Wise Homeowners Should Schedule a Sewer Scope Inspection
There are so many responsibilities and tasks that conscientious homeowners know they should stay on top of but that often get missed or forgotten in the general busyness of life. Frequently, after the initial home inspection is performed when the home is purchased, if there isn’t an obvious cause for concern, many obscure maintenance tasks are forgotten or put off. Just keeping up with the basic everyday upkeep is more than enough work for the average homeowner.
The blessing of indoor plumbing, however, necessitates a relatively easy and inexpensive task that is largely overlooked: a sewer scope inspection. Neglecting the upkeep of the home’s sewer line can be an incredibly expensive mistake. It’s wise to discover and fix plumbing problems before they cause structural and/or health risks.
Hire a professional
This project is best performed by a professional home or sewer inspector who has the training and the equipment and can identify and suggest remedies for issues with a home’s sewage system. Using a scoping camera attached to a cable that is run through a home’s drainpipe, the inspector records the condition of the pipes from the home to the main sewer line or septic tank. A report gives the homeowner details about blockages, broken or damaged pipes, settling or sagging lines or other problems.
It can be hard to tell if there’s a problem
Because sewer pipes are buried and not easy to get to, it’s hard to know if wastewater is being contained properly as it leaves the home. There are some obvious indications of a problem, but most of the warning signs are subtle or occur so slowly that they are easily missed.
Outside the home, look for patches of extra green, lush grass which indicate areas that have had extra “fertilizer.” If the yard has large trees, be aware that roots can grow into the pipes. And older homes might have outdated piping materials that have cracked or broken. Also, if the ground around the home is soft and unstable, it can be a sign of extensive water that isn’t being absorbed.
Inside the home, signs of sewer line problems manifest as water not draining properly, frequent overflowing or clogged sinks or toilets, bad smells, signs of mold, and rodent or insect sightings.
What’s the worst that could happen?
When a sewer line is compromised and the issue isn’t discovered and/or resolved, serious damage to a home and health risks to the residents can result. Five of the most common problems are root growth into the line, misaligned pipes, blockages (#wipesclogpipes), damaged or crushed pipes and “bellied” (sagging) sections of pipes.
Structural risks of damaged pipes include flooding, foundational shifting/cracks and drainage issues. Health risks include sewage gases leaking into the home, diseases from backed up wastewater, insects, rodents and other contaminants entering living areas.
Schedule a sewer scope inspection as soon as possible but, if a problem is detected, be careful of scams. Get another quote if the price of the repair seems extreme. And be careful what is put into the drains. Only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet and don’t pour fats, oils and grease down the drains or garbage disposal.
If you’re currently searching for a new home, have questions about the home buying journey, are ready to sell, or would like more information about Texas Real Estate, please feel free to contact our office at any time.