AT THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM: THE AGING SEWER LINE

KEEP THE SEWER WATER AND WASTE OUTSIDE WITH SIMPLE, AFFORDABLE, PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE

One of the most overlooked home maintenance tasks, sewer line inspection, can prevent unnecessary damage and expensive cleanup costs. If your drain or sewer line needs to be cleaned, do not wait and find out the hard way.

Sewer & drain line preventative maintenance efforts will help avoid most sewer line issues caused by root blockage. Just like other systems in your home or building that require regular care & maintenance, drain and sewer lines are no exception.

Small openings at joints are inherent in older residential concrete and clay sewer pipes. When a tree’s root system finds these entry points the sewer lines ability to carry water and waste to the city sewer conveyance system is greatly reduced leading to unexpected clogs and overflows into the home.. Having found water and nutrients in great supply the tree roots will continue their invasive growth into the piping. In some cases, roots can be discouraged using chemical treatments but annual sewer line auguring will be a must to prevent backups into your home.

SEWER LINE REPAIR OR SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT IN OLDER HOMES

Blockage of a sewer line from tree roots is a common and costly problem when maintenance is ignored. This is especially true and urgent in older cities and neighborhoods of the Pacific Northwest.

“Across Seattle, the risk of breaks in side sewers is high primarily because of their age: About half of Seattle’s housing was built before 1961, according to the Census Bureau. Tree roots and soil conditions also pose potential threats.” – Sanjay Bhatt (2016, Feb 27). A dirty secret: Side sewers can become a homeowner’s nightmare. Retrieved from https://www.seattletimes.com

Tree roots can grow quickly in rainy, temperate areas, and can often lead to premature failure of drain and sewer lines. Allowing roots to overwhelm the sewer line before removal can cause premature pipe failure and very expensive emergency repairs.

BUYING AND SELLING A HOME

The condition of drain and sewer lines can be a costly surprise when buying or selling a home.

In most states, when selling a purchasing a home, a full inspection of a homes septic tank and its drain field must be completed before the sale can be completed. However, while many buyers assume that the sewer line would also be included, there are few states that specifically require an inspection of the sewer line before closing. For example, many cities in California have recently started to require sewer line inspections before a home sale can be completed. (Santa Barbara for example)

This requirement is not consistent in every state, so it is very important that an inspection of the sewer line be done before selling or purchasing a home to safeguard against unexpected and costly repairs.

“You don’t have to tell us twice that a sewer issue can quickly turn into a stinky situation. Standing water in the yard, signs of flooding in the basement, and heaved walkways are telltale signs of a blockage or break in the underground sewer line that connects to the sewer main in the front of a home” – Cathie Ericson (2018, Sept 18. 5 Red Flags That Could Sink a Home Inspection. Retrieved from https://www.realtor.com

COSTS OF SEWER LINE INSPECTION VS. SEWER LINE REPAIR OR SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT

While a timely sewer line inspection will typically cost somewhere between $225 and $300, if roots are allowed to continue invasive growth, the resulting sewer line repair or sewer line replacement can cost between $8,000 and $20,000 or more.

Due to the risk of failure of these aged sewer lines and the high costs of repair or replacement, some cities are now making insurance policies available to their residents to deal with these expenses.

National Water Company, a well-established insurance company that carries a very strong policy specifically built to protect homeowners from the coming expenses of aging utilities.

Whether your home is 5 years old or 100, for just pennies per day NWC has an insurance policy that will cover the cost of sewer line pipe repair, as well as inspection and maintenance recommendations to provide additional peace of mind.

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