Septic Issues

Cooke’s Plumbing & Septic Services wants you to help you prevent surprises and disasters

If you want to take advantage of the current real estate market, but your aging septic system needs inspection, you will want to take every precaution to ensure that sale doesn’t get flushed. Having a home with a properly serviced and recently inspected septic system can make the difference between a smooth transaction and an offer being pulled from the table.

So, what are the 6 septic issues that could cost prevent your home from selling?

Significant Weight Damage – If you have ever had an event where friends and family parked on the lawn above your septic tank, there is a good chance you have damage. Driving or parking heavy vehicles over a septic system is one of the leading causes to damage of the tank or the drain field. Utility workers driving vehicles or operating heavy machinery on your property can be a source of damage also.

Tree Roots or Other Landscaping Issues – Trees are often major offenders in septic system problems, although it is not always apparent. Some roots grow faster than others and penetrate the septic pipes and even the tank itself. When landscaping, it is important to research what trees are “septic safe.” It is also important to keep your septic system in mind when planning any landscaping, as a tank becomes less accessible for septic pumping when blocked by a garden or even patio. Blocking that access can be a significant issue when trying to sell a home, so be sure to plan ahead of time to avoid this problem.

Too Much Water – Excess fluid in a septic tank might not sound like a problem, but septic overload leads to sometimes catastrophic system failure. We recommend a septic tank inspection to both identify the symptoms that lead to a potential overflow as well as diagnose the issue causing the problem.

Sinks, toilets, washing machines and showers all contribute to the water in septic tanks. If you have above-normal use of appliances and plumbing without regular septic maintenance, excess water will not just build up; it can damage the tank and untreated wastewater can leak out. This can lead to the contamination of surface water in ponds, lakes, or rivers near your home.

High sludge levels can also cause too much fluid in your tank, impacting how much water can fit into the tank. When the bottom of the tank is filled with solids, depending on the size of the tank, it determines the sludge level. Regular septic tank pumping removes excess sludge and alleviates that particular worry of damage caused by excess fluids.

Non-biodegradables and Non-septic Friendly Appliances – Non-biodegradables, such as tissues, tampons, paper towel, popular cleaning products as anti-bacterial wipes, and anything plastic, play a huge role in septic problems. When something can’t be flushed or washed down a drain, it leads to clogs, backups, and general pipe damage.

Adding solids to your septic system expedites the buildup of sludge in your tank, which is why appliances such as a garbage disposal can be a huge detriment to proper septic function. Solids makes it easy to reach unsafe levels, making a garbage disposal both convenient and dangerous. If you purchase a home with a septic system and a garbage disposal, be sure to increase the frequency of service and utilize additives designed exclusively for the purpose of keeping your septic clean.

Ground Movement – Recent hurricanes or flooding may cause an aging or cracked septic tank to fill with groundwater, causing overflows and backups. Any slight ground movement can, over time, cause fractures or cracks, so it is something to keep an eye on.

Coastal region residents will understand how erosion and sinkholes both contribute to ground movement, leading to the same issues. Which is why it is equally important to have a qualified company inspect the area where the tank was installed or is intended to be installed. Be sure to adequately mark your septic area for the times maintenance is required.

Incorrect installation – There are times when homeowners and buyers run into an incorrect installation issue. If a smaller, less experienced company installed it, they might not even be in business anymore. It may seem like a cost savings when you hire inexperienced septic companies, but the risks of improper installations and mistakes that requires repairs offsets any savings.

If you live in the Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, Ft. Pierce or the Palm Beaches, are past-due for a septic tank inspection, or are having water backup or poor drainage or a bad smell where the tank is located, give Cooke’s Plumbing & Septic Services a call at 772-287-0651 for service day or night, 365 days per year.