Thursday, July 31, 2014

Before Buying a Home, Perform a Sewer Inspection

One action often overlooked by prospective homeowners is inspecting the sewer system. This is no surprise considering that a home’s connection to the sewers is often far from their minds; buyers look at a home’s walls and rooms, while assuming that the plumbing is fine. This is a mistake, and there are several problems that a thorough sewer inspection can detect beforehand.

  • Tree roots blocking the line. Roots grow towards sources of water, and a sewer line has a lot of water flowing through it. A pipe can easily be blocked up if there is a tree growing in the property, especially if the tree is older. Additionally, once inside the sewer, tree roots latch on to other causes of blockage like grease and other waste.

  • An existing cesspool. Older homes may not be connected at all to the local sewer system. The original owners may have built a cesspool that requires draining on a regular basis. A buyer wouldn’t normally be able to find out about it unless a sewer inspection is made.

  • Orangeburg pipes. Homes in the 1950s were often built with Orangeburg pipes. Unlike normal pipes, these were made of tar paper. They worked well enough, but they disintegrate over time. A sewer inspection would be able to detect if this type of pipe was used so that they can be quickly replaced.


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