For most people who are considering buying a home, getting a home inspection before sealing the deal is a no-brainer. You want to make sure the major parts of the house you want to buy—from its foundation to its electrical and plumbing systems—are all in good shape and in working order.
But what about its sewer system? Typically, a sewer line inspection is not part of your general home inspection. Home inspectors usually do visual checks throughout a home to uncover potential problems. Because the sewer lines are underground, a home inspector would need special equipment, like a waterproof plumbing camera, and specific training and expertise to check its condition.
So, what could be wrong?
In a word, blockage! Over time, the stuff you flush or put down the drain—from baby wipes to sanitary products to hair to grease to food waste (and so on)—can build up until it eventually clogs the line. If a clog in a sewer line goes unfixed, it could lead to big problems and a lot of expense. Sewer backups are unpleasant to say the least. They’re messy and can be dangerous—they cause flooding and even sewer gas leaks (which are toxic). Tree roots are another common problem when it comes to sewer lines. The roots can grow around the sewer line, putting so much pressure on it that it eventually cracks. The root may then start growing right into the line, causing a major blockage. Once a tree root has taken over a sewer line, the line will need to be replaced. Replacing a sewer line is a big process that involves excavating the yard to replace the pipes, which is a costly project, sometimes costing the homeowner tens of thousands of dollars.
A simple sewer inspection could save you.
Investing a few hundred dollars in a sewer inspection before you buy your new home can prevent you from some major headaches down the line. If you run across a sewer line problem before you purchase your new home, you’ve got options. You can ask the current owner to make the repairs to the sewer line or to lower the price of the home before you close on the deal. Or, you can choose to move on to another property altogether.
No matter the outcome, catching any potential problems with your water and sewer in Edmonton before you invest in a new home is imperative. One phone call and a few hundred dollars could save you a significant amount of time, money and stress in the future. As a home buyer, getting a sewer line inspection will give you peace of mind in your purchase.