Sewer clogs are as likely in winter as in any other season. If your sewer has clogged during the winter, though, the potential for snow and frozen soil may make dealing with it a little more of a hassle. First, understand the five reasons your sewer line may have clogged during the winter.
In our climate, winter storms are more likely to bring rain than snow. A sudden winter storm can overload storm drains and sewers, leading to clogs and backups.
2. Tree Roots
Yes, tree roots can be a serious problem for clogs, growing into the sewer in search of nutrients and water. Tree roots don’t move much in the winter, but it is still common for this problem to become a major issue in the colder months. In fall, the roots move in. It takes a few weeks or months for other debris to develop and block off the sewer entirely. Then you could have a backup on your hands.
3. Sagging Sewer Line
A sagging sewer line is where part of the line is sunken. It can happen from improper installation or from changing soil conditions. The sunken part of the sewer collects debris and may eventually lead to a partial or full clog, depending on how deep it sinks. These problems are as likely to crop up in the winter as in other seasons.
4. Soil Disturbances
Soil disturbances can break sewers, bend them, rupture them, and cause other issues. What could disturb the soil? Sometimes it is natural processes, or it might be constructions, traffic, heavy machinery or other heavy objects on your property.
5. Improper Disposal
The most common cause of a sewer clog is actually putting things down the drain and the toilet that the sewers can’t handle. Improper disposal is actually more common in winter during the holidays when you’re too rushed cooking to think about how the pipes might handle an unusual influx of potato peels or grease.
Signs of Sewer Clogs
How do you know if your sewer has clogged? There are several signs that you can look out for, including:
- Multiple fixtures clog: When one fixture is clogged, it is likely a local clog in the drain line right below it. But, if multiple lines are clogged, then the problem is likely within the sewer itself.
- Back-ups: Back-ups are when water comes back up through the drain, even when you aren’t running a sink. The most common backup is water in the shower just after you flush the toilet and it is a strong sign of a sewer clog.
- Slow draining: When your fixtures are draining slowly, you may be developing a clog. A partial clog will soon become more of a problem, so it is best to get this issue looked at quickly.
Sewer clogs are just as likely in the winter as in other seasons, so don’t discount these signs. Reach out to a plumber right away if you spot them.