Sewer Scope Basics

Considering buying or selling a home, office, or commercial building?

In addition to a basic home or building inspection, one “optional” thing to carefully consider is to have a sewer scope performed. The seller before listing, and the buyer during the buyer’s inspection period.  You may have some questions about that.  In this article we will share with you the answers to the following questions:

What is a sewer scope?

Why do I need to have a sewer scope done?

What buildings should be scoped? And;

Who is the best person to do a sewer scope for me?

  1. Let’s begin:

What is a sewer scope?

A sewer scope inspection is a video inspection of the lateral sewer line (referred to by some plumbing codes as the “building sewer”) from the house at or near the foundation to the municipality’s or HOA’s tap or septic tank, performed for a fee.

Why do I need to have one done?

For sellers: For the same reason you would get a pre-listing inspection of your home or commercial building: So that YOU are not surprised. If the buyer has one done, and it reveals problems, you will have to deal with corrections, or negotiating compensation, when there is a clock ticking on the closing. “Emergency” repairs are always more expensive. Doing pre-listing building and sewer scope inspections can inform you of problems before they become an issue at closing, and that gives you time to learn about options and to shop for best prices.

For buyers: The #1 reason: To avoid costly repairs sometime in the future. Those repairs could be for either damages to the building caused by a plugged lateral line, or repairs or cleaning of the lateral line, or both.  We can’t see below ground. The sewer drainage system is a vital part of a building. If it does not consistently work properly, under all levels of use, living conditions in the building will be less than ideal. In fact, a partially or fully blocked DWV – Drain, Waste, Vent system, can make the home unlivable or temporarily close a business. Even brand-new homes and offices are found to have issues with the “lateral line” pipe between the building and the city sewer “tap” or property septic tank. After the building is complete and the landscaping is finished, there are only two ways to check the lateral lines: Digging up the pipes ($$$) or performing (and recording) a sewer scope.

The outside of a sewer lateral line might look fine, but could the inside look like this?:


What buildings should be scoped?

All buildings should have their lateral line(s) scoped periodically. But YOU only need to have it done if those lateral lines are, or will be, your responsibility.  So, the short answer is: every building, old or new, should be scoped, except where you are not responsible for the lateral line, as in a multi-story condo or townhome.  You might ask: why scope new or recent construction? The answer is: Because more than half of the problems that develop later are due to faulty or poor installation techniques along with lines that were damaged just after installation.

Who is the best person to do a scope for me?

Unless there are known issues with the sewer drainage system, a Sewer-Scope Certified Home Inspector is the best person to scope the sewer line.  You can get a plumber to do it, but that can cost as much as double what the inspector will charge.  Even at an equal price, plumbers are looking for additional income from “other” plumbing work.  Inspectors are not. That’s the purpose of a home inspection. A neutral third party who has no conflict of interest in telling you what additional specialty contractors need to look at the property, and which are not needed.

At The Best Property Inspections LLC, we can offer you the services of an InterNACHI Certified Sewer Scope Inspector for your inspections.   When considering which additional services to add to a basic building inspection, don’t forget to consider a sewer scope inspection.

Cutting energy costs is a great way to save money and reduce your carbon footprint. Use these tips to improve energy efficiency and lower your monthly utility bills. Here are three ways to reduce the cost of operating your home.

1. Manage Moisture

Make your home more energy efficient by controlling the moisture inside. A hot day is even more uncomfortable when combined with high humidity. Drying the air in your home makes it feel cooler in the summertime, even if you don’t lower the temperature. While your home’s HVAC system will help to reduce moisture in the air, heating and cooling make up as much as 40% of a home’s energy consumption.

On days when the temperature is mild, turn off the HVAC unit and use a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air. The drier air will feel much cooler and more comfortable and you’ll reduce the chances of mold growth in the home.

2. Use Fans to Improve Energy Efficiency

A fan helps save money on cooling costs. Using box fans and running your ceiling fans will help improve the efficiency of your HVAC system. When the weather is warmer, set the ceiling fan to rotate in a counterclockwise direction. Fans create a windchill effect that helps cool the people in the room.

You can also use fans on mild days or in the evenings instead of running the HVAC system. Open the windows and direct the fan to circulate cooler air.

3. Install a Tankless Water Heater

Home water heaters hold 40 to 50 gallons of hot water, much of which simply sits there until it cools down and must be reheated. Lowering the temperature on the water heater will save energy. You can also wrap the tank in insulation to reduce heat loss from the stored water.

Tankless water heaters rapidly heat the water on demand so that you have hot water when you want it without storing and constantly reheating gallons of water.

The Best Property Inspections LLC provides home inspection services to Southeast Arizona. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

During spring cleaning, there are some common areas that are often overlooked. Leave nothing untouched by following these spring cleaning tips.

6 Spring Cleaning Tips for Forgotten Areas

Air Vents

Before you start running your AC, change the HVAC filter and dust off the air vents. Use your vacuum cleaner nozzle or brush attachments over the outside of the vent first. Next, remove the cover of the air duct. Using microfiber cloths, dust the grate, then rinse both sides. Let the cover dry completely before replacing it.


While we remember to wash our sheets, pillowcases, and duvets or bedspreads, how often do we remember to clean and rotate our mattresses? Use your vacuum cleaner nozzle to remove any dust from your mattress. Baking soda works well to deodorize the mattress. Just sprinkle it on, let sit for an hour or so, then vacuum it up.

Another option is to purchase a removable mattress protector that you can throw in your washing machine. It is recommended to flip and rotate all coil and foam mattresses regularly so that they wear evenly.

Spring Cleaning Tips for Light Fixtures

We all have several light fixtures in our homes that require cleaning. While dusting the base of a lamp and outer parts of a lampshade are easy, the bulb inside and the interior of the lampshade are often forgotten. Light bulbs last longer now, so you may not think about them until they need to be replaced.

Remove all bulbs and dust them. Next, take a lint roller and use it on the inside of the lampshade. Don’t forget your ceiling light covers and bulbs, and any exterior lights. Add these spring cleaning tips to your list this year and your home will look much brighter.

Light Switches and Electrical Outlet Plates

It is easy to forget to clean your light switches and outlet plates, though they are touched often and collect germs. Wipe all light switches and outlet covers, especially the ones in your bathrooms, with a disinfectant cleaner.

Ceiling Fans

Dirt and dust collect on ceiling fan blades throughout the year. It’s best to clean them at least twice a year in autumn and spring when you switch the direction of the blades. Some dusters extend to reach the fans, or you can stand on a step stool and clean them with a wet cloth.

Spring Cleaning Tips for Faucets and Showerheads

Faucets and showerheads may get a quick wipe down when cleaning sinks and tubs, but they too need a deep cleaning. Spring cleaning tips for these fixtures include scrubbing each with a small brush. For a deeper clean of the shower heads, remove them and soak in a cleaner for an hour or so.

Another option for both faucets and showerheads is to add an even mix of water and vinegar to a small plastic bag. Bind the bag over the faucet or showerhead and let it stay there for an hour. Take away the bag, run your water, and do a last quick scrub.

Keep these spring cleaning tips in mind when you take on this project and you’ll clean areas of your home that may have not been cleaned in years.

The Best Property Inspections LLC provides home inspection services to Southeast Arizona. Contact us to schedule our services.

Minor plumbing leaks can turn into major expenses if they’re not fixed. Here are five tips on how to prevent household leaks from damaging to your home.

1. Prevent Freezing Pipes

Fluctuating temperatures can damage your plumbing pipes by causing the water inside pipes to freeze. Since water expands when frozen, it could make a pipe crack or burst. The aftermath of a burst pipe is costly. Winter plumbing leaks can be easily prevented by covering exposed pipes with foam pipe insulation.

2. Check Your Washing Machine to Prevent Household Leaks

Your washing machine hoses can only be counted on to last about five years due to the corrosive nature of water. The frequent exposure to both cold and hot water causes wear and tear over time. If these hoses are not checked and replaced regularly, they could leak. Check your washing machine hoses for cracks and weak points, and replace them when they are deteriorating, or at least every five years.

3. Check Your Dishwasher and Refrigerator

The plumbing lines for these two appliances are not easily accessible, so they often go unchecked. Some common signs of leakage from your appliances are a moldy odor and discoloration under the appliance.

To prevent household leaks from your dishwasher or fridge, set an annual cleaning schedule. Pull the appliance out from the wall and check the lines for any leaks while cleaning the area. Because these hidden areas are harder to check, minor leaks may go undetected for a long time and cause water damage and mold.

4. Sewer Drain Pipes

Some of the most serious types of leaks are caused by a clog in your sewer drain pipe. One way to help prevent household leaks due to a faulty sewer drain is to have a backflow valve installed by a professional plumber. Another easy prevention strategy is to never pour grease of any kind down the drains.

5. Preventing Household Leaks in the Toilet

While you may not have a sewage drain problem, your toilet could still leak. A common location for plumbing leaks is in the supply line. As with your kitchen appliances, make a habit of checking the toilet supply lines yearly for any signs of wear and tear that could cause leaking. If you see any leaking in the supply line, it’s time to take action to prevent any damage.

Water damage can be hard to detect before it becomes costly to fix. Yearly inspections of appliances and simple preventive steps will minimize the risk of a household leak.

The Best Property Inspections LLC provides home inspection services to Southeast Arizona. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

As a homeowner, you want to keep your house comfortable and attractive. There are some home maintenance services that should be scheduled regularly to care for your property and avoid costly repairs. Staying on top of a maintenance routine prevents problems later.

Roof Inspection

Check your roof at least twice a year. This is a recommendation from the National Roofing Contractors Association. Look for broken or missing shingles, cracked or rusted flashings, moss, and tree branches and debris. Regular examinations will catch problems before they cause major damage. Loose or missing shingles let rainwater seep into the roof and attic, leading to mold growth and structural damage. Heavy storms can cause leaking and damage to wood and drywall.

Annual HVAC Inspection

HVAC inspections are important to the health of your system. Every homeowner should have their heating and cooling system inspected at the beginning of spring and again in the fall. The technician will change your furnace filters, vacuum and clean your system, tighten bolts, and inspect the system for normal wear and tear.

Chimney Cleaning is One of the Most Important Home Maintenance Services

Having a professional chimney sweep clean and inspect your fireplace and chimney helps to prevent fires. Creosote is the residue that is left behind when you burn wood. It’s highly flammable and can ignite, causing a fire in your chimney. This is dangerous because chimney fires can cause overhanging tree branches to ignite or the flames can spread into the house.

To Help Maintain Your Home, Check for Termites

A termite infestation can cause significant damage to your home. These pests eat the cellulose of any wooden components. The damage they cause can become costly, especially when they destroy structural supports of the home. A yearly inspection will alert you to termites before their colony gets out of hand.

Necessary Home Maintenance Services Include Pumping the Septic Tank

Cleaning out the septic tank is essential for maintaining your plumbing system. If your home has a septic system, the tank needs to be pumped every 3 to 5 years on average.

Backup from a septic tank is not only unpleasant, but is a health hazard. The technician will inspect the tank to see that it is in good working order and empty it with a vacuum hose. Keep this task on your routine maintenance list to avoid any problems with overflowing sewage.

A home is one of the largest investments you will make in your lifetime. Protect your investment by taking proper care of it and scheduling routine maintenance so everything works smoothly.

The Best Property Inspections LLC offers annual maintenance inspections to find any defects or failing components of your property. Contact us to schedule our services.

In nature, mold contributes to the breakdown and decay of organic materials. It is not so helpful when it grows indoors. It can survive anywhere there is moisture, particularly in bathrooms, kitchens, attics, and basements. Mold causes damage to surfaces and also exacerbates asthma, allergies, and other health issues. If you suspect that mold is growing in your living spaces, take action immediately. Call a professional inspector if you notice any of these signs of mold in your home.

Health Symptoms Can Indicate Mold in Your Home

If you are sneezing and coughing while you’re at home, you may have a mold problem. If you notice your symptoms improve when you leave the house, it is even more likely that you have mold growth in the home. Mold isn’t always visible; it is often hidden beneath surfaces. Because of this, health symptoms may be the only clue that mold is growing in your home.

Musty Odor

Another sign that indicates mold in the home is an odor. Don’t ignore a musty smell simply because you cannot see mold. It could be hidden in the wall, beneath the sink, or under the carpeting.

Visual Signs of Mold in Your Home

The most obvious sign is actually seeing the mold. You may notice spots and streaks on sinks, pipes, tubs, walls, and other areas that have contact with moisture. The spots can be almost any color and grow in various patterns. Some varieties grow in patches, while others grow in stripes and streaks. Simply wiping mold away doesn’t solve the problem. Depending on the surface, you may be able to use vinegar, borax, or bleach to eliminate it. The mold spores must be killed or they will continue to return and spread. A serious mold infestation needs to be treated by a mold mitigation professional.

Don’t risk your family’s health or your home’s good condition by allowing a mold problem to persist. If you notice any signs of mold in the home, call a professional to schedule a mold inspection.

The Best Property Inspections LLC offers home inspections, including mold testing, to Southeast Arizona. Contact us to request an appointment.

Significant electrical problems in a home affect its safety and the ability to sell. Homebuyers may back out of a sale if a home inspection report reveals electrical system issues. By paying close attention to signs of problems with a home’s electrical outlets and wiring, homeowners can get these issues fixed promptly and keep small concerns from developing into serious hazards.

A Checklist of Signs of Electrical Problems in a Home

This article details some common signs of potentially significant electrical problems in a home. If you notice any of these signs, contact an electrician.

One: Breakers Tripping Frequently Mean Electrical Problems in a Home

Most people have experienced turning on an appliance and suddenly noticing it turn off automatically due to a breaker shutting off or “tripping”. If this situation occurs often in a home, residents should contact a qualified electrician. Too many connections may have caused an overload in the electrical circuit. The tripping of the fuse breaker causes a temporary inconvenience and is also a sign of safety issues. It serves as a warning that additional wiring may be needed in the home to meet all the electricity demands of the household.

Two: Electrical Switches Feel Hot to The Touch

Electricity readily generates heat. However, electrical switches should not feel hot to the touch. Electricians caution homeowners to seek professional assistance promptly if electrical problems in a home include hot outlets or switches.

Three: Sparking Occurs at an Electrical Outlet

Electrical outlets should not emit sparks or smoke. Enlist the help of a licensed electrician immediately if you observe this problem. It could mean wires are overheating and melting, which is a very dangerous situation.

Four: Certain Areas of the Home Lose Electricity Completely

An increase in the number of electronic devices in a home sometimes places a heavy burden on home electrical systems. If an electrical circuit stops functioning completely, contact an electrician to check it out. You may need to replace the existing wiring with new, more extensive wiring. Only entrust these tasks to a qualified, licensed electrician.

Five: Light Bulbs Burn Out Much Faster than Anticipated

While a single burned-out light bulb shouldn’t pose a concern, the repeated burning out of light bulbs at a faster than expected rate suggests an electrical problem. Poor connections may be responsible for this issue.

Why Electrical Problems in a Home Require Prompt Attention

Malfunctions in residential electrical systems sometimes cause fires, serious injuries, and even deaths. The Electrical Safety Foundation International website reports that household electrical fires account for some 500 deaths every year. The organization urges every homeowner to install and maintain smoke detectors. By taking quick action to address electrical repair issues, property owners promote home safety.

The Best Property Inspections LLC provides home inspections to Southeast Arizona. Contact us to schedule our services.

Many homes that were built before 1978 have paint that contains lead. Lead is a dangerous substance that is especially harmful to children. Read on to learn about lead paint in the home and what to do if you have it.

When is Lead Paint in the Home a Problem?

The U.S. government banned the use of lead paint in houses in 1978. However, there are still millions of homes that have lead paint on the walls, often underneath newer layers of paint. Lead paint is especially dangerous when it chips or peels and contaminates household dust. Lead paint is a greater hazard on surfaces that see a lot of wear, like door frames or window sills.

How to Tell if You Have Lead Paint in the Home

The only way to know if the paint in your home contains lead is to have it professionally tested. Luckily, lead testing will determine if the base layers of paint contain lead, even if they are under multiple layers of non-lead paint.

Health Problems Caused by Lead

The most common causes of lead poisoning in children are lead paint and contaminated dust from the paint. Lead poisoning can cause irreversible damage to your health. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Seizures
  • Learning disabilities
  • Hearing loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Digestive troubles
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches

Exposure to lead during pregnancy also causes complications, including miscarriage and premature birth.

What to Do About Lead Paint in the Home

Any home built before 1978 should be tested for lead paint. If the test results show that you have lead paint in your house, here are your options:


Hire a contractor who specializes in lead paint removal. Professionals will remove lead paint with a sander that’s equipped with a HEPA-filtered vacuum or by using a low-temperature heat gun.


Another strategy involves removing and replacing the entire parts of the structure that contain lead paint, like drywall, doors, and windows.


Enclosure means covering the lead paint with a new surface, such as new drywall. Window sills can be covered with a vinyl cladding. This method temporarily protects your family from lead paint poisoning, but the lead paint is still a hazard if you remodel in the future.

The Best Property Inspections LLC provides lead paint testing and other home inspection services. Contact us to book an appointment in Southeast Arizona.

A swimming pool on your property is great for family and friends, but without proper maintenance, it can easily become unusable. If you’re unsure of the necessary steps for maintaining your swimming pool, the good news is that it’s a fairly simple process. To help you out, here are five tips for keeping your pool clean and clear.

1. Chlorinate When Maintaining Your Swimming Pool

The purpose of chlorine is to keep the water free from any bacteria that might be dangerous to humans. One easy way to chlorinate your pool is to install a chlorinator, a tube-shaped tank that fits next to your pool filter. With a chlorinator, you add slow-dissolving chlorine sticks to the tank. If you don’t have a chlorinator, another option is a floating container that dispenses chlorine. However, these containers can put a child’s health at risk, so they aren’t a good choice if you have young kids.

2. Clear Away Debris

Another step in maintaining your swimming pool is to regularly remove any debris. Use a skimmer net to remove any leaves and twigs from your pool once a day or several times a week. You should also have skimmer baskets around the edges of your pool to catch excess debris. Empty all skimmer baskets regularly so they don’t overflow back into your pool.

3. Vacuums: Necessary Tools for Maintaining Your Swimming Pool

A pool vacuum is an important purchase if you have a home swimming pool. The purpose of a vacuum is to remove debris from the bottom of the pool and clear away any built-up sediment. While manual vacuums are available, automated pool vacuums propel themselves around the bottom of the pool and can be left alone to do the work.

4. Clean Your Pump Filter Often

Your pool’s pump is a vital piece of equipment that cycles out old water for clean, filtered water. If you don’t clean the pump’s filter regularly, you’ll end up with hazy, contaminated water that can become a bacterial breeding ground. To clean the filter, shut the pump off and close the skimmer valve. Then remove hair, lint, and other debris from the filter.

5. Regulate the pH

One final tip for maintaining your swimming pool is to regulate the pool water’s pH. Testing and adjusting the pH might sound complicated, but a pH testing kit will do the job for you. For safety, your pool water’s pH should stay between 7.4 and 7.6. Test the water weekly, and if it falls under 7.4 (too acidic), add soda ash to raise the pH. Conversely, if it’s ever above 7.6 (too basic), add muriatic acid. Both of these pH-adjusting chemicals are easy to find in pool supply stores or online.

The Best Property Inspections LLC provides pool and spa inspections to Southeast Arizona. Contact us to schedule our services.

Decluttering your home isn’t just a trend; it’s a practice to promote a cleaner home and reduce stress. Before you can tackle this project, read our tips on how to declutter your home.

Learning How to Declutter Your Home

Create a plan for decluttering. Instead of looking at it as a monumental task that can only be done one way, take a moment to figure out how you want to organize your home. Below are four tips that will help you get started.

1. Examine the Reasons for Your Clutter

You’ll find plenty of advice about how to declutter your home, but take the time to address the root of the problem. If you want to make your decluttering last, start by determining why your home became cluttered in the first place. Figure out why clutter is accumulating in your home. It could be stress, lack of time to tidy up daily, or buying things that don’t get used.

2. What Organized Means to You

Decluttering means different things to different people. Some might define a decluttered space as having few belongings, while others might define decluttering as putting everything in its place. Set clear goals of what decluttering means to you before you get started. Work towards your own personal definition so that you can enjoy the end product of your work.

3. Start Small to Declutter Your Home

Declutter your home by starting small. Don’t set an impossible task for yourself – begin with a single room or, in some cases, one corner. Tackling one area at a time will give you small victories that will help to keep you motivated throughout the project.

4. Be Realistic

Finally, be realistic about what you’re doing. When you look at pictures of homes that have been decluttered online, you’re not always looking at something that can be accomplished in your own home. You don’t own those shelves, have those closets, or have as much open space in your house. Take a few moments to determine what an organized home looks like to you, and then pursue that outcome in a sensible way.

Figure out what you want from the process of decluttering your home. Once you’ve figured out your plan and set goals, you can declutter your home easily.

The Best Property Inspections LLC offers home inspection services in Southeast Arizona. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

For more on decluttering, see the Ultimate Guide to Decluttering.

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