Sewer Line Inspection

Many home buyers are familiar with and understand the importance of a home inspection.  But what about a Sewer Line Inspection?  It’s almost an afterthought, if a thought at all.  Its always best to find out if a sewer line needs repair or replacement before buying a home, not after.

The purpose of a sewer line inspection is to determine the condition of the lines and if the system is functioning as intended.  A sewer line inspection is recommended for any home more than 20 years old.  While this may seem fairly new compared to a home built in the 1950s, 20 years is plenty of time for roots to completely block a line.  Sewer inspection is highly recommended for homes on a property with large or mature trees regardless of the age.

What can you expect to find during a sewer inspection? 

We hope you find a pristine, structurally sound, clear flowing line.  However, that is not always the case.  Camera inspections pinpoint problems like these:

  • Broken, cracked or collapsed pipe — damaged pipes requiring repair or replacement
  • Offset pipe — sewer pipes have become misaligned due to shifting soil, frozen ground, settling, etc.
  • Blockage — grease buildup or a foreign object is restricting or prohibiting proper flow and/or cleaning of the line
  • Corrosion — the pipe has deteriorated and/or broken, causing sections to collapse and restrict water flow.
  • Bellied pipe — a section of the pipe has sunk due to ground or soil conditions, creating a valley that collects paper and waste.
  • Leaking joints — the seals between pipes have broken, allowing water to escape into the area surrounding the pipe.
  • Root infiltration — tree or shrub roots have invaded the sewer line, preventing normal cleaning and/or roots have damaged the pipe.
  • Off-grade pipe — existing pipes are constructed of substandard or outdated material that may have deteriorated or corroded.

How is a sewer scope conducted?

A video camera on the end of a long cable is fed into a clean-out, through the sewer line and sends images back to a monitor and recorded for later viewing.  A stream of water from the house may be run through the pipes to make it easier to move the camera, but it is not necessary.  This process takes up to 90 minutes and can be scheduled at the same time as your home inspection.  A written summary and video footage will be provided to you at the completion of the inspection.

Looking for more information or have questions about your specific property?  Contact our office at (877) HIP-3200 and speak with one of our staff or schedule your inspection today!

Side Note: Back to the Earth

Mold has become a big issue in recent years.  It has been the subject of lawsuits, a terror to builders, subject for front page writer, and the growth of a “new” industry – – Mold Testing & Remediation.  You might think its new.  It is not new.

You might think it is complex.  It is actually very simple.  Mold has a purpose – to breakdown and eat dead organic matter. Without mold, plant and animal material would grow and pile up.  If it is organic, dead, and wet, mold knows to eat it.  By organic we mean material that was once living, such as wood.

Mold spores are everywhere and our building materials are made of organic materials.  The only thing that we can control is the moisture in our homes.  Mold likes processed fibers best – paper and cardboard, fiberboard and chipboard then plywood and eventually on framing lumber.  There is plenty of information on the health effects of mold, but one thing is certain.  Mold growing in your house is not good for you or your property.


Excerpts from Dry Basement Science – What to Have Done and Why by Lawrence Janesky

Formaldehyde Questions and Answers

QUESTION:  “What is Formaldehyde and where does it come from?

ANSWER:  Formaldehyde is a VOC (Volitle Organic Compound) and is present in many forms and from many sources.  Processes in the upper atmosphere contribute up to 90% of the total formaldehyde in the environment. Formaldehyde is an intermediate in the oxidation (or combustion) of methane as well as of other carbon compounds, e.g. in forest fires, automobile exhaust, and tobacco smoke. When produced in the atmosphere by the action of sunlight and oxygen on atmospheric methane and other hydrocarbons, it becomes part of smog. Formaldehyde has even been detected in outer space.

QUESTION:  “I saw the 60-Minutes special on Formaldehyde.  Can you provide Testing?”

ANSWER:  Formaldehyde testing is available.  Multiple test options exist and the specifics of your concern or situation will best determine the type of testing required.  It is important to remember that several every day products contain Formaldehyde and the presence of Formaldehyde alone will not provide clear assessment of concerns.

Rates vary depending on the type of testing required.  Please contact our office for more details.

QUESTION:  “The media around Formaldehyde is very alarming.  With formaldehyde in so many products, what can I do to avoid exposure?”

ANSWER:  While formaldehyde is worrisome it is also inescapable.  Here are 7 things you can do today!

7 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Exposure to Formaldehyde

How to minimize risks associated with formaldehyde exposure:

1. Establish a no smoking policy in your home.

Cigarettes and other tobacco products should not be used inside the home. There are many toxic effects of exposure to cigarette smoke, including exposure to formaldehyde, and evidence continues to mount concerning the health effects associated with cigarette smoke.

2. Clean chimneys and wood burning appliances.

Make sure fireplaces and wood stoves are in good working condition to prevent smoke from getting into your living environment. Burn only well-seasoned firewood, and keep your chimney clean and clear of obstructions.

3. Keep idling gas engines away from the home.

Engine exhaust contains a number of toxic chemicals, including formaldehyde. If your home has an adjacent carport or garage, be sure the door is well sealed to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the home. Do not idle cars or other gas powered equipment, such as weed-eaters, leaf blowers, lawnmowers or snow plows, in attached garages or near open doors or windows. Pay attention to wind direction when using gas-powered machines around the home, especially during summer when windows are more likely to be open.

4. Buy solid wood furniture, or be sure pressed wood products are sealed.

To keep emissions low from pressed wood furniture or cabinets, purchase items with a plastic laminate or coating on all sides. For some building and household products, there are low-formaldehyde options, such as U.L.E.F. (ultra-low-emitting formaldehyde), N.A.F. (no added formaldehyde) or C.A.R.B. (California Air Resources Board) Phase 1 or Phase 2 compliant.

Solid wood furniture contains no formaldehyde, and although more expensive than furniture made using particle board, solid wood furniture will usually last longer than furniture made using glues. Thrift shops and flea markets are good places to find used wood furniture at affordable prices.

5. Increase ventilation during painting projects. Use low-VOC paints.

Ensure there is adequate ventilation during all home painting or varnishing projects, or when installing wall-to-wall carpets using glues or adhesives. Low-VOC and Zero-VOC paints are now readily available at most paint stores, and these paints have the same or higher quality standards of conventional paints.

6. Let new furnishings “off-gas” before bringing indoors.

Allow products that contain formaldehyde to “air out” before bringing them into your home. Open all product packing to expose the products to air as much as possible.

7. Ventilate your home regularly.

Formaldehyde concentrations are higher indoors than they are outdoors, so you can decrease indoor formaldehyde levels by letting in fresh air. Also, high relative humidity increases formaldehyde emissions, so you can use a dehumidifier to reduce relative humidity to recommended levels of 50% in summer and 30% in winter.

The Report on Carcinogens notes that, although workers in manufacturing plants are more exposed to formaldehyde, and thus have higher associated risks, consumers should still avoid contact with formaldehyde where possible.

Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society, said that formaldehyde is both worrisome and inescapable. “It’s the smell in new houses, and it’s in cosmetics like nail polish,” he said. “All a reasonable person can do is manage their exposure and decrease it to as little as possible. It’s everywhere.”

Adapted from – to view the complete original article, CLICK HERE.

203(k) Consulting Services

Home Inspection Professionals is proud to announce the addition of 203K Consulting Services! 

As a HUD approved 203(k) consultant and the owner of HIP, Kevin Stripling is proud to offer this expansion of services to our clients.  The 203(k) program is HUD’s primary program for the rehabilitation and repair of single family properties.  As such, it is an important tool for community and neighborhood revitalization and for expanding homeownership opportunities. 

FHA’s Streamline 203(k) Mortgage The “Streamline”(K) Limited Repair Program permits homebuyers to finance an additional $35,000 into their mortgage to improve or upgrade their home before move-in. With this product, homebuyers can quickly and easily tap into cash to pay for property repairs or improvements, such as those identified by a home inspector or FHA appraiser. 

For a list of lenders offering the 203(k) Rehabilitation Program, please visit the HUD website for more details. 

If you have questions about the 203(k) program or are interested in getting a 203(k) insured mortgage loan, please Contact Us.  We’d love to get you started!