Sewer line break in home couple bought 4 weeks earlier costs thousands

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- A young couple is out more than $15,000 after their sewer line broke and flooded their basement a month after buying their first home. Now they’re warning other buyers so they don’t make the same mistake.

Alayna and Scott Andrews saved for 1 1/2 years to buy their first home after their daughter was born. The 24-year-olds thought they had found their dream home in Englewood, but it turned out to be a nightmare.

“I stepped in water and my heart just skipped a beat. I was like why is the carpet squishy this doesn’t seem right,” Alayna Andrews said.

Thirty-two days after moving in, their sewer flooded their basement. There was up to 2 feet of water in some spots.

“Our walls were wet, our carpet was wet, our stuff was wet,” she said.

Their sewer line separated from the water main under the street. Fixing it cost the couple $15,168 for the repair, plus about $650 in other costs.

“Now we’re in all this debt and we haven’t even had our first mortgage payment yet and we’re worried we’re not going to make it anymore,” Alayna Andrews said through tears. “I’m just really worried because I don’t want to go bankrupt or anything.”

On top of the repair bill, the family has to replace everything in their downstairs bathroom, including the shower, sink and walls, they have to rip out about 2 vertical feet of drywall around the whole basement. And they just found asbestos, too.

“Every person who showed us the home and inspected the home, appraised the home, everyone made us feel like it was perfect and I honestly feel like I bought a lemon home,” she said.

The FOX31 Denver Problem Solvers looked through the Andrews’ home inspection and found the inspectors did note some possible asbestos, but the couple opted against extra testing.

After the sewer inspection, inspectors recommended the Andrews get the line cleaned. It did not reveal any potential breaks.

Part of the problem is that the standard sewer scope does not check the part of the line where their line broke. Getting a full sewer inspection is an upgrade that the Andrews didn’t ask for.

“But how do you know to ask for it? When you’ve never been a homeowner you don’t know how any of this stuff works,” Alayna Andrews said.

In all, the repairs for the sewer, water damage and asbestos could cost them around $30,000. Now, the young couple just hopes their horror story is a lesson for others.

“Just be careful because in the end it’s a 30-year commitment,” Alayna Andrews said.

The couple has homeowners insurance, but they said their $10,000 limit is not enough to cover all of the damage.

Family members have set up a GoFundMe page to help the family.