If you live in the city of Minneapolis, before you a home, you usually ask for a home inspection. This individual goes through the house and makes certain everything is as it should be. He or she checks to see if the electricity and plumbing are up to code. He or she will look at the ceiling, roof and other inherent characteristics of the home before recommending you purchase or reject it. Too often, would-be homebuyers ignore one important aspect – the sewer. If you are considering a home built before the 1950s and even as late as the 1970s, you should ask for a sewer inspection.

Why You Need a Sewer Inspection

Every home has two separate sewer lines. One is part of the public system. The city of Minneapolis is responsible for repairing and replacing it. The other is the lateral pipe that runs from the city system to connect to your plumbing system. You are responsible for maintaining this line. This alone should encourage you to consider arranging a sewer inspection prior to purchasing your home.

If the construction of your home took place before 1950, you have another reason for organizing a sewer inspection. The chances are great that the system might be made from a substance called Orangeburg pipes. It may also go under the name “Bermico,” fiber conduit” or “bituminous fiber pipe”. This pipe is constructed from layers of wood pulp covered and pressed together with tar pitch. This also gives them the name of tarpaper pipes.

Following the end of World War II, the building boom saw the construction of what became known as the suburbs. Materials were still limited, but construction companies still sought to lay sewer pipes. As is the case today, they sought the most affordable option. Orangeburg sewer pipes, somewhat heavier in nature, became the pipe of choice. Joined without sealant or gaskets, they remain beneath the soil in cities such as Minneapolis today.

The Problem of Orangeburg Sewer Pipes

The method of construction can and has affected the longevity of this type of sewer pipe. The pipe:

 * Is susceptible to root intrusion

 * Is brittle and can collapse over time

 * Can disintegrate

In the case of sewer pipes, the existence of damage and the potential for serious issues to occur are not visible to the human eye. Only a professional sewer inspection using cameras and video can detect whether the lines are made of the substance and require replacement.

Get a Sewer Inspection Before You Buy An Older Home

You are responsible for the maintenance of the secondary sewer line to your Minneapolis home. If you want to ensure the line is in good repair, and not made of a faulty material, you need to do so before you buy your older home. The only way to make certain of this is to arrange for a professional sewer inspection before you sign that contract.

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