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An Important Consideration for Home Buyers

Most first-time home buyers never even consider sewer inspections when making their buying decision. Sewer inspections are not something many buyers think about. It’s common knowledge and usually required by a lender to get a standard home inspection, but sewer lines are an after-thought at best. However, it’s one of the most important inspections a buyer of older homes should have done.

As with all major repairs the time to find out if a sewer/ line is faulty or needs replacement is before buying a home, not after closing.

It’s recommend that all buyers obtain a sewer inspection if the home is older than 20 years. Although the sewer line may be somewhat new as compared to homes built before 1950, for example, tree roots can still clog up a 20-year-old sewer line. Considering the cost is less than $160 it will save you thousands if a problem is found.

The Main Reasons to Inspect the Sewer Line?

Tree roots growing into sewer lines is a common problem. Roots crawl into tiny openings and expand in the sewer line, latching on to other debris that typically cause backups such as grease or eggshell waste. Sometimes chemicals can kill the tree's roots, but if the roots reappear, the pipe may be damaged and require excavation to fix the problem.

Homes that were constructed prior to city sewers often relied on cesspools. After cities installed public sewer systems, sometimes the cesspools were left intact and connected to the sewer line. You won't know unless you inspect the sewer.

Many homes built in the 1950s have sewer lines made from tar paper called Orangeburg pipes.

These disintegrate and collapse over time. If a home has Orangeburg, the sewer line needs to be replaced.

Who Inspects Sewer Lines

It’s very unlikely that your home inspector will provide this service themselves. But lucky for Shenandoah Valley residents Blauch Brothers Mechanical Contractors in Harrisonburg and Winchester areas do provide this service.

Simply call Blauch Brothers and make an appointment to have their camera inspect the sewer in question. Inspection involves a drain snake tool with a small video camera attached that gets a clear view of the sewer’s condition. You can watch the image on a monitor.

Not only will you find out if the sewer line is clean or clogged, but the inspection will disclose the condition of the sewer.

It will only cost $150 to have the sewer line inspected, but considering the cost to replace a sewer line, it's money well spent.

Sewer and Septic Tests are NOT the same thing!

Although both sewer and septic systems serve the same purpose of disposing of waste the camera test that we do can find damage that the simple die / color test usually done on septic systems is able to find. Seeing the condition of the below ground pipes can reveal any potential problems.

If a problem is found Blauch Brothers can offer a quote on repair costs and have the problem corrected for you. Having solid information to base your home buying decision on will put you in the best position when making an offer on a new home. No one likes expensive surprises and a damaged sewer can certainly qualify as one that really stinks.

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