Buying a home can be one of the more nerve wracking experiences you ever face because there is great pressure to see beyond the four walls and a roof to the inner components that make a home functional. One of those hidden aspects that often gets overlooked by potential home buyers is the septic tank. While finding a home that has septic tank issues does not mean this should be an absolute deal breaker for you, septic tank trouble is most definitely an issue you will want to know about before you make an offer. Here are a few things you should do during a showing to catch septic tank problems if you are serious about buying the home.
Flush, listen, and watch closely.
One of the easiest ways to spot signs of septic tank issues inside the home is by flushing the toilet. If the septic tank is in major need of draining or is not flowing as it should, a flushed toilet will never do what it should. You may notice that there is hardly enough pressure for a proper flush, but you may also hear things like gurgling or bubbling in the drainage lines. In worst-case scenarios, you could even see water back-flow through other drains, such as in the shower, when the toilet is flushed.
Head outside and take a good look at the area above the septic tank.
Ask the realtor or owner showing you the home to point you toward the area where the septic tank is located. Once you are at the spot, pay careful attention to soggy ground or muddy areas, as these are both indications that the tank is leaking or overflowing because it is not properly sealed. Likewise, you should be conscious of ground above the septic tank that has drastically settled lower than the rest of the property, as this could mean the tank has collapsed.
Ask for previous septic system maintenance records.
Septic tanks should be drained and cleaned regularly to keep them functional for as long as possible. Before you purchase a home with a septic tank, it is a good idea to ask for prior maintenance records. Additionally, it is a good idea to find out what type of tank is installed, such as concrete, steel, or fiberglass. Knowing the type of septic tank in place and when it was installed can help you better judge the remaining lifespan.
For more information, contact local professionals like Onsite Portable Toilets & Septic.