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Preventing Home Foundation Issues with Plumbing Inspections

Preventing Home Foundation Issues with Plumbing Inspections 

In the southern part of the United States Air Conditioning is important, especially in Texas! It’s so important that wise homeowners schedule a regular yearly maintenance to make sure their system is in tiptop condition, so no nasty surprises happen such as the AC not working in 100+ degree weather. Just as important (arguably more so) is your plumbing system. Whereas AC keeps your home cool and regulates humidity, your plumbing controls the water and sewage coming in and out of your home. This system also needs biannual checkups to keep it in tiptop working order because nasty surprises from this system can get very costly very quick even affecting the foundation of your home!  

What is a plumbing inspection? 

Plumbing inspections are a checklist of actions performed by certified plumbers and can be as simple as visually inspecting your drains, valves, exposed pipes, and appliances, to in-depth inspections using cameras attached to a flexible rod that are inserted into the pipes. They even have combination of the two depending on your needs and situation. After the inspection you will receive a detailed report of what was found and a list of any repairs that need to be made.  

What are the different types of inspections? 

There are 4 types of plumbing inspections: Visual, Hydrostatic, Camera and a combination of Visual and Camera. 

The Visual inspection involves inspecting exposed pipes, valves, drains and appliances for clogs, leaks, and the quality of their installation. It is recommended for regular maintenance appointments. 

Hydrostatic testing involves inflating a ball into the main sewer line until it creates a plug, then filling the line with water. The specialist will then watch the water level closely to see if it drops. If the water level drops, it is an indication that a leak exists somewhere in your line and the specialist will inspect further to locate the problem.   

The CCTV camera inspection involves a camera fitted on the end of a flexible pole that snakes through the plumbing system underground to visually inspect for clogs, cracks and leaks. 

The combination of both Hydrostatic testing, Visual and CCTV Camera inspection is often performed for buying or selling a house, if plumbing problems are suspected, or if signs of foundation issues are showing themselves.  

When should you schedule a plumbing inspection? 

Plumbing inspections should be performed when buying or selling a home, but they also should be regularly scheduled at least once every two years depending on how old your home is, its location and if you have mature trees on your property. If your home is more than 30 years old, or if you have mature trees, it is recommended that you schedule an annual inspection. Inspections can be scheduled any time of year, but Springtime is most notably the optimal time as it is right after winter where freezes can and do happen. Why does that matter? When water freezes in confined areas like pipes and cracks in foundation it expands causing the surrounding area to leak, burst, break apart or crack further. Inspections during this time can catch these issues and fix them before they become a huge problem.  

It’s just a little leak, or moisture… what’s to worry about? 

Water is a powerful element that erodes entire mountains with the rain and rivers that run through them. Same goes for your foundation. One little unchecked leak can and will erode your foundation, getting into cracks and the soil underneath. When winter rolls around, that moisture will freeze, expanding everything around it. Soil becomes saturated and expands pushing up on foundation creating new cracks and enlarging existing ones. Without an inspection, this process will continue to progress significantly into foundation troubles as the ground underneath will start to erode causing pockets of loose soil due to that little leak. Throughout the year the moisture will create mold and mildew that is unsafe for breathing, all of which can be eliminated with a regular plumbing inspection.  

If you haven’t had a plumbing inspection in a while, you can’t go wrong by giving us a call and getting scheduled.  

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