If you're in the process of buying an existing home or looking at property for sale, and it's got a septic system, there are some things you'll need to know before you buy the home. The last thing you want to do is buy a home with underlying septic problems. You can avoid that risk by asking questions before you sign the purchase agreement. Asking the right questions will help you identify issues with the current septic system. Here are four questions you'll need to ask about the septic.
Where is the Septic System Located?
If you're going to buy a home with a septic system, one of the first things you need to find out is where it's located in the yard. This will allow you to identify potential hazards that could have undermined the stability of the system. For instance, if an above-ground pool has been installed over the septic field, or there are cars parked on top of it, there could be hidden damages that could cause the system to collapse. Excess weight, and vibration can destroy a septic system.
When was the Last Time it was Serviced?
If you're looking at a home that is serviced by a septic system, you should find out when the tank was emptied last. Overfilling a septic tank can lead to sewage backups, clogged sewage drains, and catastrophic breakdowns of the entire system. If it's been more than a few years since the tank was emptied, you might be looking at some serious problems.
Are Service Records Available?
If you're considering buying a home with a septic system, ask to see the service records. If the septic system has been serviced properly, the sellers should have a complete service history for you to look at. If they don't, ask if they can get a copy from the septic company that's been providing the service. If they're not willing to do that, ask for the name of the company so you can contact them yourselves. If you're not able to get copies of the service records, the septic system might not have been properly maintained, which means there could be serious issues waiting to present themselves.
Is There a History of Flooding in the Area?
If the home you're buying is connected to a septic system, you'll want to know about the flood dangers. Seasonal flooding can cause septic systems to overflow. Not only that, but the excess water can undermine the stability of the seepage field, which could lead to a collapse. Before you purchase the home, make sure it hasn't been subjected to frequent flooding.