4 Signs You Need a Sewer Scope

If a strange smell is wafting through your home, it may be time to inspect your pipes. Learn what a sewer scope inspection is and when you need one.

Sewer inspections are not a commonly known part of a home inspection, but they’re an important one. Especially if you’re buying a home. A professional sewer inspection can save you thousands of dollars and prevent serious headaches in the future. Learn when you need a sewer scope and what happens during an inspection.

What is a Sewer Scope?

A sewer scope or sewer scope inspection is a common 30-60 minute process that inspects the inside of your pipes, drains, and sewers. It requires a specialized camera that travels through pipes to uncover any current or potential issues. Although it’s a pretty simple inspection, it may be difficult to know when to get a sewer scope inspection.

When Do You Need a Sewer Scope Inspection?

When you’re buying a home, be sure to include a sewer scope in your list of standard and specialty inspections. The condition of the pipes, sewers, and even nearby tree roots will play a huge role in whether or not you decide to purchase a home. 

At the same time, if you’ve been living in your home for many years, you may not know when it’s time to get an inspection or that significant and costly issues are even occurring. Discover the top four signs your house may be telling you it’s time for a sewer inspection. 

1. Strange Odors

The first serious sign of a sewer issue is a strange smell permeating through your home. Why does this happen? When your sewer drain or pipe is cracked or has a leak, it emits methane gas and bacteria. It also lets leftover waste in your pipe leak out. This noxious combination creates that nasty sewer smell. If any rooms in your home start smelling like a sewer, schedule a sewer scope inspection immediately. 

2. Clogged Sinks or Sewage Backups

If your sink is clogged it could be due to pipe issues. Even worse, if sewage or dirty water starts coming back up your sink, tub or shower you need a sewer scope inspection ASAP. Your inspector can figure out why you’re experiencing clogs and backups so it doesn’t happen again. 

3. Lush Patches of Grass on a Dry Lawn  

Did you know, if there are green, well-watered patches of grass on an otherwise averagely maintained front lawn, this could be a sign of sewer problems? Sewer water is a potent fertilizer that prompts healthy grass growth. So, if you see lush patches, don’t blame your gardener. Instead, schedule a sewer inspection immediately. 

4. Your Home was Built Before 1970

If your home was built before 1970, it’s likely it has Orangeburg pipes or cast iron drains. Orangeburg pipes, comprised of wood pulps and tar were a cheaper, non-metal alternative used from 1860 to 1970. If your home has Orangeburg pipes, you need to immediately replace them to avoid serious long-term issues.  

Cast iron drains were also commonly installed in homes before the 1970s. These drains had a lifespan of 25-50 years. Cast iron drains are beginning to reach the end of their life expectancy, and erode from the inside out. They may look perfect on the outside, but the inside may be rusted and damaged leading to larger problems.

What Happens During a Sewer Scope?

During a sewer scope, a trained and certified AmeriSpec inspector attaches a special borescope camera to a cable. The cable then goes through your home’s pipes. As the camera travels through the pipes, your inspector watches its journey on an external monitor. 

The camera will identify cracks, collapses, root intrusions, and any other noticeable issues. After the inspection is complete, your AmeriSpec inspector can walk you through the footage and report, elaborating on specific areas of concern and potential remedies.

Schedule a Sewer Scope with AmeriSpec

Whether you need a sewer scope inspection during the home-buying process or your existing home is communicating warning signs, a qualified AmeriSpec inspector will perform an extensive inspection for you. Don’t put off your inspection, contact us to schedule an inspection today.