Brevard County Homes Have a Sewer Waste Line Pipe Problem
Learn about issues, inspections and solutions here
Brevard County, Florida has a sewer waste line pipe problem! Most of Brevard County homes were built during the 1960's and 1970's when NASA first introduced the Apollo Space Program and a subsequent building boom followed.
Most of the homes were constructed using cast iron pipes for the sewer waste water returns. These pipes were buried under the foundations and have an expected life span of 30 to 50 years. These pipes are now beginning to leak, undetected, creating costly problems for homeowners and potential buyers of Merritt Island and Brevard County homes.
Standard Home Inspections Do Not Uncover Problems
A typical home inspector will not perform a video inspection of your sewer lines, but merely visually inspect your toilets, sinks, and other fixtures. We have heard horror stories of homes which were previously vacant not displaying any backups until the new owner takes possession.
Sewer replacement cost can be anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000. This amount does not include the price to pour concrete back into your slab, repair drywall, paint, or replace sod and sidewalks. Therefore, RE/Max Aerospace Realty recommends potential home buyers hire a professional sewer company to perform a video inspection of the entire system.
Signs Your Sewer Line is Deteriorating or Broken
1. Toilet or shower "backs up": usually indicates a clogged or broken main sewer line although it could be isolated to that drain. Have the drains and pipes cleaned and flushed, if backups persist, have a video inspection done.
2. Sewer gas odor: you should never smell sewer gas in or around your home. This is a tell-tale sign there is a leak in your pipes.
3. Mold in your walls: mold can form in your walls if the humidity level reaches 55% or more. Mold growth, combined with the smell of sewer gas can be a sign of a break in your sewer lines behind the walls.
4. Slow draining: if your sink, bathtub, shower, or toilet is draining slowly you may have cracks or tree root intrusion in your cast iron pipes. Have your drains and pipes cleared with a snake, but do not use chemical drain cleaners as they will sit in your lines and continue to eat away at the pipes.
5. Green patches in grass: if you find an extra green patch of grass in your yard it may be due to a sewer pipe leak or septic drain field problem. A leaking pipe will add extra nutrients to the surrounding soil, making it appear greener than the rest of the yard.
6. Indentation or sink hole appearance in lawn: a broken sewer line will also cause soil to dissipate, developing an indentation or sink hole appearance above the broken pipe.
7. Cracks in your walls or foundation: if your sewer line breaks under your foundation, a void will be created, and cracks in your walls may appear, indicating foundation settling. You will need a foundation repair expert to fix the problem, as well as a sewer line repair. The cost of foundation and sewer line repairs can climb to $25k+.
8. Insect or rodent problem: the sign of roaches or rats in your home, even after a pest control company visit, can be a sign of broken sewer lines. Please have a video inspection done of your sewer lines.
Video Sewer Line Inspections
If your home was built prior to 1990, a video inspection of your sewer line should be performed in addition to the normal inspections before buying a home.
A video inspection can be performed by running a line through all the vertical lines and stack. The pipes are usually accessed through a roof vent, toilet or cleanout.
The inspecting company should produce a video, complete report and line-drawing of how the sewer pipes run through the house.
Before you buy...
Before you buy a home built prior to 1990 in Merritt Island, Cocoa or anywhere in Brevard County, FL, consider having the "sewer waste line pipes" inspected. It could save you thousands of dollars!
Rick Houston, MRP, SRES
Realtor License #3346705
Call or text 321-432-3000