4 Main Causes of Sewer Damage

There’s no delicate way to talk about sewage. Sewage problems are just… gross. Ever smelled backed-up sewer pipes? Ugh. Worse yet: Ever had sewer water actually back up into your shower or spill out onto the floor? Barf. 

Without a proper waste disposal system, you can experience a whole host of issues: spreading diseases, mold outbreaks, and breathing problems. As your Columbia plumbers, we’re just as serious about helping your family stay healthy as we are about plumbing.

We’ll come investigate any problem you might be having, but there are some issues we tend to hear about more often than others. Here are four top causes of sewer damage.

Sewer Damage Cause #1: Tree Roots

Tree roots are one of the top external causes of problems with your sewer lines. Tree roots are attracted to the… ummm, “fertilizer”… in the wastewater. As roots grow around your pipes trying to get at these nutrients, they create cracks big and small. Tree roots have been known to crush or completely fill whole sewer lines! Even if you don’t have trees in your own yard, a neighbor’s tree could easily become your plumbing nightmare.

Sewer Damage Cause #2: Physical Obstructions

Clogs are one of the top internal causes of sewer damage. Please understand: “Your toilet is not a trash can.” We’ve pulled all sorts of things out of sewer pipes: garbage, toys, diapers, cooking grease, paper towels, disinfecting wipes, feminine hygiene products, even too much toilet paper at one time. All of these can lead to blockages or clogs in your sewer pipes. And even if you take care of your pipes, dirt, debris, and hair can create obstructions in your sewer lines over time.

Sewer Damage Cause #3: Rodents

We wish sewer rats were more like Remy from Ratatouille than Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective. (Unlocked some deep childhood memories there, huh?) Unfortunately, burrowing rodents are an archenemy of sewer lines. They loosen joints, turn small cracks into big cracks, and use pipes to nest and multiply. It’s never a good sign when rodents are involved.

Sewer Damage Cause #4: Normal Wear-and-Tear

Time isn’t kind to your pipes. General corrosion and sediment build-up can create leaks and blockages. Natural soil movement over time causes sagging sewer lines, which can become a problem when the low spots create repeat blockages, ruptures, or leaks. Regular monitoring and maintenance can help, but ultimately sewer pipes have a shorter lifespan than your sewage needs.

When should you call a Columbia plumber about sewer issues?

Here are seven obvious signs that point to possible sewer damage:

  1. All your drains are backing up at once. If you flush the toilet and the toilet, sink, and shower drains all spit up water, there’s a clog in a main pipe somewhere.
  1. Weird things are happening when you use your toilet. We’re talking toilet water bubbling, gurgling sounds when you flush, or backed-up water in the shower after flushing your toilet.
  1. Your lawn starts to change. Indentations in your yard may indicate a break in the line or a sagging pipe. Changes to your grass are also a big red flag. Soggy patches or extra green, lush patches mean sewage is probably coming up from the pipes below and fertilizing your lawn.
  1. It smells. This is an obvious one. If it smells like sewage, it’s probably sewage.
  1. You’re growing mold. Leaking sewage pipes mean moisture in places you don’t want moisture. This can cause fungi and mold to grow in seemingly strange areas of your home. If you notice a mold spot, look for other signs of sewer damage.
  1. Your drains are slow. If your drains are slow to… well, drain… you’re on your way to a larger clog. Don’t use chemical drain cleaners, which can ultimately make the situation much worse by corroding your pipes. Try natural alternatives or calling in the pros. It’s worth it!
  1. You have a pest infestation. Remember the sewer rats? If you start seeing evidence of a rodent infestation, they might be coming in from your sewage pipes. Same with bugs like cockroaches. These pests are great at finding little cracks to wiggle through, especially underground where your sewer pipes are!

Very few people in the world would attempt a DIY fix for their sewer damage. Even if you’re one of those folks, please give us a call first! We want to help keep our Columbia plumbing customers safe and healthy in their homes.

Andrew was wonderful working through the night to repair our pipe so we could get our water back on. He was friendly and knowledgeable! I will be recommending them to all my family and friends!
Faith Truesdell
Faith Truesdell
19:19 17 Oct 20
I had a leaky kitchen faucet that needed to be repaired and in the process my service tech Devin discovered a damaged valve that also needed to be replaced and my main shut off valve was also leaking and needed to be repaired. He got everything done in one day. Devin was very friendly and efficient. It was a pleasure doing business with him and MasterTech.
Elena Seon
Elena Seon
05:10 02 Oct 20
We needed sink hooked up, garbage disposal installed and, we had a leak in an outside faucet. Josh did it all in one call. He was professional, offered me options to save money and explained everything he was going to do. Great experience. Now, I am a loyal customer!
Lorry Myers
Lorry Myers
02:52 01 Oct 20
Awesome service. Called on a Friday and was told wouldn’t be available until Monday, but then called me right back. They were at my house Within a couple of hours. Highly recommend them for both their professionalism and friendliness.
Jason Huether
Jason Huether
19:55 25 Sep 20
Master Tech's office and work crews are awesome. I had a broken sewer piper, (Josh, Chris, Elliot and Nate), they diagnosed it, priced, it and got it done. Then had drainage issue with HVAC Wyatt and Tyler got it fix and had me on my way in no time. Great work, great pricing, and most importantly great staff. I would recommend for future work in a heartbeat.
Damian Dean
Damian Dean
17:40 25 Sep 20
They provide such outstanding services, I wouldn't call anyone else but them, especially if you want it fixed right. Quality and fast is where Master Tech is at!!Josh and Andrew are very professional and friendly. Loved how they went right to work. I would recommend them to replace gas lines.
Kelly McDaniel
Kelly McDaniel
14:57 21 Sep 20
Devon and Andrew came out and gave me a quote on installing a water softener system. They were very professional and informative on what the cost and process would look like. Would recommend them to anyone!
Megan Miller
Megan Miller
13:23 04 Sep 20
We gave MasterTech a call on a drain line issue. The technician (Tyson) came out promptly and was very professional. He diagnosed the problem quickly and MasterTech was on the job.A company and crew that provides this high a level of customer service is a rarity today. We will definitely use them again (if ever needed) and would certainly recommend.
Chuck Kubba
Chuck Kubba
20:28 28 Aug 20
Mastertech is awesome! I needed my water heater and bathtub faucet looked at. Devin and Nate were so great. They answered all my dumb questions without making me feel stupid and gave me so many options to solving my plumbing issues. I will be using Mastertech to install a new water heater soon! Thanks Devin and Nate!
Kelsey Mescher
Kelsey Mescher
16:18 18 Aug 20
Devon and Nate were extremely professional helping me deal with a leaking water heater. They explained my options and helped me come up with a plan to address the issues. Will definitely be calling MasterTech for future plumbing and HVAC needs.
Charles Mullen
Charles Mullen
19:11 17 Aug 20
Excellent service—squeezed me in a day early—friendly, mask wearing, felt safe and secure!
A Sergel
A Sergel
21:33 11 Aug 20
We found a leak underneath our kitchen sink and was not able to turn the water off. A MasterTech technician was there within an hour. He was courteous and professional and gave us a couple of repair options. Everything he needed, he had with him and the new valves were installed quickly and he was gone. Great repair experience!
Lorry Myers
Lorry Myers
21:01 27 Jul 20
Technician was timely, professional and courteous. He made sure I understood what was going on. And how best to move forward
Zane Whorton
Zane Whorton
19:15 16 Jul 20
Tyson was incredibly kind and helpful. He came out on a Sunday to help with a stubborn shower cartridge. I would recommend him to anyone needing plumbing help!
Courtney Jorgenson
Courtney Jorgenson
16:21 14 Jul 20
Very prompt, efficient, polite, and professional. Knowledgeable of needs and recommendations fit my circumstances. Thanks!
Nathan Mozingo
Nathan Mozingo
18:02 13 Jul 20
Master Tech replaced my ac/heating unit a couple of years ago and we have been very pleased with the follow-up checkup services we receive. Always very professional!
Joanne Nelson
Joanne Nelson
19:57 10 Jul 20
Tyson was very helpful and gave us advice for the future on how to save a little money with a project. We were very happy with him and his advice.
Wesley Dahms
Wesley Dahms
19:17 10 Jul 20
Josh Burleson installed our Home Depot purchased water softener. He was on time for the appointment, very professional and addressed all our questions. He was very neat in his work and cleanup. We would highly recommend calling MasterTech and Josh for all your needs.
Bette Everman
Bette Everman
22:48 29 Jun 20
Professional, personable and informative! I am on their yearly Check-Up plan for heating and cooling. Great price for a GREAT service.
Dorsey Ragland
Dorsey Ragland
17:55 29 Jun 20
Devon W. was a pleasure to work with. Efficient, clean, knowledgeable. Happy to have me sit with him while he worked so I could ask random plumbing questions that have always intrigued me. Highly recommend this business and Devin!
Pete Goodman
Pete Goodman
19:17 18 Jun 20
Chad arrived promptly when I was notified he was in route to my house. He was very friendly and professional and keeping social distancing practices. He was able to give options to get the result I needed. The cost was lower than what I had in mind and was completed in about an hour.I felt bad for him because it was hot and humid today (about 90) and the issue was outside of the house in direct sun...I set up a patio umbrella to cast some shade on him while he worked.Thanks again Chad! I will be calling MasterTech Plumbing for any other plumbing issues that arise!
Alen Petty
Alen Petty
18:22 03 Jun 20
Isaac and Alex removed a dead snake from my AC unit. They were professional and kind with a great sense of humor given the situation. They checked everything out to ensure it ran correctly and gave me an upfront price. I was quite satisfied.
Katie Ensign
Katie Ensign
17:54 01 Jun 20
Josh was so awsome! I had a "simple" leak in my faucet. He got the parts from his truck and fixed it like new, which is saying a lot as this faucet is over 10 years old. Very knowledgeable and friendly!
Betsy Kuhn
Betsy Kuhn
22:24 28 May 20
We had a great experience with Mastertech Plumbing from the time we made the phone call to request service. Our plumber Tyson was friendly, knowledgeable & professional. I would highly recommend this company & him for any plumbing needs.
Jamie Hogan
Jamie Hogan
17:40 22 May 20
I had a clogged drain that needed professional assistance. MasterTech was able to get Devin out to my house to fix our issue in record time. Devin was great and very professional and made sure the issue was fixed, the work area was clean and that I was satisfied with his work before he left. I highly recommend MasterTech.
Jeffery James
Jeffery James
17:01 08 May 20
When I called, the phone was answered by a pleasant service representative that remembered me and was understanding to my immediate need. MasterTech Plumbing tech Chad was very professional and friendly. He kept me informed of all what was wrong and didn’t try to up sell anything. I really appreciate Chad’s skillful knowledge. The quality of his work is exceptional. I know I can rely on Chad and MasterTech Plumbing.
Angela Hernandez
Angela Hernandez
02:12 08 Apr 20
The service we received today was awesome! Punctual, efficient, and up front and honest about prices and what products that we needed. Excellent work.
Cole Stoecklein
Cole Stoecklein
14:52 18 Mar 20
Josh is great! He is the one who usually comes to our house. He installed an overhead tank toilet, which is a tricky and time-consuming job. He overcame many obstacles and stuck with it until the job was completed and done right. Price was also good. MasterTech has always taken care of all our needs in a prompt and professional manner. Emergency service has always been rapid too.
Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis
17:24 11 Mar 20
Chris was great. Dispatch was great. We were scheduled quickly. Prices were very competitive. Edit: We had great success having our pipes fixed. Due to Missouri weather things were touch and go but Master Tech sure delivered! We are so please with the fix, financing and friendliness Master tech and our technician Chris Gilpin provided us. Will forever and always us Master tech. Certainly mighty nice people
Kimberly Threatt
Kimberly Threatt
01:30 29 Feb 20
We had to have emergency service today, Saturday. A serviceman was here in less than an hour. The repairs were made quickly, the charge was not over the top, even though it was not a work day, and the individual was friendly and courteous. We have learned to expect this kind of service from Master Tech. Thank you.
Barbara Timbrook
Barbara Timbrook
03:48 26 Jan 20
I recommend MasterTech. They show up when they tell you they will show up. They provide a comprehensive estimate and also a good explanation of the work that need to be done. Their work is good quality. They usually have the needed parts on their truck so they can do the task in a timely manner. They clean up the work area after the job is finished,
Dennis Catlett
Dennis Catlett
22:15 23 Jan 20
A great experience. First, on time, service tech was sent out when promised. Second, quick assessment of the problem (faulty sump pump). The tech not only quickly replaced the pump, but he made an alteration that will make it easier whenever a replacement has to be made. Bottom line, a most professional service. Certainly would recommend Master Tech to folks needing their service.
W B Tichenor
W B Tichenor
16:08 31 Dec 19
MasterTech is so great to work with. They're quick, clean, do great work, and have fair pricing. But the best thing about MasterTech is their people. Whoever is responsible for their human resources does a terrific job of selecting and/or training them. They're so friendly and provide excellent information and customer service. I highly recommend MasterTech!
Jason Black
Jason Black
20:37 26 Dec 19
Previously I had not been impressed with master tech. However, their technician Dillon not only fixed my emergency pipe break at 1am on a holiday but also saved me as a customer. This was the best service I have ever had at my home. He arrived promptly at 1am. Provided a couple of options on how to fix my problem both in the short and long term and quickly made repairs. He also has provided advice on how to address issues related to the water damage caused by the busted pipe. This was one of the most positive bad situation we have had as homeowners. Thank you Dillon and mastertech.
Michael Grote
Michael Grote
20:35 26 Dec 19
I had to change my appointment at the last minute and they were able to accommodate my new availability without any hesitation. My tech was really professional (Dillion). I got a call and a text to let me know he was on the way. He fixed my problem quickly and was so friendly. This is the second time that I have had to use a plumber and I will use Master Tech again since I have an old house with old plumbing.
Leigh Burton
Leigh Burton
14:01 22 Nov 19
HVAC and plumbing under one roof, what else do you need?! Great team!
CJ Roe
CJ Roe
02:01 14 Dec 18
HVAC and plumbing under one roof, what else do you need?! Great team!
CJ Roe
CJ Roe
01:06 30 May 18

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