What Lurks Below...............

By
Real Estate Agent with Monument, Black Forest, Falcon, Fountain homes

 

Home buyers today are getting savvier about inspections and main stream issues.  However, there is one inspection that is critical when considering an older home with mature landscape and that is the sewer line camera scope with a professional plumber. Those trees are beautiful and an attractive feature to any yard but what lurks below may be a maze of angry roots seeking the most obvious source of water with finger like projections-right into the sewer system. 

 

Most buyers would not think of purchasing such a large investment without checking the structural and mechanical integrity of their future home yet what I find is that they don’t even think of taking a look at one of the most costly systems involved with the daily healthy function of their property.  Tree root invasion causes loss of integrity to the sewer system providing an avenue for raw sewage to leak into the surrounding area.  It also blocks the system and what can’t go forward will eventually go back up the system into the home.  Roots are strong enough to break the joints making a twisted mess of what once was a pathway underground. 

 

                                                                                  Tree root invasion

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are some surface hints to a tree root invasion that buyers can take note of while walking the property as pointed out by my favorite plumbing expert recently on the inspection for my buyers. Watch for areas of dipping in the landscape or water retention.  Look for cracking and upheaval in the sidewalk in front of the home where the sewer line would run.  This particular home had 2 sections of sidewalk recently replaced which as the plumber pointed out were significant signs that long term leakage had occurred underneath dropping the level of surface soil and causing the sidewalk to drop, crack, or bulge requiring replacement by the city. 

 

Mature landscape attracts buyers especially those 75 foot tall deciduous trees, but for the keen eye of the Realtor it should send up red flags to add a sewer line camera scope to the list of inspections. In Colorado Springs, the home owner is responsible for the cost of replacement of the line from the home to where the line drops into the main and that includes street and sidewalk repairs.  This is not always covered under the home owner’s insurance policy.  The inspection cost my buyers $225 dollars but what was uncovered was gross root invasion of the system, broken joints, and current leakage into the surrounding soil and saved them on the conservative side about $15,000-$20,000 dollars in repairs according to the plumber. This is a time to have the home owner repair the system or renegotiate the contract. So what appears to be an attractive feature on the surface may be an ugly and destructive force below so make the sewer line camera scope one of the inspections on your list and don’t get caught with a hidden expense after purchase.  

 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Not a real person 04/03/2011 11:16 AM
  2. Robert Butler 04/04/2011 03:47 AM
Topic:
Home Buying
Location:
Colorado El Paso County Colorado Springs Fountain Valley
Tags:
home inspections
buying a home in colorado springs
tree root invasion
sewer line camera scope

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Rainer
478,183
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Great advice. So great that I reblogged it and suggested it, too! Hope it gets some more exposure because I disable comments on reblogs so that people go to the original author, which in this case is YOU!

Apr 03, 2011 11:20 AM #1
Rainer
93,559
Lorraine Sayer
Monument, Black Forest, Falcon, Fountain homes - Colorado Springs, CO
Realtor ABR,CDPE,GRI - Colorado Springs,CO RE/MAX

Thanks Russel.  I consider the sewer scope a vital part of inspection day with all older homes. 

Apr 03, 2011 02:05 PM #2
Rainer
171,130
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Hi Lorraine, I picked up your blog from Russel Rays' and I've reblogged it in the same fashion. The graphic is great and your points are what buyer (and sellers) need to know.

As a general rule of thumb, tree root spread is 50 % greater than the canopy spread and deciduous trees have deep taproots that will impact drains and water/sewer lines. Conifer roots are shallow and rarely affect these drains.

Observe the fall line of any trees with a view to distance from the house and power lines. Trees that are close should be checked for wind check cracking and insect infestation.

Apr 04, 2011 11:56 AM #3
Rainer
93,559
Lorraine Sayer
Monument, Black Forest, Falcon, Fountain homes - Colorado Springs, CO
Realtor ABR,CDPE,GRI - Colorado Springs,CO RE/MAX

Thanks Robert for the additional information.  I love hearing from my professional home inspectors out there! 

Apr 05, 2011 02:31 AM #4
Anonymous
Mark Clark

This was a great post and a very informative one, a lot of the homes in Colorado springs, Colorado have sewer main line problems.

An Inspection Identifies the Problems Before they Become An Expensive Fix

When your ready to make an offer it's allways best to have a plumbing or drain cleaning company run a sewer camera down the line. It’s an affordable insurance and safe guard. If you happen to find a clean drain pipe, you win.

If you find some tree roots or damaged spots you can have the choice to buy the property or pass. If they want to sell the house, more than likely the seller will agree to get the pipe cleaned before the closing. You find a broken sewer pipe you have won. Spending your life savings and praying that if there is a problem you can find enough money between your checking account and credit cards to pay for the repair is not the way to go.

Sewer repair cost can range from $2,000 to $20,000 depending on the circumstances i.e. depth, distance, cutting down the trees, replacing sidewalks and driveways. Imagine the cost of having to go through your neighbor’s yard and also digging up the street.

Getting a video inspection when selling or buying a home today will identify any potential problems before they become big emergencies and provide the homeowners with peace of mind.

My name is Mark Clark the owner of Pro Power Rooter located in Peyton, Colorado and Colorado springs, Colorado. We have the experience and all the proper equipment to take care of any drain or sewer line problem, from simple drain stoppages, video camera inspections and to the most difficult sewer pipe repairs needed. Call us anytime for your residential and commercial buying and selling needs.

We have the lowest prices for sewer and drain cleaning service in Colorado springs!

(719) 331-4071 or visit http://propowerrooterservice.com

Dec 06, 2012 04:21 PM #5
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Rainer
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Lorraine Sayer

Realtor ABR,CDPE,GRI - Colorado Springs,CO RE/MAX
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