Remodeling can be an exciting opportunity to update your home, and an increasing number of homeowners have been investing in home renovation projects. In fact, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, Americans spend $500 billion per year on residential renovation and repairs.
While remodeling can update your living space, make your home more attractive, or even add to the square footage, it is important to remember that it can also cause unintended problems. One of those is with your septic system.
Not considering your septic system can prove to be an expensive mistake, so homeowners are wise to be sure that any plan for remodeling specifically addresses the septic system.
Remodeling and Your Septic System
Here are some of the potential problems that could occur with a septic system during a remodeling project.
Damage to Septic Tank
During a remodeling project, heavy machinery or vehicles can cause damage to the septic tank, such as cracks or shifting of the tank itself, which can lead to leaks or even tank failure.
Damage to Pipes
Construction vehicles and heavy equipment can crush or damage the drain field or pipes that lead from the septic tank to the drain field. This could cause backups and slow-draining water in the plumbing system.
Increased Current Water Usage
During a remodeling project, there is likely to be a higher demand for water usage with additional people working in the home. This spike in demand could strain the septic system and result in a failure or overflow.
Increased Future Water Usage
If your home remodeling project is done to add room for more people, it is possible that your septic system may be unable to handle the bigger load. Remember that septic systems are designed considering the size of the home and the expected number of residents, so increasing water usage can overload the system.
Heavy foot traffic and equipment could cause soil compaction on the septic drain field or above the septic tank, which can make it difficult for water to be absorbed and treated properly by the system. This could lead to backups and potential drainfield failure.
Homeowners with septic systems know that they should follow certain guidelines about what should – and should not – be flushed. In the course of remodeling, there are often different types of chemicals used, such as paint or bleach. Contractors working in the home may not be aware that flushing these can harm the bacteria in your septic tank.
pH Changes to the Septic Tank
Tools used in drywalling or other renovation projects need to be cleaned after use, but doing so incorrectly can cause septic tank problems. For example, the joint compound used in drywalling has a high level of minerals like limestone and talcum, which can increase the pH of your septic tank inadvertently if it gets washed down the drain.
Changes to the landscaping and exterior of your home can make a big difference in its appearance and usability, but doing so without considering the septic system risks causing big problems. From locating a patio on top of a septic tank or drainfield to planting large trees or bushes where they can impede the septic system are common problems that arise.
Protecting Your Septic System During a Remodel
Renovating a home is an exciting process, but it is important to take the necessary steps to protect the septic system during the project. Here are some tips that homeowners can follow to ensure that their septic system does not get damaged or negatively impacted during a remodeling project.
Firstly, homeowners should identify the location of the septic system and keep it well-marked. If you are unsure of the location, a septic professional can help, or you may be able to get records from your local building permit office. This can prevent heavy machinery or construction vehicles from driving over it or damaging it in any way. It is also essential that all workers and contractors working on the project are aware of where the septic system is located, so they can avoid it when carrying out their work.
Next, it is important to reduce the demands on the septic system during the remodeling project. Homeowners should avoid using large amounts of water, such as running multiple washing machines or using the dishwasher frequently. Limiting water usage can also prevent soil compaction in the drain field and reduce the risk of overloading or damaging the septic system. Additionally, homeowners can consider using portable toilets and hand-washing stations for workers instead of requiring the use of indoor plumbing.
Additionally, it is important to keep the area surrounding the septic system clear and free from debris. Anything that could fall into the septic tank or drain field, such as rocks or construction waste, should be kept away from the area. This can prevent damage to the septic system and enable septic tank specialists to access the area if needed.
Lastly, homeowners should schedule inspections of the septic system before and after remodeling takes place. A qualified septic company can help identify any existing problems with the system before the project starts, and can assess any potential damage that may have occurred during the construction process. By identifying any damage early on, homeowners can quickly address and fix the issue before it becomes a more significant problem.
Home remodeling is often both exciting and stressful. Homeowners with septic systems can at least minimize the worry about their septic system by taking proactive steps to keep it safe. By being mindful of the septic system during the renovation process, homeowners can avoid unplanned expenses and ensure a successful home remodeling project that benefits both the residents and the septic system.
Septic Service In & Near Lakeland
Septic and Drainfield Depot is the number one choice when you need a septic company in and near Lakeland. We offer a full range of septic tank services, plus drainfields, lift stations, and more for residential and commercial property owners.
Contact us today for a free estimate.