Purchasing a home is one of the most important investments for most consumers. Investing in a property that includes a septic tank system can be intimidating for some home buyers; however, these waste management systems can be valuable and green-friendly assets for many homeowners. Here are some tips for evaluating the septic system before purchasing a property as a primary residence.
Standing water may indicate problems
Septic systems consist of a septic tank, a distribution box, a drain field and the pipes and connections between these major components. Pooled or standing water over the drain field, distribution box or septic tank may indicate serious problems with the system. Overloaded septic tanks can overflow during the early or intermediate stages of failure. Additionally, water around the distribution box and drain field may be a sign of broken pipes or failure of the drain field.
Slow drainage from inside the home
Slow drains and backups inside the home can indicate that the septic system is in poor repair and may require repairs or other maintenance. In some cases, pumping the septic tank may allow a more accurate evaluation of the septic system before purchase of the property. General home inspection services may not offer in-depth services for septic systems; it is advisable to check with the individual inspection company to ensure that they offer qualified and comprehensive evaluations of septic tanks and drainage systems. This can ensure that the true cause of slow drains and occasional backups is identified before the home purchase is finalized.
Septic aeration systems offer improved performance
Even failing septic systems can be remediated and given new life by the introduction of highly efficient aerobic bacteria. Installing a septic aerator is a cost-effective way to increase the useful capacity of a septic tank system; by breaking down particulate organic materials more rapidly, these advanced aerators can help to resolve common septic system problems quickly and effectively. In some cases, an aeration system can restore proper function even to a failing system.
Don’t be frightened by small repair jobs
Septic system components can break down over time and may require repairs. As long as the septic tank and drain field are in working order, most other repairs will require minimal disruption and limited expense. If a broken pipe or a faulty distribution box is the cause for an improperly functioning septic tank system, the costs of repair can sometimes be included in the expenses paid by the seller at the time of closing on the property. In any case, these minor expenses generally are not sufficient cause for dismissing a property in which the potential buyer would otherwise be interested.
By considering the value of the property and the real expense of repairing or remediating septic tank systems, prospective home buyers can find the right real estate deal to suit their particular set of needs and preferences.