Buying a home can be a challenging prospect. Many new home buyers have had the unpleasant experience of having to deal with expensive, hidden surprises. These kinds of incidents generally occur when proper home inspections aren’t carried out:
- A factor that is often problematic is the lateral sewer line of a property. Pipes are prone to breakage as they age.
- Another recurring problem is roots growing and causing cracks in the pipes. This results in chemicals and waste leaking out.
- Moreover, rainwater can also seep into the pipes and cause flooding during heavy rains. These occurrences can not only create plumbing problems for homeowners but also result in nutrient pollution in central waterways.
- Lateral sewer line problems are more commonly found in homes that date back to before 1970s. This was a time when PVC piping was not the norm. What was usually used in the 1950s and 1960s was the Orangeburg pipe which was a mixture of pitch and wood pulp and cast-iron pipes, both of which degrade over time. Updating privately owned laterals can go a long way in improving water quality in the concerned areas.
It has been observed that most homeowners are unaware of what a lateral sewer line is or where it is located or that it’s their responsibility to maintain it. Many homeowners are under the incorrect assumption that lateral sewer line inspections are included in standard home inspections. Once they learn that a damaged lateral sewer line can result in expensive repairs, most homeowners are keen to have the sewer line inspected before buying a property. A pre-purchase home inspection is the best time for prospective buyers to inspect the lines because once a home is purchased, most people tend to follow an approach of leaving things on the back-burner until plumbing problems crop up.
Here are some reasons why you must schedule a sewer inspection before buying a house!
1. Natural wear and tear occurs
New sewer systems can spring leaks and get blocked from time to time, but the older systems have a much higher risk. Older homes may have been constructed prior to modern city sewer systems, relying on clay or tar paper. These old systems may erode and collapse over time. If you are not sure of the kind of sewer system your home has and the state it is in, it is a good idea to have an inspection.
2. Repairs are expensive
Inspections are relatively inexpensive and can be done quickly. On the other hand, sewer line replacements are expensive and are not often covered by insurance policies because it is a result of natural wear and tear. In addition to monetary costs, backups can be dangerous and messy, causing floods and leaking toxic gas. In most cases, an inspection can detect a problem before it causes irreparable damage. When small clogs go unfixed, replacement is often eventually repaired.
Home inspectors have a very significant role to play in helping homeowners upgrade outdated and damaged lateral sewer lines. Here are a few ways our expert home inspectors help you with a sewer scope inspection:
- Share accurate information about the current state of your sewer lines to help you make the right decision
- Increase customer satisfaction by providing camera scoping as an extra service
- Create a checklist for “vintage” home buyers by working with realtors so that you are in the know about special considerations you should keep in mind when buying an older property including scoping of the lateral sewer line
Spending a few dollars before committing to your house purchase is a small price to pay knowing that the sewer is in good working condition. At Atlantic Building Inspections, we have a 100% money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with our services. We include a sewer guard with every inspection which is valid for 90 days from the day of inspection. This covers sewer and supply piping from street connection to from of the home.
Our team of experts is available to cover all your building inspection needs. Just schedule an appointment with us and let us help you keep your worries at bay!