You might wonder, “Do I need a sewer line inspection before buying a house?” The answer is yes. Sewer inspection and audits should be a mandatory part of your house inspection checklist. When considering what inspections to get when buying a house, do not overlook the sewer line.
Signs of Damage
BELLIES OR SETTLING OF THE LINE
Low Areas: Also known as a ‘belly,’ these low areas can collect water and solid waste, causing poor flow through the pipe and leading to backups and damage to the pipe as it sags further.
Offsets & Broken Joints
Offsets: On some older piping, sections in the piping can separate, causing an offset in the piping to occur. Solid waste may not clear this offset, and wastewater will seep into the surrounding soil, causing further settlement and eventual breakdown of the piping.
Roots & Collapsed Pipes
Tree Roots: Small gaps in sections of piping can allow tree roots to enter the sewer line. As the roots grow, the pipe can break and crack, requiring repair. Minor tree root intrusion can be rooted and cleared on a regular basis with minimal or no significant pipe damage. Assessing the amount of root intrusion is part of a sewer scope inspection.
Pipe Collapse: If extreme root intrusion has occurred, or significant soil settlement has occurred around the area due to offsets or a low area, complete pipe collapse can occur, requiring full excavation and repair of the sewer line. While rare, this condition can be assessed as part of a sewer scope inspection.