Septic Inspections When Buying or Selling a Home

Septic Inspections When Buying or Selling a Home

It is estimated that a modern septic system can be expected to work for 25 years at most. Fortunately, septic systems are usually able to last for even longer if you schedule periodic inspections and repairs as needed.

Find out what a septic systems inspection is, and why it’s so important if you’re buying or selling a home with a septic system.   

Septic Inspection: What Is it?

More than one in five U.S. households have their own septic system, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Water from your toilets, showers, sinks, and washing machines is disposed of through these systems.

The septic system is designed to endure for a long time, but problems can arise if some of the pipes are blocked or the drain field is clogged. Septic tanks are often overlooked by home maintenance and repair specialists despite their health implications. 

After making an offer on a property, homebuyers often have a third-party, pre-sale inspector check the septic system. Basically, a septic inspection is a formal assessment of the septic system of your home. Licensed septic inspection companies are the only ones who can inspect your septic system properly. 

A septic inspector will review your site in-depth and provide you with a written report that details the current status of your septic system, any leaks around the site, and a predicted life expectancy.

What Is The Recommended Frequency Of Septic Tank Inspections?

Having your septic system inspected every five years will provide you with the best chance of detecting any problems early. If your septic tank and drain field need to be pumped during this same interval, contact a pumping service. However, if you’re buying a home you may want to arrange a septic system inspection before you commit to a purchase. 

Who Is Responsible For Paying For The Septic Tank Inspection?

Septic inspections are also the responsibility of the buyer, just like building and pest inspections. Prices for septic inspections by a licensed septic technician will be dependent on your location and inspection level.  

Why Is It Important To Arrange An Inspection When Buying A Home

A septic system inspection represents a way of giving buyers (and homeowners) a sense of how well a septic system is performing. Keep in mind that prevention is always better than cure. It is possible to identify problems with septic systems early on in their lifecycle and prevent them from becoming major problems. 

It is best to schedule your septic inspection at the same time as the general inspection of the property so that you will be aware of any plumbing or septic system issues prior to closing. Optimum scheduling can help you reduce the chance of issues related to inspections delaying closing negotiations if they are scheduled closely together.

If you’re buying a home make sure you arrange a septic inspection so you are able to protect yourself and your hard-earned money. Make sure you use a qualified septic inspection company such as Strombeck Bros today.

Strombeck Bros is one of the most qualified septic service companies to give you the expert, high-quality, and reliable septic tank pumping services your system deserves.

We offer 24 hours septic maintenance and management services. We are more than qualified to help with all septic repair or replacement needs and drain field services. If you need to schedule a septic tank cleaning, pumping, or inspection, don’t hesitate to call us at 574-834-2394 any time.

Who Can Pump My Septic Tank?

Who Can Pump My Septic Tank?

Septic tanks are becoming increasingly available in households across America. According to the EPA, 1 out of 5 homes currently uses the septic tank system. However, despite its growing popularity, users are faced with how to maintain the system. For example, can you pump your system? Should you hire an expert? Considering how complicated these systems are, it is no wonder most people leave these issues in the hands of experts, and rightly so. So, who can pump your septic tank?

This article seeks to address these septic tank systems questions and more. 

How trained and professional septic service companies can pump your tank

If you have no idea about or experience pumping a septic tank, your best option is to take advantage of expert septic services. It may be easy to unclog a toilet, but dealing with a leaky septic tank, for example, presents a different challenge level. Therefore, to avoid incurring additional costs or creating more issues, leave the job to the experts. 

Using a professional septic service company to pump your tank comes with numerous benefits. These include:

  • The right equipment for the job: You can pump your septic tank properly only with the proper equipment, and that’s what you’ll get by choosing professional services. From high water pressure jets to gully suckers and other high-tech equipment, a professional will employ the right tools to complete the work efficiently and quickly. In addition, they’ll deliver the waste to the appropriate treatment facility.
  • Safety assurance: The last thing you want is to create a lot of mess attempting to handle your septic tank pumping task, as doing so can put you at risk of infections. Also, trying to clean out a septic tank on your own (with the needed protection) can expose you to dangerous gasses and bacteria – not forgetting the possibility of contaminating other areas. Your safest option is to step out of the way for professionals to handle safely. 
  • Avoid damages: opting for professional hands to maintain your septic tank is the best way to ensure that your unit continues to function for a long time. A professional will not only pump your septic tank but will also get rid of any excess residue and water. That means you don’t have to deal with clogs from matter buildup that can cause damage to your pipes. And this leads to the next point. 
  • No sewage backup issues: When you wait too long for your septic tank to become too full, you might end up causing hazardous sewage backups. And when raw sewage begins to leak, it carries loads of viruses, bacteria, and parasites that can cause health issues like leptospirosis. However, when you plan routine septic pumping from a professional company, they will clean eerie waste products from your pipes, keep your home, kids, and pets safe, and ensure that your drains flow freely. 
  • Offer future advice: Hiring a good professional service provider also means benefiting from important maintenance advice to keep your tank in perfect working condition in the future. And that also means you will end up saving time and money. That is especially important if you have no experience or know-how about preventing future issues or conducting essential maintenance on your own. That said, how often should septic tank be pumped? An expert will provide all necessary information concerning your septic tank.
  • Maintain a healthy home: As mentioned earlier, septic waste is hazardous, and exposure to it can put your health and that of your family at risk. With the help of expert regular maintenance and piping service, you can ensure and maintain a healthy home

How often should septic tanks be pumped?

If you own a septic pump system, you need to place a lot of priority on proper maintenance to ensure its longevity. The best maintenance practice involves getting regular inspections conducted on your septic tank system and getting it pumped as regularly as necessary. Every average household septic system requires assessment at least once every three years by a qualified professional. Additionally, you should also ensure that your septic tank is pumped once every three to five years. 

Getting the needed expert assistance

Your septic tank system is only as good as the professional maintenance service it gets. Strombeck Bros is one of the most qualified septic service companies to give you the expert, high-quality, and reliable septic tank pumping services your system deserves. 

We offer 24 hours septic maintenance and management services. We are more than qualified to help with all septic repair or replacement needs and drain field services.

How to Keep Rainwater Out of a Septic Tank at Home

How to Keep Rainwater Out of a Septic Tank at Home

Flooding can happen to any of you at any time. From hurricanes to poor plumbing, it’s a given that you will experience some flooding at some point in your lives. However, if you have a septic tank and don’t want to have sewage backups or overflows, then you must take the time now to prepare for the worst-case scenario – flooding. Follow these steps below and safeguard your septic tank from disaster!

This article will take a deeper look at:

  • Signs of flooded septic tanks
  • The dangers and 
  • How to handle the situation

Signs of a Brimming Septic Tank Include:

Toilets backing up

If the toilets or drains are sluggish or won’t go down at all following a rainstorm, you may need to have the sewage pumped out of your septic tank, as it has likely been overloaded by rainwater.

Sewage Backup

A sewage backup, will not only affect your septic tank but the pipes and drains in your home as well.

Overflowing

When wastewater from the house enters an overloaded septic tank, that’s when things become very unpredictable, and can even cause harm to your home or overflow into your yard.

Slow Drainage

If your water isn’t draining after a rain or flooding event, it’s probably not because of a clog in the pipes connecting to your septic system, but rather a result of your septic system being inundated with rainwater.

Dangers of an Overfull Septic Tank Include:

Sewage Backup 

When your septic tank floods, the sewage will be forced to either overflow out into your yard or actually start overflowing the fixtures inside your house!

Overflowing

If you have a full-on swampy mess going on due to excessive flooding, then that means it’s time to get an emergency septic pumping.

Sewage Plumbing Leak

If the sewage leaks through cracks in the plumbing inside your house, it can be a hazard for you and any visitors who come by, not to mention a costly cleanup process and repairs. 

What To Do When Your Tank Is Flooding

Stay Calm. If you’re in a panic, then it will be difficult for anyone to help.

Remind Friends and Family not to flush anything non-biodegradable down the toilet or drain as this will only make matters worse. Make an attempt to plug any overflowing drains to prevent sewage from flooding inside your home.

Be Prepared to Move Out. Your home may not be safe for long once the sewage is backing up into the house. If you have rainwater in the septic tank, consider these tips now to safeguard it in case of disaster!

How To Keep Rainwater From Flooding Your Septic Tank

Here are some steps to keep fluid out:

First, check the guttering and downspouts for clogs or obstructions that can cause water to drain improperly. Put a gutter downspout screen on your roof to keep debris and leaves out of it, which can cause it to clog up with sediment and limit its ability to drain water away effectively. Next, ensure your downspouts are not emptying out on top of the ground near your septic tank.

If possible, make sure all downspouts go into piping that carries the rainwater to a different location than your septic system. If you have frequent problems with rainwater flooding your septic system, call us for a quote or a referral to a local contractor who can re-grade your yard and install drainage to protect your septic system and home from heavy rain events.

Tips for Better Management

outdoor
  • Add an access cover to your tank for easier inspection and maintenance of the system’s components.
  • Make sure the ground around your septic tank is all sloping away from the tank.
  • During the next rain, watch to see where the water ponds in your yard. Make sure no part of your septic system is located underneath this area of ponding.

Hopefully, this post has helped you learn how to safeguard your septic tank from filling with rainwater.

If you need to schedule a septic tank cleaning, pumping, or inspection, don’t hesitate to call Strombeck Bros. at 574-498-3370 any time.

Common Septic Tank Problems in Indiana Plumbing

Common Septic Tank Problems in Indiana Plumbing

Far from the most pleasant topic, you could talk about, however, one that is absolutely necessary, septic tanks are a vital part of modern-day hygiene. When you flush, the waste content which you are disposing of is sent to the septic tank so that it can be broken down by anaerobic bacteria and essentially ferment into a sludge (effluent) formed by the bacteria that falls to the bottom of the tank while greases and oils (scum) are pushed to the top. From there, any effluent is disposed of via a drainage field while scum and other solids are contained by a filter.

Septic Tank Issues

drain field

Depending on the quality of the installation, your septic tank can last from a couple of years to decades, but you should go out of your way to make sure that you get it done right because you really don’t want a busted septic tank. If your septic tank becomes full or damaged in some way, at the very least you will begin to hear gurgling but some of the worst issues could include:

  • Unpleasant odors coming from drains
  • Sewage backing up into the home
  • Standing sewage water around the septic tank
  • Clogging in the pipes
  • Sewage line leaks

The most common septic tank problems come from the simple overuse of water since most septic tanks are designed for a specific water flow volume based on the number of bedrooms in a house, usually 150 gallons per day, per bedroom. When this volume is excessively and routinely exceeded, the septic tank can’t handle the excess, and blockages and backups begin to occur.

The Hoosier State’s Contribution

Failing septic tanks have become common in Indiana with more than 20,000 repairs needed each year and of the approximately 800,000 septic tanks in the Hoosier State, the Indiana State Board of Health has deemed 200,000 of them inadequate. The problems with Indiana’s systems are thought to stem from a multitude of issues such as inadequate soil that can’t properly accommodate conventional septic tanks, old septic tanks that haven’t been replaced, and distributing waste directly to ditches.

These issues mean that even today there are 450 small communities in the state without adequate municipal wastewater treatment and with the average cost of between $3,500 and $10,000 to replace a degrading septic tank, most citizens don’t have the money. However, the proposed House Bill 1287 has been passed which aims to aid or waive the cost of installing a new septic tank for those who can’t afford it.

Preventing Common Septic and Sewer Problems

Whether you have an older septic tank or a newer, more efficient system, maintenance is always required. First and foremost, your septic tank needs to be pumped but fortunately, this only needs to be done every 2 1/2 to 4 years depending on the size of your family.

To avoid common septic tank problems you should have your tanks inspected by a certified On-site System Maintainer but how often this needs to be done depends on your tank. A gravity system tank should be checked every 3 years while other systems such as pressure distribution and sand filter systems as well as their accessories (ATU, MBR) need to be checked annually.

If you need to schedule a septic tank cleaning, pumping, or inspection, don’t hesitate to call Strombeck Bros. at 574-498-3370 any time.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Septic Tanks?

Are Septic Tanks Covered Under Homeowners Insurance?

When you purchase homeowners insurance, a lot of people don’t bother to check the specifics of the policy. The issue here is that when there is a problem with the home, you might not be 100% sure about whether or not it is covered under the policy that you have taken out. For example, you might not be sure if your septic tank is covered under your homeowner’s insurance, but luckily for you, that’s what we are going to be talking about. Keep reading if you would like to find out more about this topic.

What Is Homeowner Insurance

Homeowners insurance covers losses and damage to an owner’s residence, furniture, and other assets in the home. It also provides liability coverage against accidents that happen either inside the home or on the property, giving you peace of mind. The policy will usually cover interior damage, loss or damage of personal assets, an injury that arises while on the property, and exterior damage.

It’s important to understand that every homeowner’s insurance policy will have a liability limit. This is the amount of coverage that the person purchasing the insurance as if they need to make a claim.

Is Your Septic Tank Covered?

It’s easy to get confused by septic tanks and whether or not they are covered under the policy that you have taken out. While all policies are different, we are going to be talking about a general idea around septic tanks and homeowners insurance. So, if your septic tank leaks and causes damage to your property, the good news is that this is going to be covered under your policy. Or, if there is any other damage to your home that has been caused by the septic tank, this is most likely going to be covered as well.

The problem comes with the actual septic tank. Some companies will cover you for the septic tank itself, but only to a certain extent. For example, a policy may say that the septic tank is covered in case of ‘accidental damage’ but how do you know what is an accident. Your insurer can refuse your claim if you haven’t emptied the tank in years since you have moved in. Your insurer can also refuse the claim if it is a wear and tear issue.

How Do You Make A Claim?

If you would like to make a claim on your insurance regarding your septic tank, you are going to need to call your insurance provider and tell them exactly what happened. They will be able to guide you as to what steps that you need to take next, if any, depending on your policy.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now have the knowledge that you need about septic tanks and their coverage under your homeowner’s insurance. It’s always important to understand the ins and outs of your homeowner’s policy because you don’t want any surprises when you come to make a claim later down the line.

If you need to schedule a septic tank cleaning, pumping, or inspection, don’t hesitate to call Strombeck Bros. at 574-498-3805 any time.

What is the Average Life of a Septic Tank?

What is the Lifespan of a Septic Tank?

Septic tanks are a sewage treatment method that can give you many years of high-quality sewage. Septic tanks are a perfect alternative to the main sewer line, and the right septic tank can give you everything you need for environmentally friendly sewage and wastewater treatment. But choosing the right septic tank is not just about picking one general item, but you should also consider the overall lifespan of a septic tank.

What has an impact on the system?

How Often Do You Pump It?

One of the key aspects of maintaining a septic tank is about getting your tank pumped which clears the waste and sludge. The number of times you pump your septic tank will depend on the size of it and how much you use it. As a general rule of thumb, once a year or every two years is enough.

How Often Do You Service It? 

Pumping removes your tank of waste, but to get the most out of your septic tank, you need to make sure you get it serviced. A comprehensive service includes an inspection and a system clean. 

How Often Do You Use It?

The more you use your septic tank, the quicker it will wear out. It’s important to use your septic tank, but it’s also crucial to be conscious of your water usage. You can fix this by reducing your water usage at home while also disposing of products that may contain chemicals or waste, such as sanitary products, in a safe manner. 

The Material of the Tank 

Septic tanks come in a variety of different materials. If you chose a steel septic tank, you can expect it to last between 15 to 20 years as it is more likely to rust. If you chose a plastic tank, this can last approximately 30 years due to its durability. However, if you chose concrete tanks, they are the strongest material and can last approximately 40 years. 

The Installation Method 

It’s crucial that when you have a septic tank installed, you choose a septic tank company that understands the lay of the land. When you choose a company that is an expert in septic systems, they will take extra care and caution to install your tank, resulting in a long-lasting and stronger system.

The Surrounding Land and General Environment 

A professional septic tank installer can give you invaluable information on where you should install your septic tank. However, it’s important to consider the environment your tank will live in. For example, if the level of the soil is too acidic, this can affect the lifespan of the tank, and any excess water can have an impact on the absorption of the drainage fields. In addition, any roots from nearby trees can result in damage to tanks.

Put simply, the lifespan of a septic tank depends on how much you care for it. The average lifespan of a conventional septic system can be between 20 and 30 years but if you choose a well-designed tank and look after it properly, its lifespan could go much longer.

Call Strombeck Septics Today for More Tips!

Best Septic-Safe Cleaning Products and Ones to Avoid

Best Cleaning Products for Septic Tanks and Ones to Avoid

Ensuring that you’re using the best products for septic tanks is integral to maintaining a healthy clean septic system. And knowing the cleaning products you should avoid is just as valuable.

You might not know this, but your septic tank needs active bacteria to keep it running seamlessly. So making sure to choose septic-safe cleaning products will actually extend the life of your septic system. Many products used for cleaning can kill off all the good bacteria of your septic tank’s ecosystem. That’s why you need to know which products to avoid. It’s just as important as regular septic tank maintenance.

Here, you’ll find out what products you should be avoiding when it comes to cleaning. And whether there are any septic-safe cleaners out there.

Things You Should Avoid

You probably already know some things that shouldn’t ever enter your septic tank system, such as; lubricants, petroleum-based fuels, lead-based paints, and car maintenance products. Along with these, there are also household cleaning products that you should be steering clear of. A popular example would be anti-bacterial soaps. Look for triclosan in the ingredient list, and if you see it, just know that a tiny bit of triclosan will kill large amounts of healthy bacteria in your septic tank.

Bleach

Small amounts of bleach are needed for some regions of the home. But make sure to use it sparingly. Large amounts of bleach will kill off the bacteria in your septic tank. And while you don’t want bacteria in your home, it’s actually something you want to encourage in your septic tank system. So keep usage to a minimum.

Disinfectants

Large amounts of disinfectants, much like bleach, will kill that all-important bacteria in your septic tank. That’s because many of them contain bleach. Keep usage down, and make sure to leave a reasonable amount of time between each use so your septic tank can recover. 

Drain Cleaners

Drain cleaners, especially crystal drain cleaners, can contain large amounts of hydrochloric and sulfuric acid. Unsurprisingly, these are detrimental to the bacteria in your septic tank. Occasional usage won’t affect your septic tank, but if the blockage is large, it might be worth calling in the plumber rather than reaching for the de-clogger.

Detergents

Laundry and dishwasher detergents can have some pretty strong chemicals in their ingredient list. The damage they do can go further than just your septic tank too. Some of their ingredients can contaminate local water sources, harming wildlife. 

Oils And Solvents

Oily products and solvents should never be disposed of down your drains. They will cause an imbalance in your septic tank system and can cause lots of issues down the line. Take them to a local waste facility and dispose of them properly.

Septic Safe Cleaners To Use Instead

It can be a minefield attempting to find products that won’t harm your septic tank. But there are septic-safe cleaning products out there. As a general rule, stick to non-chemical options. There are more of them than you think because of market demand. You could also go DIY with a homemade mix like vinegar and baking soda. It’s a brilliant little mix that can be used for a variety of areas of the home. It’s particularly good at making drains stay fresh, clean, and clear. 

But the thing you can do for your septic system is; stay healthy. A healthy body produces all of the extraordinary bacteria that your septic tank craves. So keep fit, and avoid flushing any harsh chemicals down the drain.

Benefits of Frequent Maintenance For Your Septic System

Benefits of Frequent Septic System Maintenance

You might not like to think too much about your septic system. It’s not the most pleasant of optics. However, if you don’t think about it, things can get a lot more unpleasant, and overloaded, or problematic. An unmaintained septic system can be a lot harder to deal with than one that you’ve been checking on regularly. Here are some of the many benefits of frequent septic system maintenance that will make you glad you’ve put in the work.

Better Habits 

Having professionals come to carry out regular maintenance of your septic system will help you develop better habits in regards to it. It’s so easy to mistakenly flush things down the toilet that shouldn’t go down there – anything, in other words, that isn’t bodily waste or toilet tissue – but did you ever think about it for more than a moment before getting on with your day? The problem is, these items can cause big problems such as blockages later down the line. 

If you have your septic system maintained regularly, these problems can be more easily and quickly picked up on, and you’ll be given all the facts you need to prevent it from happening again, allowing you to develop better habits in regards to what you flush. 

Stop Problems Early 

It can take some time for issues to start showing themselves when it comes to the septic system, especially if it’s a big one. Unfortunately, once they do develop further, the outcome can be very messy and can cause a lot of additional costs. 

When your septic system is regularly maintained, problems can be caught early on and fixed before they become so big that much more expensive works have to be carried out. This is always going to be far less disruptive than any other option. 

Cost-Effective Service

You might think that regularly having your septic system checked over and small issues repaired is expensive, but in reality, it’s a lot less expensive than a full repair would be, and it is preventing this issue from being something you need to think about. Although the cost might not be something you enjoy paying out, it’s actually just a necessary part of the costs of owning a home and should be budgeted for accordingly. 

A Safer Yard 

If your septic system becomes too full because you don’t have it regularly maintained, it can overflow and that is a health hazard that will make your yard unsafe. If you have children or pets, or if you enjoy being outside yourself, an overflowing septic tank means your yard – wherever the tank is installed – will become foul-smelling and full of human waste and plenty of bacteria. 

The important thing to note is that septic systems don’t usually overflow noticeably; they leak slowly over time, so you might be gardening and the kids might be playing, and slowly but surely those germs are getting closer. Maintain the septic tank regularly and this won’t be a problem. 

Free Flowing Drains 

When your septic tank is full, your drains will run much slower. Although this can also be caused by clogging from hair and other debris, if you can’t find a cause within the home, the septic tank could be the culprit.

If you want your water drains to keep running smoothly and fast, have your septic tank checked and emptied regularly.

If you need to schedule a septic tank cleaning, pumping, or inspection, don’t hesitate to call Strombeck Bros. at 574-498-3805 any time.