Before the close of escrow, getting a sewer inspection can help you decide whether or not a property is right for you. Of course, sewer inspections cost money, and not all homes really need a sewer inspection. The decision of whether or not to get a sewer inspection should depend on the age of the property and the number of large trees in the immediate vicinity of the home.

If you're buying a home, should you get a sewer inspection?

Newly built homes tend to have functional, clean, structurally sound sewers. However, sewers in older homes can develop problems. This is especially true of older homes with large trees on the property. If you're thinking of buying a home that was newly built within the last few years, a sewer inspection may not be necessary. If you're thinking of buying a home that displays any of the following characteristics, it's a good idea to get a sewer inspection:

  • The home is several years old.
  • The home was recently remodeled.
  • The home has several large trees on the property.
  • It's clear that the home was not well maintained by the previous owners.

What kind of problems can older sewers develop?

Over time, sewers can develop all kinds of problems, such as:

  • Clogs. Clogs tend to occur for two reasons: either because people in the household flush items down the drain that shouldn't be flushed (like tampons, wipes, and kitty litter), or because of tree roots. Tree roots can grow into the sewer and clog the line. This is a particular threat during times of drought.
  • Cracks. Cracks develop in the sewer line when tree roots and roots from other plants nearby grow into the sewer. Cracks can start with tiny hairline fissures, but can develop into larger problems relatively quickly.
  • Collapse. Old sewers can collapse for several reasons. Sometimes this happens when heavy duty trucks drive directly over sewer lines during remodeling projects. Sewers can also collapse after being compromised by tree roots.

How will a sewer inspection identify these problems?

Sewer inspections are conducted with small video cameras designed for these purposes. With the camera, the sewer inspector can see things like the condition of the line, the likelihood of a future clog and what kind of material the sewer is made from. Having this kind of information will help you decide whether or not you should ask for money from the home sellers for sewer cleaning or repair.

Who does sewer inspections?

Plumbers inspect, clean and repair sewers. If you're interested in getting a sewer inspection, contact a reputable plumber like Rapid Rooter Inc in your area and ask him or her about sewer inspection services.

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