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Sewer Line Inspection for New Homes 

Sewer lines are often overlooked by realtors and home inspectors during the pre-listing phase, despite being an important aspect of your homes’ health. Sewer line inspections are not part of standard home inspections that occur before a house is listed on the market. The process of sewer line inspection involves the use of a small, waterproof video camera attached to a long device that is placed inside of your sewer system to quickly spot any problems, such as tree roots or cracked pipes. The plumber will lower the camera into the pipes and watch a monitor to observe any abnormalities inside of the sewer line. 

Why Sewer Line Inspection is Important 

Problems with your sewer line can be costly to fix, if an excavation is required to repair a major source of damage, this can be upwards of $25,000. Large costs like this make for a bad surprise when you are excited to move in and get going on other renovations. Sewer line inspection can prevent unexpected costs in the future, some of which could even be deal breakers when it comes to buying a home. Completing a sewer line inspection before buying a home will help ensure that any large scale repairs to be completed can be done before moving in or putting money towards less important renovations. After all, your plumbing is a part of everyday life and poor functioning of pipes in the home will be a huge inconvenience. 

Sewer line inspection, done with a camera attached to a power snake, makes it a quick and affordable inspection to have done. The low cost of a sewer line inspection is a small price to pay for the assurance of a well functioning home for years to come. 

Camera inspection can prevent weeks of long repairs down the road when issues arise after you have been living in the home for some time. If issues are found, it will save you thousands of dollars long term. The sooner the problem is diagnosed, the easier the fix will be. The main problems that can be found during these camera inspections are: 

  • Tree roots – The moisture of sewer pipes can cause an overgrowth of tree roots within or around the pipe, causing blockages or cracking of the pipe as the roots begin to overtake the pipe underground.
  • Cracked pipes – A damaged pipe can cause damage to your lawn, leading to foundation issues or even sinkholes. This happens when water leaks from the pipes and causes the land to erode. Cracks can be caused by tree roots, outdated or cheap building materials, or normal wear and tear that happens over time. 
  • Leaks – Discovering a leak in your pipes can prevent water damage from occurring in your home, this is especially important for homes with a basement. Sometimes these leaks will lead to mold growth in the home. 
  • Pipe blockages – A blockage in your sewer system can cause your indoor pipes to become backed up, or even lead to flooding in severe cases. Blockages can be caused by items making their way down the pipe, or from the natural outdoor elements such as trees or dirt. 
  • Poor installation – Pipes in the sewer may be offset or assembled improperly which can cause roots to grow through them. This can be caused by outdated standards that have been found to be faulty or simply from poor quality work. This requires fixing. 
  • Improper sloping of pipes – When sewer line have a poor slope, a slowing down of normal pipe function due to poor water flow occurs. 
  • Structural damage to the home – Shifting of pipes in the sewer line can cause damage to a home’s foundation. This can cause cracks in the foundation of a home. Water damage from leaks can cause the foundation of a home to erode. When the foundation damage becomes severe, you may start to notice cracks in your walls.  

If the sewer line has extensive damage such as a corroded pipe or foundation damage as a result, you may change your mind about buying the house entirely. Problems within the sewer line can take years to develop before the visible signs occur, which means that sewer line inspection can also prepare you for minor repairs that need to be done in order to prevent large scale damage over time. The benefits of getting a sewer line inspection before purchasing your new home outweighs the small hassle of having it completed. We understand that large repairs may not be avoidable. 

Is Your Home High Risk? 

Most people think of sewer issues as being something that exists in older homes, however any home that has a sewer system can be at risk for the issues we will discuss. There are several factors to determine if your home is especially high risk for sewer line issues, including: 

  • A property with trees – Roots of a tree can quickly spread around pipes, leading to possible blockages or cracked pipes as a result of overgrowth. 
  • Older homes – Although sewer line issues occur homes of all ages, those older than 60 years are at a higher risk for sewer line issues because the pipes have had longer to deteriorate or experience shifting. Old homes usually consist of clay pipes in the sewer system which have a short lifespan. Issues with tree roots inside the pipes are also more common in older homes. Experts say that outdated equipment is the be the most prevalent cause of problems.
  • Condition of nearby homes – If other homes in the neighborhood have sewer line issues, it makes it more likely that your home will have the same predispositions. 

Modern home builders may use low quality pipes to save on cost, which are more likely to deteriorate while older sewer systems have wear and tear from years of use. Regardless of your home’s age, it is possible that your sewer pipes are improperly installed which can also lead to problems. Each type of home will come with unique risk factors based on age, location, and their history that should be evaluated and prioritized. 

Going Forward 

Before you make such a big financial investment, we recommend requesting a camera inspection as one of the conditions to purchase your new home, since it is often overlooked by inspectors and the condition of a home’s sewer line may not be known by the realtor. A faulty sewer system could be the deciding factor when it comes to purchasing your new home. Whether you are a seller or buyer, knowing the condition of your sewer line is essential for understanding the longevity of your plumbing. A small inspection goes a long way. It is also very possible that no issues will be found, even in an older home. In this case, you can have confidence in your investment for years to come. 

Closing on a Home 

Before you close on a home, do your best to have the process negotiated within your agreement. If any issues are found during the camera inspection, you can ask that the seller has them repaired before you purchase. If this is not an option, you can still use these problems to negotiate the price of your home down rather than taking out money later on out of your own pocket. Better now than after you have sealed the deal. If you have recently closed on a home, we also advise getting an inspection to confirm that there are no existing issues. You or your realtor may have been unaware of these issues which is very normal, especially for the average person who isn’t specially trained in sewer systems. If issues are found, they can be seen and resolved by your plumber before turning into something serious. 

Plumbing and sewer specialists like Tony’s Drain can perform a sewer line inspection on site. We will guide you through the next steps of repair if any issues are found through our camera inspection. If you have any of the risk factors mentioned above or have been noticing issues, we can also help you get to the bottom of them. If you are about to close on a home or other property with a sewer line, please give us a call. We will have one of our well trained plumbing technicians arrive on site to inspect your sewer line. If needed, we will also help you move forward with any needed repairs. 

 

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