If you’re facing the big “repair vs. replace” dilemma about your sewer line, you probably already know that it’s important to make the right decision — and make it quickly — to ensure that there aren’t any problems down the road. Except in the most extreme cases of sewer line damage, many people find that it’s difficult to figure out whether a sewer line repair will get the job done or whether an entire replacement is necessary.
Although you’ll definitely want to consult with a professional sewer line repair service before making any concrete decisions, one way to start the process is to think about what exactly caused damage to the sewer line in the first place. For example:
- Shifting, frozen, or added soil: Any major changes in the landscape surrounding your home can cause your sewer line to crack or break. If it’s a small crack, a small repair might suffice.
- Grease buildup or an object stuck in the line: This can usually be fixed with a simple cleaning or repair service.
- Corrosion: Older sewer lines may become corroded over time. This is usually a good indication that pipes need to be replaced.
- “Bellied” or sunken pipes: When the soil under the sewer line sinks down, it allows part of the pipe to sink as well and movement in the pipe becomes obstructed by gravity. If a large section of the line has sunken, you may need a replacement.
- Tree roots: When trees decide to plant their roots, not even concrete can stop them. Even your sewer line can become damaged if there is excessive root growth near the line. Many sewer line repair services can clean roots out quickly but excessive root growth may require a major repair job or replacement.
- Porch, patio, or pool: If you already have one of these structures in your backyard and you want to make sure itstays in your backyard, it might be necessary to pay for a pipe replacement. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to keep the landscape of your yard looking clean and neat; around three out of every four homeowners say they’d pay for an entire replacement, too.
All in all, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have regular sewer line inspections and cleanings. This will ensure that small problems don’t grow into bigger ones, and will also save you some money, since inspections only cost around $250-$350. If your sewer is getting up in age though, it might be time to look into a replacement; most sewers only last about 40 years before needing to be replaced.