There is a lot to think about when you’re renovating a home. You need to make many decisions, starting with what contractor to use and how much money you want to spend. It helps if you have a clear vision for how you want your home to look when you’re done. If you’re not sure what it is that you want yet, take some time to look through my blog. I’ll discuss everything from home additions to flooring materials to appliances and fixtures. These articles will help you get a sense of the possibilities for your home renovation, and help you narrow down your options. Eventually, you’ll decide on the renovations that are right for you.
Purchasing a house involves making sure that you complete an extensive checklist of tasks including exterior property maintenance. If you are a first-time home buyer, you may be faced with making decisions about things you have never thought of before, such as the stability of the property's sewer line and local codes that govern how you maintain utility pipes.
If you find yourself confused about your responsibilities when it comes to sewer lines, the following guide provides you with the most important information you need about the pipe that moves waste away from your house.
Individual vs. Municipal Responsibilities
When you buy a home for the first time, it is important to understand that, even though sewage from your house empties into a municipal sewer main, you are responsible for any maintenance and upkeep of the sewer line on your property. This means that even if the sewer pipe suffers damage right next the municipal main, you must pay to get the line repaired.
If your sewer line extends across your property line before it reaches the municipal main, you should contact your city government to find out exactly where your responsibility for the sewer pipe ends. The sewer line may run under a roadway that only city workers are authorized to dig up if there is a problem with the pipe.
The home inspection that you obtain before you buy your home should include the sewer line. After you move in, do not ignore the existence of the pipe. The worst thing you can do is to disregard the existence of the structure until there is a problem.
An annual inspection can help plumbers identify obstructions, problems with intrusive tree roots, corrosion, grease buildup and other issues before a pipe collapses and causes sewage to back up into your home. In addition, if you notice that water drains slowly in sinks or when you flush your toilet, you should schedule an inspection of the sewer line.
The sewer line inspection may cost you a few hundred dollars. However, that is much cheaper than the thousands of dollars you will spend to completely replace pipes that are beyond repair because you failed to inspect them on a regular basis and make minor repairs.
Health Hazards and Protecting Your Neighbors
Another major reason to keep your sewer line in good condition is to avoid contaminating neighboring property. You do not want a leaking sewer line to cause soggy patches of ground on your property or neighboring areas.
The sewage from the damaged pipes will not only smell bad, it will create a health hazard when it contaminates property with harmful bacteria that can cause serious illnesses.
If you notice sewage above ground, call an emergency plumbing service and your local health department right away. Resist approaching the contaminated area. In addition, you need to follow your health department's instructions on what you need to do to remove the spilled sewage, such as hiring a cleaning service that specializes in hazardous waste.
Replacing Old Sewer Lines
If you move into a home that is several decades old or is a historic structure, you may find yourself dealing with pipes made out of obsolete materials such as bituminized fiber, a combination of wood pulp and coal pitch.
However, before you embark on hiring a contractor to replace your sewer line, you need to contact your municipal government to apply for a permit. Many towns require that you apply for permit anytime you make modifications to a sewer line. In addition, you will have to meet specific guidelines for pipe materials and how far underground you can bury pipe.
After the replacement work is complete, the city may send out inspectors to inspect the new pipe to make sure it meets local codes. In some cases, inspectors will examine pipes before they are covered and again when all work is completed. If you need help with your sewer pipes, contact a local sewer repair company like Drain-O-Rooter.