A home inspection protects both the buyer and the seller by determining if any serious problems need to be repaired before the anticipated closing date. By revealing defects that could be expensive to fix, the inspection helps buyers avoid paying top dollar only to find out that they need to make extensive repairs just a few months later. A home inspection can also help the seller by identifying defects early in the sales process. Once these defects are known, the seller has an opportunity to fix them, eliminating the need to reduce the price of the home. The seller may also decide to sell the home “as is,” leaving it up to the buyer to make the repairs. If your home is currently on the market, taking a few simple precautions can help you avoid a failed inspection and ensure that you get the most money for the sale. Because plumbing repair can be expensive, it’s especially important to focus on pipes, faucets, water heaters, and other components of your plumbing system in the weeks leading up to an inspection.
Check for Leaks
Not all leaks leave big puddles of water under the sink or around the toilet, so they’re not always easy to spot. Before a home inspection, take the time to look for subtle signs of leaks. Paint bubbling away from the walls, soft spots in the flooring around the toilet, mold or mildew on the walls and floors, water stains, or a sudden influx of roaches or other pests that could indicate you have a hidden leak somewhere in your home. If you do have a leak, you’ll still need to fix it before the inspection; however, you’ll be in control of who does the plumbing repair. That means you’ll be able to request multiple bids and choose a plumber based on factors such as the estimated cost of the repairs and the reputation of the service provider.
Maintain the Water Heater
Your water heater runs every time you take a shower, run the dishwasher, or do a load of laundry using warm or hot water. Multiple uses per day can really take a toll on this hardworking piece of equipment. To avoid costly plumbing repairs before a home inspection is complete, have a plumber flush the tank to wash away any sediment that could be making the heater less efficient. It’s also a good idea to have your plumber check the anode rod inside the tank. This rod is made from a metal that slowly degrades. If the rod still has some metal on it, the inside of the tank will not rust. Once the metal degrades completely, however, rust begins to form.
If you live in an area with a cold or neutral market–which means it may take several months or even years to sell your home–having the anode rode replaced is one of the best plumbing repairs you can do to save yourself money down the road. If your house sits on the market for several months, you won’t have to worry that the water heater will rust and cost you big bucks when you get an offer.
Have Your Drains Serviced
In many cases, major plumbing repairs could have been avoided with some preventive maintenance or an earlier call to a plumbing expert. One example is the damage that can occur from something as simple as a clogged drain. Although a clog may seem like a minor annoyance at first, it can cause major plumbing problems, including sewer damage and pipe corrosion. Clogged drains can also lead to flooding, resulting in thousands of dollars’ worth of damage that could make it difficult to sell your home.
Before your home inspection, have a plumber come to your home and check all the drains for clogs. The drains in showers and bathtubs may be clogged with hair or soap, while the drain in your kitchen sink could be blocked by food scraps or mineral particles. If you do have a major clog, you’ll have time to pay for plumbing repairs before the home inspection takes place. Once again, this gives you total control of when the work is done, who does the repairs, and how much the repairs cost.
Service the Toilet
Toilets themselves are fairly inexpensive, but a leaky or malfunctioning toilet can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your bathroom. Before your home inspection, have a plumbing repair professional check your existing toilet to determine if there are any issues. If the toilet rocks back and forth, the seal may need to be replaced. It’s also possible a plumbing professional will need to secure the flange. Your plumber should also check the toilet tank to determine if any of the parts need to be replaced. Having the toilet serviced ahead of time can help you avoid costly surprises when it’s time for your home inspection.
Get the Sewer Checked
Sewer problems can be costly to repair, so it’s a good idea to have a plumber check your sewer system to determine if there are any problems on your property. If you have a septic tank, have a plumbing professional check the sludge layer to make sure it’s not getting too high. Sludge is the solid waste stored in your septic tank. If the sludge level is high, you can have the tank pumped before it causes a problem, which could save you thousands of dollars once your home is inspected. If you are hooked up to a local sewer system, have a plumber test the pressure in the system to make sure there aren’t any leaks that could cause the sale of your home to fall through. It can also be helpful to have a plumber check the inside of the pipes with a camera to determine if there are any cracks or other problems.
Get Expert Help
When it comes to getting the best price for your home, it pays to get help from the experts. If you have a home inspection coming up, contact bluefrog Plumbing + Drain to schedule an appointment with a plumbing repair professional.