Updating Your Home:  5 Reasons You Should Have Your Plumbing Checked Out If You Own an Older Home

With the passage of time, people come to love their homes more and more. Sometimes houses are passed down from generation to generation, each leaving its stamp on the property with upgrades and renovations.

But houses are much like the people who inhabit them: they grow old, their joints get creaky, and organs start failing. The plumbing system is a vital organ and keeping it healthy will ensure a long, productive life. It is therefore essential to do check-ups, especially when it’s an older home and an inspection hasn’t been carried out. Here are five reasons to act without delay.

1) Pipes may need replacing because of the material used

Certain materials used for making pipes are no longer considered suitable or even safe. A typical example is polybutylene, widely used in piping systems from the 1970s to the 1990s. However, it was found to be inappropriate because the water treatment chemicals make the pipes brittle and the degradation impairs water quality.

Other problematic materials are lead and galvanized iron. A house with lead pipes would be very old indeed as this material dominated before the early 1900s. Although very durable, such pipes are a serious health hazard because of the lead leaching into the water. With galvanized iron, problems include corrosion, frequent obstruction, and leakage as the coating wears away.

The list of problematic materials also includes transite (which contains asbestos), clay, and cast iron. A professional plumber can identify the one used and suggest an appropriate substitute.

2) Old plumbing can affect water quality

Rusty old pipes will discolor tap water and make it taste foul. However, there’s more to it than sensory displeasure: drinking such water can make people and pets sick. The health hazards increase with lead and transite pipes.

3) Prompt measures can improve daily life

Yes, that’s right. Something like low water pressure may not seem like such a big problem. But imagine the pain of taking a shower with the water barely dripping down or waiting for ages for the bathtub to fill. These headaches are the result of rusty or clogged pipes.

Moreover, leaks can affect the entire house as the water seeps into walls and furniture, damaging them and requiring costly repairs.

4) Temporary fixes create a money pit

Homeowners need to understand that neglect of older plumbing systems eventually leads to a huge financial drain. Even if the material used poses no health risks and the pipes have some life left in them, the wear-and-tear will cause all sorts of problems. Burst pipes, invisible leaks, mold growth – these are just some of the issues people with older homes face. And plumbing repairs are expensive, which means that timely inspection and prompt measures will save the homeowner lots of money.

5) Problems can arise in a potential property sale

Even when people love their homes, they may have to relocate for some reason and sell the property. One thing buyers are very particular about is the plumbing system. They may be delighted by the quaintness and atmosphere of an older house but will be highly unlikely to sign on the dotted line if plumbing problems are detected. At best, the homeowner will get an offer quite below the asking price.

Older buildings have their undeniable charm, but neglect can turn them into a maintenance nightmare. Regular inspections and prompt handling of any problems is the way to ensure a stress-free daily life, minimum expenses, and value preservation.

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