Sewer Line Inspection
If we challenged you to find everything that may need to be repaired or resolved inside and around your home, where would you start? The most common answers might include the roof, the floors, even the seals around your windows and doors, and the electrical systems in your home. You might even say you'd look for moisture in the basement, cracks in the foundation, or clogged ductwork.
There's one answer, however, that we find few homeowners are thinking about, most likely because it can't be seen: the home's sewer line.
Why Do Your Sewer Lines Matter?
Some homes benefit from waste treatment courtesy of the city in which they reside. Others have a septic system on the property. While these systems differ in a few major ways, they do have something in common: they both involve pipes in the ground, which can be susceptible to clogs and blockages.
Every time you flush a toilet or send other wastewater down the drain, it goes through your sewer lines, out of your home, and to its intended destination. When there's something blocking the line, like a clog, or a tree root, there's nowhere for that waste to go. After enough time, it starts to back up, eventually reaching the drains of your home.
Additionally, whether your sewer lines run into a city sewer or a septic tank, you're responsible for most of the system that runs underneath your property line, which means if a clog occurs, you're the one who has to pay for it.
What Does This Mean?
For one, a backed up sewer line means bad stuff in your drains, in your tub, and anywhere in your home where you can access the pipes. It also means an expensive repair that may involve digging up a large portion of your yard to find the problem and clear it.
Luckily, you have options.
The Sewer Scope
Normally, to find a clog or blockage, you'd end up having to tear up a significant portion of your property to reveal the sewer line. If the blockage is closer to the sewer or septic tank than the cleanout line — the vertical pipe that comes up through the yard — you'll be able to see the backup in the cleanout. This pipe will give you a clue about where the problem is originating, but if you can't pinpoint the exact area, you're facing an expensive project.
This is where you'll need a certified home inspector's help, because where there's a home inspector, there's a sewer camera. This is a long reel — also called a sewer scope — that unravels like a hose, pushing a camera down the cleanout and in the direction of the blockage. By measuring the distance from the entry point, this allows the sewer line inspection to identify the location (and often, the cause) of the issue.
Preventative Sewer Scope Inspections
Of course, a sewer camera inspection service isn't just useful when you already have a problem. Having your sewer lines examined every few years can detect things like clogs that may forming, or roots that are starting to encroach on your line.
You can even ask for a sewer scope inspection as part of the property inspection when you're buying a house — repairing sewer lines can be extremely expensive, and you can't afford to gamble on the potential for these issues in your new home.
Sewer Camera Inspection Service
The team at Bell Harig Home Inspections is experienced when it comes to finding sewer line problems and saving you money. Haven't had your sewer lines looked at recently? It's better to be safe than sorry. Call Bell Harig today to learn more.