Every day in the real estate world, you learn something new. Whether it’s about architecture, contract forms, loan options or building materials, in this ever changing industry, there is always more to learn. Most recently, I had the pleasure of learning about Orangeburg plumbing and the nightmare it can cause for homeowners.
Orangeburg is a fiber pipe made from layers of wood pulp and pitch. The beefed up Paper Mache was used from the 1960’s through the 1970’s for waste delivery meaning that it is the pipe used for many homes to remove raw sewage. Pretty important for that plumbing to be strong and able to withstand the elements, which Orangeburg does not.
Based on the materials used, it’s easy to guess what the common issues will be. As the ground around a home settles, the piping can actually become malleable. Scopes typically reveal rocks and debris pushing through the material or an overall flattening of the pipe from the pressure of the earth around it. The question is not whether or not it will leak or burst but rather when.
When advising my buyers on how to proceed with a property purchase, I am always going to suggest taking advantage of any and all inspection options possible. Recently it helped save a client of mine over $10,000. We had our standard inspection and I was amazed by the lack of items called out. The inspector’s job is to find anything and everything possible so I am used to a report that sometimes resembles a small book. This time, there was nearly nothing to request to have fixed. It felt too good to be true! And as it usually is, it was.
My clients decided to move forward with the sewer line inspection, which is an additional cost. It was found right away that the piping was Orangeburg and that rocks were starting to perforate the materials and overall, the shape of the pipe had changed to a oval shape rather than circle from the settling around it. There was no doubt that a major leak was on its way. We decided to work to find out what it would cost to make the repairs.
Contractors came out to give their opinion and none were easy to hear. Thousands and thousands of dollars, ½ the front yard would need to be dug up and it was possible that a bathroom would need to be demolished in order to finish the replacement. It was hard to hear especially since it had already been decided that this was my client’s perfect home!
After extensive negotiations, we were able to have over $12,000 set aside at escrow to help cover any and all costs associated with the repairs. My clients got their perfect home for the right price with all repairs completed and are safer now thanks to a $200 inspection. WORTH IT!
PIN THIS IMAGE TO SAVE THIS POST FOR LATER!