Plumbing repairs and maintenance are among the biggest concerns for homeowners. However, most of these activities are focused on the piping system inside the house. Many are unaware that the lateral piping system buried deep into their lawns is just as important to ensure the plumbing system’s proper function as a whole.
In some communities, the homeowner’s accountability in maintaining and repairing the pipes even extends to the city’s main sewer lines. If you are among the many homeowners who wonder if maintaining the pipes buried deep under your backyard is necessary, the short answer is “yes.” There are many reasons to invest time, effort, and a reasonable amount of money into it, and here are some of them:
It Prevents Wastewater from Seeping into Your Basement
The plumbing pipes running from your house to the street is responsible for carrying all domestic wastewater to the city’s sanitary main sewer. Cracks, leaks, and other damages to these pipes will allow groundwater into the sewer.
If it is strong enough, the groundwater can overwhelm the system and back up all the way into your basement, causing moisture to accumulate in places not designed to get wet for long periods. This would lead to mold infestations, which could compromise the structural integrity of your house. In worse cases, it could cause a host of health issues related to mold exposure.
To prevent these situations, it is important to perform regular inspection and repair of your lateral plumbing system.
Regular Plumbing Maintenance Prevents Soil Erosion
Aside from protecting your basement from the risks of backed-up water, it also ensures that the soil in your backyard is not displaced. Domestic wastewater could seep through the cracks and leaks of damaged underground pipes, softening the ground. Once softened, all it takes is for a light rain shower to occur for the soil to be eroded, especially if the terrain is uneven.
It Prevents Accumulation of Standing Water
Any damages to the plumbing system in your yard will reduce its ability to draw wastewater from the house all the way to the main sewer. When this happens, water can accumulate in your yard or wherever the damage is. This could lead to serious problems, one of which is making your yard more vulnerable to standing water.
Even if the leak is not enough to cause water to accumulate, it could saturate the ground, which means it would not readily absorb rainwater. This, in turn, will cause water to collect in puddles. This could become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests. It could also render your yard unfit for foot traffic, which would defeat the purpose of having a yard in the first place.
It Helps Protects the Foundation on Your House
With leaks under your yard, it is hard to predict where the water would go. In general, water follows a path of least resistance. Under the right (or in this case wrong) conditions, the leaking wastewater could find its way into the foundation of your house. If left unchecked, it could weaken the structure over time, which could cause serious safety risks to all inhabitants.
It Prevents the Formation of a Sinkhole in Your Yard
True sinkholes form only in areas with limestone rock and karst geology. But in rare cases, depressions in the ground similar in characteristics to sinkholes can occur in residential areas. One of the most probable causes is substantial leaks from water or plumbing pipes buried underground.
Prolonged exposure to moisture can loosen the ground’s poorly compacted layers, creating underground voids similar to sinkholes. And this is not the only problem. Aside from these visible gaps in the ground, it can emanate sewer odor accompanied by the water’s continued flowing on the surface.
Needless to say, such a situation is highly unfavorable and must be prevented. Regular maintenance and repair of the plumbing pipes in your lawn is a big step in this direction and a wise investment to make, especially when compared to the small fortune required in dealing with a sinkhole in your yard.
Trust the Professionals
The underground pipes buried under your yard are out of sight and easy to lose track of. However, this does not exclude you from the consequences and even the accountabilities attached to its maintenance and repair, or lack thereof.
To ensure that your home plumbing system is in tip-top shape from the indoor pipes all the way to the mains, contact your nearest plumbing professional and schedule regular inspection and repair.