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Sewer Lateral Lining: The Complete Guide to Sewer Lateral Lining

When it comes to protecting your home from the risk of sewer lateral overflow, there are several affordable and sustainable options available to you.

However, no matter which one you choose for your property, you’ll need to understand the pros and cons of each before implementing them. If you don’t know much about plumbing or sewer lateral lining, you may be a little confused about what it is and how it works.

In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about sewer lateral lining as well as how it differs from other protection methods like inspection chambers or manholes.

What is Sewer Lateral Lining?

Sewer lateral lining is a way to keep your home's sewer lateral from getting backed up or overflowing by lining it with protective materials.This lining can come in many different forms and be made of a variety of materials including concrete, epoxy, polyethylene, and polyurethane.

How Does Sewer Lateral Lining Work?

In sewer lateral lining, your sewer lateral is completely covered with a protective material like concrete, epoxy, polyethylene, or polyurethane.This material is very strong and can handle the constant force and pressure of waste water as well as the occasional backflow of sewage and trash.

Once the inside of the sewer lateral is lined, you can then pour a concrete slab or other type of finish on the outside of the lateral to hide it from view and prevent contaminants from seeping into the ground.

This concrete finish can also stop tree roots from growing into your sewer lateral, which is another common cause of backups and overflows.

Pros of Sewer Lateral Lining

- Lining the inside of your sewer lateral can help prevent backups and overflows into your yard.In fact, it can be up to 99% effective if the correct materials and practices are used for the job.

- It’s a relatively easy and straightforward process to have your sewer lateral lined. Many contractors can do the installation in only a few hours and have your lateral back up and running quickly so you aren’t without water.

- Lining your sewer lateral is a lot less expensive than fixing or replacing the whole thing.The average cost to have your lateral lines is around $2,800, while the average cost to repair or replace your entire lateral is upwards of $7,000.

Is Sewer Lateral Lining Worth It?

bunch of pipes for underground installation

That all depends on the condition of your lateral and the amount of repair/replacement work it would take to fix it. If your lateral has been damaged by tree roots, a small pinhole leak, or other common causes, then lining it will work wonders for your property.

But if a major event, like a burst pipe, has done a lot of damage to your lateral, you may need to think about replacing the whole thing.If your lateral is still in good condition, it’s highly recommended that you have it lined.

You'll make it much less likely that your sewer will back up or overflow, and you'll keep your yard from getting damaged.

How to Find Out If Your Home Has a Sewer Lateral?

If you notice issues like wastewater pooling on your property, a foul smell coming from your backyard, or an accumulation of debris in your yard that doesn’t seem to be going away on its own, you may have a sewer lateral issue.

To find out if your property has a sewer lateral and if it’s in good condition, you can hire a contractor to perform a sewer lateral inspection. A professional will be able to give you a full report that tells you how your lateral is doing right now and if any repairs are needed.

Other Options for Protecting Your Property from Sewer Backups and Overflows

While sewer lateral lining is a great solution for protecting your home from sewer backups and overflows, it isn’t the only option out there. If your lateral pipe was inspected and it was found that it may need to be fixed or replaced, you may want to install a manhole or inspection chamber to protect your property until the work is done.

An inspection chamber is an above-ground, watertight building that lets you check on the condition of your lateral from time to time without having to get in or open it.It can be installed by itself or in conjunction with a manhole.

A manhole is another structure above ground that makes it easy to check your lateral and fix any problems you find.It is also useful if you ever need to replace your lateral or perform any other type of excavation work around your home.

Manhole Repair/Replacement

If your manhole is in bad shape or has been badly damaged, you may need to get a new one.This can be a bit more costly than repair, but it’s worth it to help prevent further damage to your lateral and home.

Manholes are often the first line of defense against sewer backups and overflows. But these structures can be damaged by tree roots, a lot of people walking on them, and other things that homeowners often have to deal with.

Manhole damage can be hard to spot at first, but if you don't fix it right away, it can quickly cause big problems for your home.It’s important to have your manhole inspected regularly so you can catch any issues that may be developing.

Drainpipe Repair/Replacement

If your drainpipe is damaged, you may need to replace it as soon as possible.

Drainpipes are less durable than sewer laterals and are more susceptible to damage from things like tree roots, heavy foot traffic, and other common issues.

When managed properly, drainpipes can last several years before needing to be replaced. However, if you’ve been experiencing minor issues with your drainage for some time, it’s better to address them sooner rather than later.

Drainpipe damage can often be difficult to identify. However, you may notice an increase in flooding in your yard or home, a foul smell coming from your property, or an overall decline in the performance of your landscape.

Hiring a Professional Sewer Repair Company

If you decide to hire a professional sewer repair company to install an inspection chamber, manhole, or lateral lining, it’s important to make sure you choose a reputable company, like Pro Sewer Repair.

If you decide to do the work yourself, you’ll need to make sure you have the necessary experience and know-how to get the job done correctly. We've made a list of the tools and materials you'll need to install an inspection chamber, manhole, or sewer lateral lining.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Difference Between an Inspection Chamber and a Manhole?

An inspection chamber is a structure that allows you to look directly into your sewer lateral from the ground without having to dig up the ground or disrupt landscaping. A manhole is a hole in the ground that lets you get into your sewer lateral to make repairs or do maintenance.

What is the Difference Between a Cast Iron and a PVC Sewer Lateral?

A cast iron sewer lateral is a brick-shaped pipe that was commonly used in the 1950s and 1960s. A PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) lateral is a pipe that was commonly used in the 1970s and later. In order for lateral lining to work, you must have a cast iron lateral.

What Tools and Materials Do I Need for Sewer Lateral Lining?

You’ll need the following tools and materials for sewer lateral lining:

  • A sewer snake, if needed
  • Plastic drop cloths
  • PVC Primer and Glue
  • PVC cement (for PVC pipe)
  • Liner (pipe) cutter, if needed
  • Scissors to cut the liner
  • tape measure and marker to mark the length of the lateral.

Final Thoughts

Sewer lateral lining is an excellent way to prevent sewer backups and overflows onto your property. It’s a more affordable solution than repairing or replacing your lateral and can be completed in a matter of hours.

If your lateral is in good condition, you can consider having it lined to help prevent future issues. If your lateral has sustained significant damage, however, you may need to repair or replace it before lining it. Manholes and drainpipes are also at risk of being damaged by tree roots and other forces of nature.

It’s important to inspect these structures regularly to catch any issues that might be developing. If you’ve been experiencing issues with wastewater pooling in your yard or a foul smell coming from your backyard, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with a sewer backup or overflow. You should contact a professional, like Pro Sewer Repair to inspect the situation and provide you with the best plan of action.

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