UPDATED: June 15, 2020
Older homes are full of character and historic allure. If the idea of purchasing an older home appeals to you, consider the potential repairs involved. Historic homes, particularly those with plumbing systems dating from the ’60s or before, require updates to remain functional.
And we’re not just talking about those pink ceramic bathroom sinks, either. Depending on the material, your pipes could be on their last legs. Attics and basements may give some indication as to how the plumbing looks. But there’s no way of knowing for sure what’s going on until you open up a wall or two.
Remodeling is a great way to update the home, just be ready to deal with the unexpected. The following are some of the common plumbing problems that can come up when dealing with older homes. You may even be able to take care of a big problem beforehand.
Galvanized steel plumbing, or iron pipes, were popular in homes built prior to 1960. If your plumbing is made from this material, you may experience low water pressure due to corroded or plugged-up pipes. When galvanized plumbing starts to go bad, system-wide pipe replacement can be expensive.
Many homeowners take the cheaper option, which means replacing only the pipe creating an immediate issue. However, if your home is piped with iron, corrosion will eventually affect the quality of water as well as the pressure available to you and your family.
If you have concerns about galvanized pipes, contact our specialists at Meticulous. Other materials can also cause issues over time, including copper pipe, PVC pipe, and polybutylene piping. However, these materials are much newer than iron and may still have a lot of life.
We can answer your questions and discuss options for repair and replacement that won’t break the bank. Pex plumbing is a new material that is easy to work with, can withstand very high and cold temperatures, and can last for up to 100 years.
Finally, Orangeburg, a material used during World War II, is made of tar paper. If your pipes are made of this material, they should be replaced immediately, both because of the toxic nature of the material as well as its susceptibility to root damage.
Sewer Line Issues
If your home is on a sewer line, the homeowner also owns the line between your home and the street. It’s in this area of the plumbing line that often causes issues in older homes. Roots can bind these lines and crush them inward. Older sewer lines were made of clay, which will degrade over time.
Tree root intrusion is also an issue, which can cause blockages. It doesn’t take much for a tiny root to get into the joint of sewer pipes and then continues to grow. These roots will catch materials and hold them in place, creating blockages.
These roots can also cause leaks at the joints. Leaks can weaken the ground around your sewer pipes, causing breakages or even small sinkholes. Breaks will also allow debris into the pipe, interrupting the water flow away from the home.
If you live in an older home, it’s a good idea to get a plumbing inspection on your wastewater line every few years. If there are blockages, Meticulous Plumbing can remove them as well as take a look at the rest of the line. We can also inspect the water supply lines into the home.
Work with Professional Plumbers Near You
No one wants to be surprised by the cost of plumbing repairs. While older homes certainly deliver in the character and charm department, they can cost you when you consider the maintenance and remodeling necessary to keep them in good condition.
If you are considering investing in an older home, be sure to contact your neighborhood plumbing experts at Meticulous to inspect your property and troubleshoot future repairs. We have decades of experience and offer transparent, honest, and competitive estimates.