Concrete septic tanks typically last many decades without any intervention from homeowners. While they are nearly impervious to damage under normal circumstances, concrete septic tanks can be damaged by earthquakes, undiscovered manufacturing defects, or from heavy machinery being driven over them. Often, these things can form cracks in the concrete that allow water to leak into the tank and raw sewage to leak out of it.
Since leaking sewage is a health hazard, it's important you know how to determine if your septic tank is cracked. If a crack is found, then it should be repaired as soon as possible.
Signs of a Cracked Septic Tank
If you smell sewer gas outside your home or see wet spots where they shouldn't otherwise be, then these are signs that sewage is leaking outside of the tank into the ground and you may have a cracked tank.
Confirming Your Septic Tank is Cracked
The only definitive way to determine if a septic tank is cracked is to have it cleaned out and inspected by a licensed septic professional.
If a crack is discovered, then they will need to repair it. Or, in the case of serious damage from an excessively old tank, replace it with a new one.
Cracked Septic Tank Lids
One of the most common areas for cracks is on a septic tank's lid. This is because the lid is under constant stress from the weight of the soil piled on top of it.
Thankfully, lid cracks are easy to fix. The lid simply needs to be removed, cleaned, dried and then a concrete filler or adhesive is placed into the cracked area. Once the adhesive or filler has dried and cured, then the lid will be just like new.
Structurally compromised septic tank lids pose a danger to anyone who walks on the surface above them. If the lid gives way, then it's possible to fall into the tank. Since septic gases are toxic, this can result in serious injury and even death.
Cracks in the Septic Tank Itself
In addition to lid cracks, the concrete tank itself can crack. While small, hairline cracks that don't leak any sewage or take in any water can be left alone, larger cracks must be repaired.
To repair large cracks, your septic repair technician will pump out and clean the tank. They will let it thoroughly dry and then apply concrete crack filler to the cracks. Finally, once cured, then the tank can safely be used again. For more information, check out sites like http://www.southernsanitarysystems.com.