As the weather gets warmer and the snow begins to melt, flooding becomes more of a potential risk, especially when the rain hits. Older homes, in particular, are problematic. Many are outfitted with clay pipes and are highly susceptible to blockage or cracking. They also run the risk of being broken by tree roots seeking water.
Despite their brittleness, clay piping is common because of their popularity in houses built before 1985. Newer homes will instead have steel or plastic variations of piping, which are much more reliable and long-lasting. No matter the material, all types of piping will eventually need to be replaced.
A leaky home is also not an energy-efficient home, and you may be one of the many who are concerned about your impact on the planet. Reducing water consumption is one of the best ways to reduce your energy bills and save you some money.
What Can You Do?
The first thing you should do is call a professional plumber to assess the situation. They can locate the crack for you as well as let you know what kind of piping infrastructure you are dealing with. With their help you will need to determine whether the damage is your responsibility or the city’s. If it’s on your side then the only solution is to replace the old piping with new ones.
The cost of replacing old sewer pipes can be anywhere from $3,000 to $12,000, especially if a trench needs to be made. Most places will charge you per foot of hole that they have to dig, and you’ll also have to experience the pain of getting your yard all dug up.
There is an alternative, though – with the latest technology, repairs can be made without needing to dig a giant hole.
No Dig Sewer Repairs
Everything can be taken care of underground by using a steel cable, hydraulic pump, and pulling device to burst the new pipe through the old one. This kind of non-invasive technology can be a blessing, especially if it means not having to dig up your yard, or even, your driveway. Damages to your property – like completely digging up your prized garden – can be irreversible, meaning you’d have to start from scratch. In this scenario there really isn’t any winning: you’ll be losing both precious time and money, as well as going through the hassle of massive construction right at your doorstep.
Maintenance is Key
There are, of course, preventative measures that you can take to avoid cracked piping and flooding:
- Clear your storm drains
- Remove debris from your yard that could potentially clog a drain
- Check for low water pressure which is a potential sign of a leak
- Check exposed pipes for cracks, discolouration, mould, or moss growth
- Flush your water heater
Another handy tip is to check your toilet for leaks by using food colouring. Simply put a dye tablet or about 10 drops of food colouring into the tank – do not flush. Wait at least 10-15 minutes, at which point you can look into the bowl to see if any colour has come through. If you do see any colour, then that means that you have a leak and you should call a plumber right away.