Watch out for signs of sewer line failures

Do you suddenly have cockroaches appearing in your home? Sure, you’ll think to call an exterminator. But would you be surprised that you might need a plumber?

The old, pre-1972 construction homes usually had cast iron sewer pipes. These pipes aren’t expected to last more than 40 or 50 years. Corrosion caused by age results in leaks, backups, blockages and damages to your home. Soil below your residence and in your yard fills with contaminated sewer water, which is unsafe for you, your children and your pets.

Even newer PVC pipes are subject to damage if wayward excavations occur. If the service lateral line wasn’t buried to a sufficient depth as required by code, the potential for damage increases.

Cockroaches come out of the broken piping, so if it’s in or near your house, the sewer line may need replacement or repairs.

While most of us have dealt with a backed-up toilet or even a sink, it’s not always a case of something blocking the pipes in or attached directly to these fixtures. If the sewer line gets blocked, every time you pour water down the drain, used the garbage disposal or flush the commode it continues to back up until it’s overflowing into your home. If your floors or sinks are getting coated with raw sewage, the problems just got even worse.

Smelling sulfur or sewer gas is another bit of evidence that your sewer pipes may be failing.

Any of this evidence is enough to require immediate attention. If you already are living in the home, you’ll have to pay for costly repairs and for an expensive cleanup that should include sanitizing every exposed surface at least in the rooms where the sewer line backed up.

While all this is going on, expect to spend some time in a hotel. A home is considered unlivable if plumbing can’t be used.

So if you are about to buy a home, it’s wise to include a sewer scope inspection to the regular home inspection services. You’ll want any problems fixed before buying a home.

Homeowners should consider a sewer scope inspection to avoid costly repairs in the future. Even a partial blockage that has yet to cause back ups in the home requires attention.

Champia Real Estate Inspection offers sewer scope inspections to evaluate your sewer line from the house to the street. The inspection includes a report documenting the condition of sewer pipes and any damages. Photographs illustrate the condition and any problems.

A SewerGard Warranty extends to six months if Champia performs an inspection.

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