about addressing the problem by calling your local drainage experts.
If you are having a shower and notice that the water is rising around your ankles rather than draining, there’s a good chance that there is a blockage down the pipes and that the worst is yet to come. You might also notice this problem occurring in a sink after you wash the dishes. This is a sign that people often ignore for a while but we recommend you taking action as soon as you notice a lag in how quickly the water is draining.
This might take the form of soap residue that’s drying high up around the basin of the sink or tub orbits of foreign things floating in the toilet after a flush. This is usually a very clear sign that there are major problems in your pipes.
Yes, bubbles. Air can get trapped while water is trying to get past an obstruction in a drain, and this can cause bubbles too, well, bubble up. It can happen in the toilet, sink or tub and once you notice them, an alarm should go off in your head that something isn’t right.
Like with many home maintenance things, keeping an eye on things so you can catch them before they turn disastrous always pays off. This is especially true for drainage and pipes. We know the quick fix might be pouring very harsh chemicals down the drain and hoping for the best, but it’s usually not the best solution for these problems.
Calling in professionals who have the tools and technology to go in, assess the problem and properly fix the damage might seem like a hassle, but it’s actually a surefire way of protecting your home against a full-blown catastrophe. You will wish you had done it if you are cleaning up the mess from a sewer back up.