As we age, our bodies weaken. Our systems start to deplete gradually, and the next thing we know, we are old. Everything depletes with age. The same rule applies to old homes.
Old houses are appealing for an array of reasons. Their appearance is unique. They are devoid of anything that synchronizes with contemporary architecture. Their overall character and aesthetic ironically enough feels very refreshing and new. However, older houses come with the baggage of their own as they present with more issues as compared to recently constructed ones.
Perhaps the most commonly encountered issues in old homes are those concerning plumbing issues. Plumbing issues are probably the least anticipated when it comes to renovation and repairing. However, you cannot let them go unnoticed.
Following is a list of the most commonly encountered plumbing problems in old homes. Let us get started.
– Outdated Fixtures
Old fixtures are made with better quality materials as compared to modern designs, however, they do erode over time and eventually start showing signs of hitches. It is not uncommon to encounter broken handles, valves, washers, and more, which result in leaks, odors, and whatnot.
The only solution for outdated fixtures is to replace them with new ones. The old ones have had a decent run, so it is time to let go of them. However, if you have the original faucets, valves, spigots, and other spare pieces in your storage, use them to replace the damaged and outdated ones. That way, you will not have to compromise on the quality and design of your fixtures.
– Bad Repairs in the Past
Plumbing problems in old homes are not individual occurrences. The plumbing issues that you are facing at present depend heavily on the repairs that have taken place in the past. The older your home is, the greater is the chance that your home has experienced large-scale plumbing repairs. In such cases, it is impossible to assess whether or not the matter was dealt with care and precision.
You need a good plumber to come in and take a look at any underlying issues that need fixing. Ideally, you should consult them before finalizing your decision to invest in the property. If the house needs extensive repairing, you know what to do.
– Damaged Sewer Lines
Cracked and broken sewer lines are probably the most common reason behind other plumbing issues. Sewer lines are responsible for taking away the wastewater in your drains into the main sewer line. However, because the sewer line is always wet, it has a tendency to attract other waste like weeds, branches, roots, and more, which can, in turn, crack and clog your sewage line.
If you are encountering a damaged sewer line, call your plumber immediately because a damaged sewer line can turn into a much bigger issue if ignored.
– Shifted Pipes
Houses are prone to movement over the years. It is a very natural process. Pipes buried underneath the house or encased in concrete slabs also move with the house. If the pipe shifts downwards, it can create a pipe belly.
Pipe bellies are frequently encountered issues in older homes. They are essentially a negative slope that has the ability to restrict the flow of water or, worse, create pools of accumulated waste. This pool can thereby result in clogs and blockages if left unattended for too long.
Fix them before the problem evolves into an emergency. The best person for the job is a licensed professional plumbing company.
– Galvanized Piping
Old homes built in the ’60s and earlier came with a feature known as galvanized pipes. Galvanized pipes are made of iron and then covered with zinc. This galvanization, although useful, erodes over time, resulting in issues concerning water pressure, quality, as well as color. These issues are a result of corroding pipes.
In the cases of eroded galvanized pipes, your only solution is a replacement. Get them replaced if the issue is coming up.
– Polybutylene Piping
Polybutylene piping was a favorite back in the ’70s; however, builders no longer accept it as it reacts poorly to the oxidants present in water. Polybutylene breaks down in water slowly over time and has led to complete system failures in some old homes.
For this, it is best to seek the consulting services of a professional plumber to know whether or not a property has been installed with polybutylene pipes. We suggest you steer clear of them because there is always the slightest chance that you might have to get your whole system replaced. Instead of inflicting substantial scale damage to your home, make an educated decision with the help of an experienced professional.
– Drain Issues
Drain issues are a common finding in both old and new homes, so this is not much of a surprise. Imagine years of aggregated dirt, soap, and waste passing through the same drains: of course, it will take a toll over the drain’s condition over time. Whether it is your sink, your toilet, or anything in between, all drains are susceptible to clogging.
If you notice any backups in any of your drains or perhaps a strange odor coming from anywhere, you must call a plumber immediately to check your drains. In most cases, debris accumulation leads to draining issues and needs to be cleared urgently, or your drain might overflow.
When it comes to plumbing, the motto is always to be better safe than sorry. Older homes are high maintenance, as you would expect them to be; however, living in one does entail a different experience compared to recently built contemporary abodes.
We suggest consulting a quality professional plumber to inspect your home’s plumbing, including pipes, fixtures, drains, and more. If small fixes are needed, do not sleep on them and attend to them at your earliest convenience because plumbing issues are not ones are to be dealt with lightly.