As a certified home inspector we are trained to deliver the most accurate professional assessment of a home. We want to give the best picture of the home to our clients. So the benefits of sewer scope inspections are not only peace of mind. It also savings on repairs. Typically, an inspection without a sewer scope is limited to what we can see with our own eyes. Unfortunately, we can’t see behind walls, underground, or see defects that are obscured. With that said, we can see signs that can lead us to suspect issues that may be obscured and have tools to greatly increase our abilities.
What About Below the Home?
We usually can see the sewer line under the home to the foundation, but once it leaves the envelope of the home. there’s no way to know what’s going on without going in to see it. So while the number of benefits of sewer scope are many. I was honestly resistant to the idea of adding sewer scopes to my services for clients. Simply because the tools are expensive, you need specialized training, they can be a hassle to find access, and they take some time to complete.
All of that is true, however in an effort to be a 1-stop shop I decided to invest the time and money for the business. While I knew that it would be a benefit for the clients, but it opened up a new insight for me as well.
Home Inspectors inspect plumbing by running water, drain tubs and sinks, check the visible lines, look for leaks and functional flow. However, once I started conducting sewer scopes I found how often there is an issue with sewer lines. Just because the water is flowing, doesn’t mean you have a healthy sewer line. I have found that almost 50% of the sewer lines I inspect have issues. That doesn’t mean they need replaced necessarily, but it does mean that the homeowner will want to know about that condition. Root intrusion can damage or block a line. In addition cracks, collapses, aging sewer lines have all been found during a sewer scope inspection. Here is an article about how often sewer lines fail.
I was Resistant to Sewer Scopes, but Now I’m a True Believer.
The main reason sewer scopes are so important is you don’t want your sewage to flow into your home, but also the cost of repair is sometimes shocking to homeowners. Average repair can range from $5,000-$25,000 or more. As a home buyer I think you will need to know this information ahead of the sale, rather than be strapped with the costs.
So while I resisted the idea of sewer scopes at first I am a true believer now. Having seen how many times there is a concern. The cost of a sewer scope is simply nothing compared to a repair bill. In my opinion should be done on every home inspection.
We at Home Resource Solutions always want our clients to be confident in the home they have us inspect. We always recommend what is necessary to do the job right at the best prices. However, sometimes it is a good idea to spend a little more, for peace of mind. A sewer line will fail. The question is when and if its soon, who is going to pay for it.
By: Daniel Arnett
Home Resource Solutions