Sewer and water line issues
Most Lakewood homes from the 1950s were built with underground clay sewer pipes and metal water service pipes that can shift, crack and leak over time.
Tree roots can’t cause the cracks, but they love the water from leaks and will grow into those cracks. The roots will expand there and can create clogs, which if not cleared can ultimately cause the pipe to collapse and become unusable. That’s when you have a big problem on your hands.
A collapse of your sewer or water line could cost you up to $5,000 to $10,000 or more to repair.
Who pays for sewer line damage?
If your sewer or water line collapses, most home insurance policies don't cover repairs to those external lines.
In most cities, including Lakewood, homeowners are responsible for repairs to the sewer line from their home to the main sewer line, which in Lakewood is usually located under the street in front of the home or along the rear property line.
Homeowners are also responsible for the water service line from their home to the point it connects with the meter.
What you can do
- Have your sewer line periodically video inspected and, if needed, professionally cleaned out.
- Ask your homeowner's insurance carrier about your current coverage and see if they offer a sewer and water line insurance policy.
- Check home warranty companies for specialized policies that cover the hiring and oversight of the specialized contractors.
The good news
Major sewer and water line problems aren't widespread in Lakewood. Each year, fewer than 20 permits for major sewer repairs are issued in our city of 25,000 homes.
But with the age of our homes, we can expect the number of such repairs to increase in the years ahead.
You can protect yourself from a big, unforeseen financial hit by taking steps now to get a specialized policy in place, just in case you need it.