Buying a Home? Avoid These Water Headaches!

A hand is placing a small model home on grass

Buying or building a new home is an exciting journey filled with many decisions and considerations. Certainly, curb appeal and construction quality are important, and many people invest in a home inspection before making a buying commitment. However, it’s equally important to pay close attention to the water management that affects the home – the slope of the lot, the water supply to the home, and the septic system, if applicable. 

Neglecting these factors can lead to issues like low well-water levels, flooded basements, and contamination from septic systems. Each of these issues can significantly impact your family’s well-being and the long-term value of your property.

The following checklist will help you to avoid water problem woes in your new home.

Does the property have water management problems?

Before making any decisions, you need to understand the lot on which home is or will be built. Here are some key points:

    • Drainage: If possible, visit the property during bad weather conditions, such as heavy rain or meltwater runoff, to see how water drains around and beneath the site. If it is an existing home, pay special attention to the basement. A damp basement or water-stained walls can be signs of water drainage problems.
    • Landscape: Is the property hilly or in a valley? Properties on slopes or low-lying areas are more likely to have drainage problems and erosion.
    • Soil Quality: What is the soil like? Is it hard, rocky, or sandy? These factors can affect drainage as well as the stability of your home’s foundation. They also can be clues to the types of minerals that could be present in your groundwater if you have a well. Consult with experts to test the soil quality and its suitability for construction.

Is your water source clean and reliable?

Access to clean and reliable water is a fundamental requirement for any household. Is water supplied by the municipality or a private well. If the home relies on city water, be sure to check the most recent water safety report. 

If the property relies on a private well, have the well inspected.

      • Well-Water Levels: Check the well’s depth and water quality. If your inspection shows low well-water levels, this could mean water scarcity issues and possible water shortages.

      • Water Quality Testing: Next, have the water tested for contaminants, including bacteria, minerals, and chemicals. The presence of these substances can cause water problems that affect your health and require treatment solutions.
      • Source Reliability: Finally, check the source of your groundwater. Ensure that the water supply can meet your household’s needs both now and in the future.

    What about a septic system?

    For homes not connected to municipal sewage systems, the septic system is a critical component. Neglecting its assessment can lead to hazardous health and environmental consequences. Here’s what to consider:

      • Septic Tank Inspection: Have the septic tank professionally inspected to check for any damage or signs of failure. A malfunctioning septic system can lead to sewage backups and contamination.
      • Soil Percolation Test: This test checks the soil’s ability to absorb and filter wastewater. Therefore, it helps determine whether the property is suitable for a septic system.
      • Compliance with Regulations: Ensure that the septic system complies with local regulations and environmental standards.


    You can avoid these common home water problems

    While it’s easy to be captivated by the charm and interior features of a potential home, it’s essential to take a holistic approach when evaluating your options. The land, water supply, and septic system are integral components of your living environment, and their conditions can significantly impact your quality of life and the long-term value of your investment.

    At U.S. Water, we understand the importance of assessing and mitigating home water problems. Our team of experts is dedicated to helping you make informed decisions about the environmental aspects of your home. By conducting thorough inspections, water quality testing, and septic system evaluations, we can help ensure that your dream home remains a safe and healthy place for your family.

    Don’t let water-related issues surprise you after moving into your new home. Take proactive steps to assess and address potential problems, ensuring a bright and worry-free future in your new home.

    Wisconsin Home Inspectors provides inspections for a smooth buying & selling experience