When looking to purchase a home in the DFW Metroplex it is not uncommon for future buyers to want an older home. It could be the style and architecture, value and price, or the home’s location & history that draws them. When old homes go on the market they are typically renovated and updated with modern appliances, cabinetry, flooring, and other details. These renovations do a great job at lifting the value of the property and giving the home a nice “face-lift.” One key component that is usually missing during these renovations or is simply overlooked by sellers and buyers alike is the home’s plumbing system. Typically the only plumbing related due diligence that occurs is a Hydrostatic Pressure Test to ensure no leaks are present in the homes pipes.
It is for precisely this reason that most older homes can become a time bomb ready to explode with unforeseen plumbing issues. In this post we will cover some of the things that can wrong related to the plumbing in older homes and ways you can protect yourself from them.
Old & Outdated Pipes
Up until about the early 1970’s, galvanized pipes were the preferred pipes used to plumb homes and businesses. However, due to their propensity to rust and corrode over time they went the way of the dinosaur after about 1975. When galvanized pipes age, they corrode along the interior walls of the pipes. This leads to narrowing of the diameter of the pipe, reduced water flow, frequent plumbing back-ups, leaks, and in extreme cases bursting pipes.
Another common pipe material that is no longer used in new construction is polybutylene pipe. Used for about 20 years or so they plumbing contractors quickly saw the flaws in polybutylene. Over time water from wells or municipal water supplies reacts with the plastic lining of the pipes. This results in breaking, flaking, and brittleness. Ultimately just galvanized pipes the end result is failed pipes and ins ever cases bursting.
Shifting Soil & Iron & Clay…
For new & old homeowners alike, it usually isn’t until they experience a severe plumbing issue that they understand how plumbing works. In the DFW and throughout most of the US, the City or local municipal water supply company owns the water & sewer lines that run through neighborhoods, under neath streets and sidewalks. But the pipes that run from the street to your home are you’re responsibility. This means when lines that run in your yard buried underground have an issue, it’s yours to resolve.
The biggest problem we see here is once again outdated materials like iron or clay pipes. Both materials are susceptible to damage over time. Iron rusts. Clay breaks or becomes intruded with tree roots.
Another common issue that occurs the older a home gets is the natural shifting and settling of the earth beneath the foundation. Pipes that were once lined up perfectly without flaw can become misaligned and vulnerable over just a few decades. When foundations shift and pipes become misaligned they eventually break creating a need for costly repairs.
Do-It-Yourself & Bad Work
One universal truth about any home’s plumbing system is that no matter what materials were used or how long ago it was built, at some point in time it will need repair work. However, it stands to reason that the older the home, the more repairs needed. This doesn’t have to be major renovations or repiping projects. It could also mean smaller, more common work, like water heater replacement, drain cleaning, faucet & fixture replacements. The only real question is, who has performed these repairs?
DIY’ers and unqualified handyman posing as plumbers are a plenty throughout the United States and the Dallas, Mesquite, Garland, areas are no exception. If unqualified persons have performed plumbing tasks in a home it is al but a guarantee that the issues will resurface, with a vengeance.
Call on Flow Plumbing in Mesquite to Inspect Your Homes Plumbing System
If you are in the market shopping around for an older home or have an older home you are looking to sell, call on Flow Plumbing to ensure it’s plumbing system is issue-free! We can perform quick & affordable plumbing inspections throughout the entire Dallas Forth Worth Metroplex!