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Septic Inspections When Buying or Selling a Home

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, March 19, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic Tank Inspection

Are you confused about why you might need a septic inspection before selling your home? Or are you buying a new home with a septic system? Get expert advice on septic systems and work with an experienced real estate agent in the process.

Before purchasing a house, prospective buyers usually hire an inspector to complete an inspection. The inspection often includes inspecting the structure of the house and checking for any pests. One of the most important aspects of the house is the septic inspection.

Septic inspections are crucial for your health and that of anyone else living in your home, so homeowners should make sure to schedule them regularly. However, because septic systems are buried in the ground, they're often the last thing on many homeowners' minds — until something goes wrong.

Here's everything that you'll want to know about your septic inspection when you are looking to buy or sell your house.

What is a septic system?

One in five homes in the US has a septic system but you'd be surprised how many people don't actually know what they are. A septic system is a system set up to remove the waste from your house.

In working condition, it takes the water and waste from the washer, sinks, showers, and toilets and filters that water. The system then redistributes it into the ground. The entire process helps to decrease water and soil pollution.

How often should you get a septic inspection?

According to most experts, you should get your septic tank inspected at least every three to five years. The inspection usually lands around the time that you should also have a professional septic tank pumping service pump the tank. Pumping the septic tank is necessary to keep your septic tank healthy and in satisfactory working order.

Despite what experts recommend, many homeowners wait much longer than five years to have their septic tank inspected. Many wait until something goes wrong to have the septic inspectors over. At that point, inspectors will often recommend you repair or replace your septic system, which can cost thousands of dollars.

Getting a regular inspection and pumping will not only save you money from needing a major repair, but it will also help deter any unwanted surprises if you decide to sell your house later.

How is a septic inspection done?

There are two types of septic inspections.

Visual Inspections

When buying or selling a house, the home inspector will usually complete a visual inspection.

A visual inspection involves asking a few questions, such as how old the house is, how often the owner pumps the septic system, and when the last inspection was. The inspector will then flush all the toilets and run all the water in the house to make sure the water pressure is up to par and everything is draining properly. Finally, the inspector will go out to the drain field to make sure there is no standing water, which can indicate a cesspool.

A visual inspection is helpful and quick, but a full inspection can really tell you the real story behind the health of the septic system.

Full Inspections

A full inspection includes everything a visual inspection includes, but it also goes the extra mile. This inspection is the one you'll want to get done every three to five years.

In a full inspection, inspectors will remove the cover to the septic tank and check the water level. The water level can or show whether the water is draining properly. The inspector will then run water in the house to make sure it is properly flowing from the house to the septic tank, and to make sure the water level within the tank does not rise when they introduce more water.

The inspector may use a dye test during this part of their inspection. In a dye test, the inspector will introduce dye into the water that is being drained to see how much of it enters the septic tank.

From there, the septic tank will get pumped and the inspector will check for any backflow from the absorption area. The backflow level tells the inspector if there is a problem with your drain field. The flow level is then checked again to make sure every aspect of the septic system is in working order and there are no blockages.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.


Key Aspects of Good Sitework

Joseph Coupal - Friday, March 06, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction - Percolation Testing

The following is an overview of six highly important aspects of good sitework, what each different type is, why it is important, and the factors that affect it. These different areas of sitework are common to most types of construction projects, though depending on the circumstances of the project, some may require more intensive work than others.

Clearing and Grubbing

What Is Clearing and Grubbing and Why Is It Important? – Clearing and grubbing refers to the removal of unwanted vegetation such as trees, shrubs, bushes, and other plants, as well as general debris, from a construction site. Clearing and grubbing is a crucial aspect of sitework for the obvious reason that it physically clears the area of things that might be situated directly in the way of the new building or development, or which might block access to the worksite.

What Factors Matter for Successful Clearing and Grubbing? – Several factors influence the success of clearing and grubbing. One important factor is the tree, bush, or plant size. Naturally larger, thicker vegetation requires more extensive grubbing than smaller, sparse vegetation. Likewise the particular type of vegetation is an influencing factor. Some trees and shrubs are harder to remove than others or may simply require different removal techniques. The depth below the surface to which the site is cleared and grubbed is also important and may depend on the intended depth of foundation to be laid. The disposal method of the vegetation and debris removed from the site is also a significant consideration. For example trees and shrubs may be cut up and chipped as a means of disposal, burned, or buried. Environmental considerations, ecological factors, state and local regulations, and the demands of the construction project itself will all likely play a role.

Subgrade Stabilization

What Is Subgrade Stabilization and Why Is It Important? – Subgrade stabilization refers to the process of stabilizing soil levels below topsoil. This is done to prevent the ground from shifting or caving in while the construction work is being done. Subgrade stabilization is also important because it prevents the soil beneath the foundation from later shifting or caving after construction has been completed, which could in turn cause cracks or structural damage.

What Factors Influence Subgrade Stabilization? – Subgrade stabilization is typically performed by using a stabilizing or reclaiming agent which is blended with cement or lime and then added to the soil. As a result the soil type and moisture content present in the soil are very important because they influence the type and amount of additives used. Soil tests and samples are usually taken first to determine the best approach to subgrade stabilization.

Shoring and Erosion Control

What Is Shoring and Erosion Control and Why Is It Important? – Shoring and erosion control is a method of protecting the worksite against collapse as well as the effects erosion and weathering. This is an extremely important element of good sitework because it helps ensure the safety and integrity of the worksite, materials, and equipment.

What Factors Influence Shoring and Erosion Control? – Because shoring and erosion are so heavily dependent on environmental factors those are also the factors that influence how the shoring and erosion control will be undertaken. Rainfall, wind, and other weather conditions in the area are also important.


What Is Excavation and Why Is It Important? – Excavation refers to the process of removing soil and rock from the worksite. It is important because excavation may be required to dig out an area that will need to be occupied by something else as part of the construction and development project.

What Factors Influence Excavation? – Excavation requires large earthmoving equipment and work crews who are experienced and knowledgeable at the process. It is influenced in large part by the depth of excavation required as well as the soil and rock type present.

Drainage Systems and Water systems

What Are Drainage and Water Systems and Why Are They Important? –Drainage systems are used to clear stormwater from the area. Water distribution systems are used to bring safe, potable water into the site. These types of systems are crucial because just about all commercial, industrial, or residential sites will need a means of bring clean water in and pumping wastewater out.

What Factors Influence the Construction of Drainage and Water Systems? – Construction of the drainage and water systems is likely to be influenced by the water source and wastewater destination, required volume and capacity, and the needs of particular facilities.

Good sitework lays the groundwork for the rest of the construction project and it is essential to start things off on the right foot. For outstanding sitework and preparation services and an extensive range of capabilities contact Morse Engineering and Construction.