If they've lived in their home for any length of time, septic system owners probably feel pretty comfortable with their setup. They know how to maintain it, they know who to call for repairs, and they know what to throw down the drain and what to throw in the trash.
But some homeowners, such as those who live in Massachusetts, may be unaware of Title Five inspections. These checks are important for anyone who plans on selling (and buying) a home that has a septic tank. Though it will most likely be scheduled by your realtor or home inspector, you should still know what it is and why you need it.
What Are Title Five Inspections?
While every home needs a home inspection for appraisal purposes, a title five inspection differs from the regular checks because it includes a comprehensive overview of your septic system. Throughout the process, they'll look at the leech field, the cesspool, and eventually, the septic tank itself. Any issue within the system that could cause it to fail is immediately flagged and will be either re-inspected or cited for a necessary repair.
Are They Always Necessary?
Title five inspections are absolutely essential to people who are trying to sell their homes since the septic system is instrumental to the efficiency of the house. Even building projects such as adding on an extra bathroom will usually necessitate a Title Five inspection since the installation involves the plumbing. Still, there may be times when you don't need an inspection, such as when you transition the ownership of your home to a family member or when it's held in a trust.
If You Fail, Then What?
Just like with a regular home inspection, failing a Title 5 Inspection is not the end of the world. You'll need to schedule a septic pump within a week prior to the inspector coming in order to get a fair evaluation, but if your inspection is rejected in any way, there are a few steps you'll have to follow to get approved. First, schedule any repairs that are needed, as cited in the inspection report. Then, file a report with the board of health so that you can have a new inspection scheduled and completed. Once they sign off on your house, you're done.
Title Five inspections can be intimidating for homeowners who are unaware of their importance, but if you've properly maintained your system and kept up to date with scheduled pumping, you shouldn't have an issue.