Home Inspection Services – Property Inspections – Cranston RI.

Home Inspection Services - Property Inspections - Cranston RI.

Septic System Inspections Cranston RI

The purpose of a home's subsurface sewage disposal system (septic system) is to dispose of the water generated by the occupants in such a manner that the soils on the property can disperse it without causing an adverse effect on ground water and in turn on public health and the environment.

To accomplish this
a septic system consists of the following elements:

1. A sewer line that connects the home's plumbing to the septic tank;
2. A septic tank that allows for the settling of soils and provides the initial treatment of the septage. A properly functioning septic tank will reduce pollutant levels and produce an effluent of fairly uniform quality. This is accomplished by providing inlet and outlet baffles to reduce the velocity of liquid moving through the tank and to prevent solids from leaving the tank. Tanks installed since January 1991 now consist of two compartments in order to do a more effective job of attaining the above objective;
3. A distribution system that directs the flow of effluent from the septic tank to the leaching system in such a manner to insure full utilization of the system. Most systems are "gravity" systems, meaning the flow runs through piping and distribution boxes without the assistance of any mechanical device, such as a pump or siphon;
4. A leaching system, which disperses the sewage effluent into the surrounding natural soils. There are many types of leaching systems. The specific type utilized on a particular property is usually dependent on the soil conditions which exist on the site. Most residential installations utilize stone-filled leaching trenches, but galleries, pits and beds have historically been used.

For a leaching system to function properly it must:

1. Provide enough application area. The application area is the amount of surface area of soil within the leaching system where sewage effluent is applied (referred to as "wetted" area). The amount of application area needed for a given house depends on the characteristics of the soils on the property and the daily flows (in gallons) generated from the house.
2. Be surrounded by natural soil conditions which will be able to dissipate and disperse the discharge without becoming over saturated.
3. Provide enough capacity to store effluent during periods of unusually heavy use or when rainfall or subsurface flooding reduces the ability of the system to disperse the liquid. Note: Curtain drains or ground water interceptor drains are sometimes installed upgrade of the leaching system to minimize high ground water conditions.

It is important to realize that, once a system has been installed, only one of the above factors can be controlled by the homeowner. The homeowner can control how much water is actually being discharged to the system. Since each system has a set maximum capacity, it behooves the homeowner not to exceed that amount.

If a system starts to experience difficulties, what are some of the common symptoms?

1. Plumbing fixtures may exhibit difficulty in releasing their contents (slow draining, bubbling, backups, etc.). This condition may be system-related but it could also indicate just a clog in the interior piping or sewer line. You should have the interior piping checked before proceeding with an investigation of the sewage disposal system.
2. Large volume discharges (such as, washing machines, dishwashers and bathtubs) cause either a backup, as noted above, or, an overflow of sewage above the septic tank or leaching field. If this conditon is usually at its worst during and/or directly following a heavy rain event, then the septic system is indeed suspect. If backup alone occurs independent of wet weather, you might first check for a partial blockage of the main drain that has occurred some distance from the house. In such cases a small discharge will simply be held by the main waste pipe, draining slowly past the blockage, while a large discharge will cause a backup.
3. Foul septic odors in storm drainage piping, catch basins, footing drain piping or curtain drain discharges may indicate that sewage from your property or an adjacent one is entering these ground water systems.

The Hazzards of Lead-Based Paint

Lead is a highly toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around our homes. Lead may cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Children 6 years old and under are most at risk, because their bodies are growing quickly.

Research suggests that the primary sources of lead exposure for most children are:
- deteriorating lead-based paint,
- lead contaminated dust, and
- lead contaminated residential soil.

In general, the older your home, the more likely it has lead-based paint.

  • Paint.  Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint.  The federal government banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978.  Some states stopped its use even earlier.  Lead can be found:
  • In homes in the city, country, or suburbs.
  • In apartments, single-family homes, and both private and public housing.
  • Inside and outside of the house.
  • In soil around a home. (Soil can pick up lead from exterior paint, or other sources such as past use of leaded gas in cars.)
  • Household dust. (Dust can pick up lead from deteriorating lead-based paint or from soil tracked into a home.)
  • Drinking water. Your home might have plumbing with lead or lead solder. Call your local health department or water supplier to find out about testing your water. You cannot see, smell, or taste lead, and boiling your water will not get rid of lead. If you think your plumbing might have lead in it:
  • Use only cold water for drinking and cooking.
  • Run water for 15 to 30 seconds before drinking it, especially if you have not used your water for a few hours.
  • The job. If you work with lead, you could bring it home on your hands or clothes. Shower and change clothes before coming home. Launder your work clothes separately from the rest of your family's clothes. 
  • Old painted toys and furniture. 
  • Food and liquids stored in lead crystal or lead-glazed pottery or porcelain. 
  • Lead smelters or other industries that release lead into the air. 
  • Hobbies that use lead, such as making pottery or stained glass, or refinishing furniture. 

Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas Cranston RI

You can't see radon. And you can't smell it or taste it. But it may be a problem in your home.

Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. That's because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.

Radon can be found all over the U.S.

Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon can be found all over the U.S. It can get into any type of building - homes, offices, and schools - and result in a high indoor radon level. But you and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time.

You should test for radon.

Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. EPA also recommends testing in schools.

Testing is inexpensive and easy - it should only take a few minutes of your time. Millions of Americans have already tested their homes for radon.

How Does Radon Get Into Your Home?

Radon is a radioactive gas.  It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up. Any home may have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.

Radon from soil gas is the main cause of radon problems. Sometimes radon enters the home through well water. In a small number of homes, the building materials can give off radon, too. However, building materials rarely cause radon problems by themselves.

RADON GETS IN THROUGH:

1. Cracks in solid floors
2. Construction joints
3. Cracks in walls
4. Gaps in suspended floors
5. Gaps around service pipes
6. Cavities inside walls
7. The water supply

 Home Inspection Services Cranston

  • Home Inspector - Cranston RI.
  • Septic Inspection - Cranston RI.
  • Structural / Mechanical Inspection - Cranston RI.
  • Home Inspection Services - Cranston RI.
  • Exterior / Interior Inspection - Cranston RI.
  • Property Inspection - Cranston RI.
  • Lead Paint Inspection - Cranston RI.
  • Electrical, heating, and plumbing systems  - Cranston RI.
  • Termite Inspection - Cranston RI.
  • FHA/VA Certified (Wood Boring Insects)
  • Certified Radon Inspector
  • Commercial Property Inspections

Private water users should test at least yearly for bacteria and other chemicals that may be of interest. Even if your water is safe, yearly testing will enable you to have a record of your water's prior history, so that if a change occurs, you will know. In addition, should anyone damage your water supply, you will have proof of your water quality prior to the damage.

You have brass fixtures, lead pipes, or lead soldered joints in your household.

Your water has a strange taste or odor.

Your water is hard and is leaving soap scum on bathroom fixtures.

You are purchasing a home, and you want to test the efficiency of a current water treatment setup.

You want to purchase a water treatment setup for your house, but are not sure of what problems exist in your current water supply.

You want to test the efficiency of an existing water treatment setup.

Private Systems:

  • There is recurring gastrointestinal distress in your family or visiting guests.
  • You are pregnant, or have a child less than six months old living in your household.
  • Your well is next to a septic tank, and it is questionable if the septic tank is set back far enough from your well.
  • Your property has an underground storage tank that is in close proximity to your well.
  • Your property has a leaking gas tank that is next to your well.
  • You have a new well, and want to test for the purity of your water.
  • Your well is next to an area where livestock are kept.
  • You have mixed pesticides or other chemicals near your well, or accidentally dropped these into your well.
  • Your well does not meet current building codes.
  • Your water stains laundry, or fixtures.
  • You have noticed an increased amount of turbidity in your water.
  • Your property is near a chemical plant, a gas station (either abandoned or not), mining operation, a landfill/dump, dry-cleaners, junkyard, heavily salted roadway, or an oil/gas drilling company.

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