Its hard to forget the terrible smell of sewer gas, especially if it has leaked into your home. While the smell may seem bad enough, should we be worried about any other dangers that could come from sewer gas leaking into your home? There are some serious health risks associated with sewer gas leaks, among them are: risk of explosion or fire, possibility of hydrogen sulfide poisoning which has the potential to be extremely dangerous and, risk of asphyxiation from sewer gases displacing the oxygen in the home.
Its clear to see from this list that if you smell sewer gas in your home, it should be checked out by a professional. There are a few reasons for sewer gas to leak. A very common reason is plumbing fixtures drying out which causes the plumbing traps to also dry out. From a lack of water barrier, sewer gas can then back up into the home. If bathrooms, sinks and toilets are not used very often this can also happen, especially during dryer weather. Some other reasons for sewer gas to leak in the home are cracking in plumbing drains and ventilation pipes, cracks in the home’s foundations, wind and air flowing around the home and plumbing vents that are positioned too close to air intakes.
So, we can see that leaking sewer gas can become dangerous to the home’s occupants. We have also seen that there are differing reasons for this. The important thing, though, is not to ignore this but have the problem looked at by a skilled professional.
Dave Graham, Tempest Home Inspection. Calgary Alberta