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One of the worst things that can happen at your home is a sewer back up.  

     This can cause foul smells, overflowing drains, and a yard saturated with raw sewage.  There are a bunch of factors that play a role in the longevity of a sewer system, but experts say that any sewer over 40 years old probably needs replacing.  When there’s a sewer back up, you’re inevitably going to need to invest in sewer line repair or replacement.

Sewer Inspections for Older Homes

     Very few first-time home buyers ask for a sewer inspection before buying a home. Sewer inspections are not something most buyers think about.  They know to get a home inspection, but sewer lines are almost an after thought, if it crosses a buyer's mind at all. Yet it's one of the most important inspections a buyer of older homes should conduct.  The time to find out if a sewer is faulty or needs replacement is before buying a home, not after the fact. I recommend to all my buyers that they obtain a sewer inspection if the home is older than 20 years.  Although the sewer line may be fairly new as compared to homes built before 1950, for example, tree roots can still clog up a 20-year-old sewer line.  This goes for existing owners as well.  A backed up sewer can cause $5000+ in damage to your home.  Carpet, furniture, Keep Sakes, Hot Water Tank and your Furnace are all subject to damage.  A video camera inspection can possibly SAVE YOU $1000'S!!!

 

 Part of preventing sewer back-ups is knowing what causes them.  Here are three of the most common causes of sewer back ups.

 

1. Tree Roots

     The most common cause of sewer back ups in homes built before the 1970′s is tree roots in sewer lines. Tree roots can grow into sewer lines and damage them, even growing around and crushing them. If you have a lot of trees on your property, you may want to remove a few of them or think carefully about planting any new ones. Additionally, homeowners should be aware that even trees from a neighbors yard could pose a problem.

 

2. Clogged Pipes

     Another common cause of sewer back up is clogged pipes, which can be caused by a number of different things.  Grease and food particles getting dumped down the drain in the kitchen can pose a problem, so make sure to avoid putting grease in your drains and get a small trap to keep bits of food from traveling down the drain.  Additionally, never flush garbage down the toilet or anything else that should be thrown in the trash. Periodic sewer line cleaning would also be helpful in preventing clogged pipes.

 

3. Damaged Sewer Lines

     A third common cause of sewer back up is damaged sewer lines that have been cracked or broken due to old piping or pipes made from weak materials like clay, Orangeburg, or cast iron.  These older types of pipes can break down and weaken over time and crack or break.  Replacing sewer lines like these ahead of time can prevent an unexpected sewer back up and sewer line repair.  Do you have any questions about what causes sewer back ups and how to prevent them?  Feel free to ask us in the comments section on my contact page.