Before you commit to buying a new home, especially an older place, you should commit to a sewer line inspection.
Most San Diego buyers know about a basic home inspection, but that’s just the first layer of protection you should be looking for. You should have a checklist of potential snags, a toolbox of checks and references.
A broken down sewage system can be an expensive thing to fix. It can also prove a useful bargaining tool when it comes to negotiating the price, because you can then commission a San Diego trenchless sewer lining company that pulls new pipes through the existing structure. It’s a cheap fix for a whole host of common problems, but that can turn the survey into a powerful opening salvo.
If the house you’re looking at, or the sewer system it relies on, is more than 20 years old, then you should get a full sewer line inspection. Anything can happen in two decades, including tree roots penetrating the sewers and causing a leak that you need to know about in advance.
Common Types of Sewer Problems
Tree roots protruding through the pipes are a common problem. Once they have intruded into the sewer line, they can trap debris. That can turn into a painfully expensive blockage over time. If the pipe is severely damaged, you also have to factor in digging it up and replacing it in sections or as one new unit. Once the tree roots are dealt with, a trenchless pipe solution is a solid and long lasting fix.
You might find some antiquated system, too, that’s on the verge of collapse. You can spend the rest of your days battling the acrid smell. It’s one of the few sewage problems that might make you walk away entirely.
Other common sewer line problems include:
Broken, cracked and misaligned pipes – The ground repeatedly freezing and thawing can cause a shift big enough to knock your pipes out of alignment.
Burst Pipes – It’s common for pipes to give way under immense and sustained pressure. Again, an internal sleeve might be the quickest solution and a trenchless pipe liner could be the cheapest and best answer. The alternative is digging out and replacing the broken section.
Blockages – Grease can build up over time and combine with general debris to create a blockage.
Pipe Corrosion – Older systems don’t always have PVC piping. If you’ve got metal pipes in your home then it pays to know what they’re made of and what condition they’re in.
Leaky joints – Something as simple as a broken seal can let water escape and flood the area around the pipe.
Bellied Pipe – A section of pipe sinks and forms a place where sewage can converge. That isn’t just a health hazard, it’s the first stage of your system backing up.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sewer Problems?
A sewer problem can be mild or it can be the end of days. There are a few things to look out for.
- Sewage backing up
If your toilet starts to work in reverse and sewage starts spewing out of it then you have a serious sewer problem. Call the professionals right now and consider getting out of the house.
- That unmistakeable sewer smell
If you’re getting constant whiffs of noxious gas, then it could well be that you have a sewer issue. If you’re buying a home, don’t be afraid to check out the drains and check for any telltale odors.
- Mold patches inside
If there are visible mold patches, it probably means there’s a leak in the sewer lines somewhere behind the walls. If you have mold and the sewer smell, then there’s a major issue with your sewage lines and you need to call help now.
Mold can kill if it’s the right type and it’s a nightmare for those with sensitive respiratory systems. A
moldy house is a world of disease and it’s something you’ll need to address if you go ahead with the purchase. A full sewer line inspection is essential at this point, as it will give you all the information you need to strike a better deal and make an informed choice.
- Water drains away slowly
Fill the sinks and watch them drain. Do they drain slowly? If so there could be a blockage somewhere in the system. It might simply be a grease build-up right beneath the sink, or it could be something more sinister, like a cracked and backed up pipe deep underground.
- Single lush patches of grass
If you get a single patch of grass that looks like a million dollars, it could actually be a sign that something is rotten underfoot. A break in the sewage pipe can give one patch of grass an unfair advantage and a constant stream of nutrients. It’s an unusual tell, but it’s there if you go looking.
- A hole in your lawn or sunken paving
If a sewer system has given out, or even sprung a leak, it can slowly erode the soil over time. That can eventually cause a significant dip in a lawn or even under paving slabs. Pay attention to this subsistence, as it can be a costly fix if it needs to be dug out and replaced.
- Cracks, Settling And More
Major structural problems can often be traced back to an undetected sewer problem that literally washes away the ground underneath your property. A simple sewer line inspection would pick this damage up long before it gets to that stage.
If you spot structural flaws like cracks in the building, or sinkholes outside, then this is a major league project. It has gone well beyond plumbing and into a whole new league of DIY SOS. Make
sure you’re up for the challenge if you’re going to take on red flags like that.
- A full sewer line inspection test tells you
A lot of these symptoms depend on being in the right place at the right time and you simply might not see these signs in action. That doesn’t mean your dream home is free and clear. A full inspection with cameras, thermal imaging and sonar will turn up things that just aren’t available to the naked eye. It’s simply good business to check it out first, as sewer liner repairs can get expensive.
How Much Does A Sewer Problem Typically Cost?
HomeAdvisor reckons the national average for a sewer repair is a meaty $2,441. Typical repairs cost between $1,030 and $3,863, while high-end work can cost up to $7,000. It’s a serious bill, then, that you would do well to factor in to your negotiations if you’re buying the property.
How To Inspect Your Sewer Line
Modern technology has transformed plumbing and sewer work. Now a lot of the work is non-invasive, so you don’t need to worry about a large trench. Diagnostic work in particular, is almost always done with a set of high-tech tools.
Cameras have taken over as the way to inspect your sewer pipes now and you can find out the materials, and the condition, just by calling in the professionals. A flexible rod comes with a tiny camera at the end that can take a skilled operator to the very heart of your sewer system. Combine that with a full set of tests for leaks, including sonic detection, thermal imaging and electronic detection amplification. Treat it like a full medical for your sewer system.
Sewer pipe problems can be costly to fix. If you find them in a new home, it’s a chance to walk away before you set your heart on it and sign the deal.
What’s the Cheapest Way To Replace Your Sewer Liner?
Trenchless pipe lining has emerged as a quick and simple fix for a lot of the common problems you get with any sewage system over time. It’s a cost-efficient way to improve flow, fix any and all leaks in one fell swoop and pull broken sections back into line.
NSF-approved epoxy liner will reseal your system and give you peace of mind for years to come. It’s a simple way to inject the modern world into an older system and give you most of the advantages of a brand new sewer system.
Some plumbers can only provide the old answer of digging out and replacing damaged sections of pipe. It’s a labor intensive and old-school way to do things compared to the cutting edge trenchless pipe system. It’s cured in place and is pulled through the system as a tube of resin-saturated felt. That means it can seal to almost anythig and provides a safe and modern lining for any sewer system.
It works for storm drains, vertical sewer stacks and even on ships. It has proven itself in the toughest environments and it’s a cleaner, quicker, simpler and cheaper way to repair pipes from the inside out.
This is the new, less invasive solution to sewer pipe line problems and it can cure a whole host of common problems.
To find out more about this trenchless sewer liner, or a full sewer pipe inspection, contact San Diego Pipelining today!