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Why You Smell Sewage Outside Your House

sewage smell outside house

Foul and unexplained sewage smells outside your house would be a nightmare for any Columbus homeowner. However, while the experience may be highly unpleasant, you don’t need to panic. You may assume that your septic tank is the cause of the odors but other culprits could be causing the issue, and not all of them are serious. Keep reading to discover the potential causes of sewage smells surrounding your home and how to determine if septic tank repair is needed.

Is It Your Septic System or Something Else?

To determine the cause of the smells in your home, take note of where they’re coming from. If you only smell them when indoors, a clogged or cracked drain may be the problem. Soap scum, oils, and sticky substances build up along the pipe walls. Over time it leads to clogs that can cause water to back up into your sinks and showers. The standing water mixed with the foreign materials will produce an odor that permeates your home. Similarly, a cracked drain can cause water leaks behind your walls or in floors and that stagnant moisture starts to smell.

If the smell is most noticeable outside of your home, the following things could be causing it:

  • A damaged roof vent pipe: Your roof vent pipe shuttles sewer odors outside, so when it gets damaged or clogged, those smells travel outside of the pipe.
  • A broken sewer line: Your sewer line carries the waste from your drains away from your home. If it breaks, you need to get it looked at immediately to prevent further damage. A broken sewer line can result in wet spots throughout your yard, sewage coming up your drains, and a foul smell that’s hard to eliminate.
  • Weather: If your home is in a valley, forest, or low area, the wind can change the flow of odor around your home. As the wind blows over your house, it can push sewer gas into your yard rather than away from your home. This odor can be particularly bad during the hot days of a Columbus summer.

Signs Your Septic Tank Is the Culprit

If you’ve inspected your home and the above causes don’t seem likely, your septic tank is probably the source. When your septic tank is causing foul odors, you will notice that the outdoor smell is most potent when you’re near it. Soggy spots or greener patches in the surrounding area also indicate your septic tank is leaking.

A backed-up septic tank is the most common cause of outdoor smells. Follow maintenance best practices and empty your tank every three to five years to prevent a faulty septic system. If too much sludge builds up, your septic tank will overflow, and raw sewage will leak into your yard, resulting in a very unpleasant smell.

If you’ve ruled out poor maintenance and an overfull tank, the issue might be with your septic tank. A cracked septic tank, blockages, blocked vent stacks, contaminants, and sewer pipe leaks can also result in a foul odor. 

Don't DIY: When to Call a Septic Pro

Some causes require a simple fix to eliminate the odors in your home. For example, you can quickly repair clogged drains by clearing them manually with a snake or liquid solution. However, it's best left to the professionals when it comes to broken pipes or a damaged septic system.

If you suspect that your septic tank is the cause of the odors surrounding your home, contact one of our certified plumbers immediately. Dealing with septic tank issues requires extensive training and experience. Trying to fix the problem yourself can be potentially dangerous or lead to further damage and severe leaks that are hard to repair. 

What to Expect When You Call a Plumber

If you’re still unsure of the cause of foul odors in your home, a plumber will inspect your home, determine the issue at hand, and take the proper steps to repair it. If your septic system is too full or backed up, they will pump it and ensure everything works correctly. Further septic tank repairs are likely required if your system is cracked, leaking, or damaged. 

Call Apex Pros for Septic Tank Repairs

When it comes to septic tanks, it’s important to hire the best. Our team of licensed technicians has the training and experience to handle all your septic repairs and maintenance needs. We’ll identify the cause of the problem and provide a no-obligation estimate for the service. With over 13,000 five-star reviews, you can rest easy knowing the job is done right the first time. Give us a call or book online to schedule your septic tank repair today. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the signs that my septic tank requires replacement?

The key signs to look for that indicate your septic tank needs replacement include slow-moving drains, contaminated water, gurgling or bubbling sounds, standing water, spongy grass, and foul odors. If you suspect your septic system is failing, contact one of our plumbers to inspect it.

How much does it cost to have a septic tank pumped?

The average septic tank pumping cost is between $250 and $1,250. However, the total cost will depend on the tank's size, location, and usage. While you may feel tempted to skip the maintenance cost, it’s important to have a professional pump your tank regularly. When you book with Apex Pros, we’ll provide an up-front, no-obligation quote before your service.

Can you repair cracks or holes in a septic tank?

Yes, our team can repair holes and cracks in septic tanks. The process often involves draining the tank completely and cleaning the area around the crack or hole. We then use an adhesion material to fill the damaged area. The type of material used will depend on the size and location of the damage.