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A broken sewer line is a major problem for your home plumbing that could lead to serious damage to the rest of your home and property. In order to limit the extent of any damage, it is important to recognize the signs that could indicate that you need a sewer line repair.

Signs Your Sewer Line Needs Repair

By looking out for the following six signs that indicate a problem with your sewer line, you can contact a professional plumber in your area to address the issue before it gets worse.

Strong Smell

The odor associated with a broken sewer line is one of the easiest early warning signs to detect. The scent is often similar to rotten eggs, and it is quite hard to ignore. If you are consistently smelling something that reminds you of raw sewage, then there’s a good chance that that is exactly what it is.

Slow Drains

Slow drains are a more general sign of plumbing trouble, and it can be hard to identify exactly what is causing your drains to be less efficient. With that said, your slow drains could easily be a result of a damaged sewer line.

Sewer lines that have been broken and obstructed by tree roots and other objects can often cause drains to be less effective. In any case, it is always in your best interest to call for plumbing services in Highland Park if there is any chance that you could have a serious plumbing issue.

Increase in Pests

Every home has the occasional pest problem. However, if you’re noticing a sizable uptick in the frequency with which you run into bugs, mice, or rats, then your sewer line may be the culprit.

Rodents, in particular, love to hang out in and around sewer lines when possible. An increase in rodent activity inside or around your home could be a sign that your sewer line has been damaged.

Mold and Mildew

An increase in the prevalence of mold or mildew suggests increased moisture in the affected area. If you ever notice new or increased mold or mildew growth in an area of your home, then you know the moisture level has increased somehow.

There could be any number of explanations, but most of them have to do with your plumbing. A visit from a licensed plumber can help to identify the cause so that you can have it repaired before it gets worse.

Water Damage

Mold and mildew frequently accompany excess moisture, but they don’t always. If the conditions aren’t right for these fungi, then you may not see these as obvious signs of a plumbing issue.

If that’s the case, then you should look out for any possible sign of water damage. Discoloration, warped wood, and other signs of frequent contact with water are all signals that parts of your home have been exposed to water in ways that were not intended.


Flooding in your home or your yard is a sign that your sewer line has been completely compromised. The line is either so broken that it is allowing raw sewage to bubble up in your yard or so totally obstructed that the sewage produced in your home has nowhere to go but back up your pipes.

In either case, your plumbing problem is officially an emergency. To the best of your ability you should vacate your home, turn off the water line, and call your emergency plumber as quickly as possible. Depending on the current state of the flooding, your emergency plumber may suggest calling emergency services.

Catching Problems Early

We can’t catch everything before it becomes a major problem, but we can reduce the risk. Talk to your plumber about regular inspections to ensure that potential problems are addressed long before you would notice physical signs of damage.