Tips for Identifying Signs of a Sewer Leak in Your South Jersey Home

signs of a sewer leak new jersey

Sewage Leak in South Jersey Home

Sewage leaks can mean serious consequences for a South Jersey homeowner. Sewage leaks can mean serious and expensive property damage. Additionally, sewage carries  various bacteria and hazardous materials that can put you and your family’s health at risk. 

It is an uncomfortable topic of discussion; however, I would rather talk about it than smell it or see it. Upon arrive to a mold remediation job in southern New Jersey, earlier this week, our guys discovered that mold was no longer the only problem in the crawl space. The crawl space had suffered the major negative repercussions of a sewage leak going unnoticed for weeks. The crawl space was flooded with over four inches deep of sewer water, and the dirt of the crawlspace ground was thoroughly saturated in sewage. Before our guys could even start the mold remediation, they had to complete a full South Jersey sewage cleanup before proceeding with the mold remediation.

tips for identifying signs of a sewer leak

Signs Of A Sewer Leak — What To Look For

When is comes to sewage leaks, early detection can go a long way in prevention additional damage and costlier repairs. It is important for South Jersey homeowners to pay close attention to the signs of a sewer leak. If signs are pointing to a sewer leak, you need to address it immediately to avoid significant property damage, prevent health risks and avoid costlier repairs and cleanups.

Persistent Backups: Often times backups or slow draining are limited to only one drain; in which case, it is most likely an isolated problem specific to that drain. However, if you are experiencing regular backups and slow draining at multiple drains (ie: toilet, sink, and/or bathtub) the problem is likely in your main sewage system. Most often, backups are created by buildup of debris, grease or other materials in the sewage pipe. However, if the backup persists despite cleaning out the pipes, there is a more serious problem at hand (ie: a break or leak in the sewage line).

High Water Bill: While bills fluctuate depending on use, you should have a relatively consistent cost range for your South Jersey water bill. If you notice an unexpected spike in your water bill, you could be paying for a leak. Even small leaks can quickly tack on the dollars to your bill. You should check your usage by turning off all water sources and monitoring your water meter’s reading.

Low Water Pressure or Flow: Water flow refers to the quantity, or volume, of water exiting your taps (ie: sink, shower head, etc.). Water pressure refers to the force of the water exiting your taps. An unexpected change in either of these can be indicators of a piping problem. There can be a leak, crack, or burst in the piping of your South Jersey home.

Questionable Odors: If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck. If you smell sewage in your home, it is one of the key signs of a sewer leak. Sanitary sewers should be air tight everywhere excluding the vent stacks on your roof. Under normal circumstances, you should never be able to smell sewage gas or odors. If odors are permeating into the home, there is probably a crack or break in your sewer lines.

Some odors are not going to be as obvious as the smell of sewage. If you detect musty odors in your South Jersey home, it is probably the result of water damage or pockets of moisture build up with the source being a broken sewage pipe. It only takes 24-48 hours for mold to develop if there is an adequate moisture source. Mold can be hidden from plain sight, especially if there is an unknown sewage leak. If you detect a musty odor but do not see any visual signs, you may have hidden mold growth in your South Jersey home.

Visible Mold: If you come across mold growth in your South Jersey home, it can be the result of various water sources. One of the potential causes can be a broken sewer pipe hiding behind your walls. A broken pipe in your wall void leads to pockets of moisture in elevated humidity; the ideal breeding ground for mold. Do not dismiss visible mold. You should inspect the area. If you think it is a bigger issue, do not let it go unchecked. Call a professional who is properly trained to complete a safe a thorough mold inspection in South Jersey.

Soggy Interior Floors: The plumbing network of your property typically runs through your house with a system of links to the main sewer line. In the case of a sewer leak, sewage water seeps through and pools around these connecting links. As the sewage water pools, it will saturate your sub-floors and spread to the interior floors of your home. If you are experiencing soggy floors, get a professional to check it out. The likelihood of a sewage leak is very high. You should resolve this issue before it leads to other costly problems.

Foundation Cracks: In extreme cases of sewage leaks, the foundation of your South Jersey home can show signs of damage. If a leak is neglected and is allowed a prolonged period of time to fester and spread, water and other substances will pool and saturate areas around the leak. This will undermine a foundation’s structural integrity and result in cracks throughout the foundation.

If a sewage leak has escalated to the severity of a cracked foundation, you are risking various other issues further down the line. For starters, a cracked foundation has diminished structural support. In addition, cracked foundations make the home more susceptible to future water damage beyond the sewage leak.

Irregular Landscape Growth: Sewage acts as a fertilizer for vegetation. A leak from your main sewer line will pump nutrient-dense sewer water into your New Jersey soil and feed your lawn. If you suddenly notice some lush grass that you did not intentionally place, you might have a leaking sewer.

With time, the unhealthy bacteria in the sewer water will eat away at your vegetation and ruin your lawn and gardens. In addition, the saturated soil will cause shifts in your landscape, causing indentations throughout your lawn.

Rat Infestation: Rats and rodents love sewage. They will probably find their way into your sewer line and make themselves at home before you even notice you have a sewer problem. They have an excellent sense of smell and can squeeze into cracks as small as a quarter.


Professional Sewage Cleanup Services South Jersey

If left unaddressed, even minor sewer pipe leaks can lead to major and costly issues down the road. Be vigilant of the signs of a sewer leak. Sewage is gross and disgusting, and no South Jersey homeowner wants in the home. If you detect signs of a sewer leak and suspect a problem, you need to address it immediately. Early detection allows you time to contain the problem and keep it from getting worse.

Sometimes, sewage leaks can happen very rapidly and homeowners may not have time to see the signs of a sewer leak. If you do encounter a sewage leak problem, CALL A PROFESSIONAL. Urine, feces, raw sewage, and other bodily fluids are considered to be a bio hazard and is filled with countless bacteria that can cause a multitude of health issues. When it comes to raw sewage, you need a professional bio hazard cleanup in South Jersey to ensure safe and thorough disinfection.


  • Thomas Duff

    Thomas Duff, the visionary founder of MasterTech Environmental, brings a wealth of expertise and passion to the forefront of our mold remediation and biohazard cleanup mission. With a profound commitment to setting new industry standards, Thomas leverages his hands-on experience and innovative spirit to lead MasterTech Environmental to unparalleled success. Overseeing not only the original Blackwood, NJ location but also the thriving MasterTech Franchise Systems, Thomas champions a tight-knit family of professionals dedicated to serving communities, cultivating honorable trades, and ensuring customer satisfaction. Recognized for our presence on HGTV and DIY Network, Thomas Duff's dedication to excellence has driven our company's exceptional client ratings on Google and other review platforms. With a clear vision, unmatched passion, and a commitment to continuous improvement, Thomas Duff continues to lead MasterTech Environmental into a successful future in the restoration industry.

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