When Is It Time To Consider Re-piping For Your Home?
Re-piping your home can be a major undertaking, so it’s easy to keep busy doing other, more glamorous home improvement projects. Still, water and sewage pipes do not have an unlimited lifespan and re-piping your home can become a necessity.
Like humans, homes also reach “a certain age” so the original pipes in homes older than fifty years may be near their retirement. We’ve compiled a list of things to watch out for so it won’t take you by surprise.
Three age-related factors:
Although it is highly unlikely, a house that was built before the mid-1900s may still have lead pipes, which is now widely known to be an extreme health hazard.
Galvanized pipes are still commonly found in older houses, and they are now of an age where severe corrosion will lead to rust and necessitate re-piping.
If your house was built between 1970 and the late 1990s, it may have polybutylene plumbing. Builders commonly used this plastic resin for plumbing before they found that chlorine and other chemicals cause it to become brittle.
Visible signs that your plumbing should be inspected:
Rusty or cloudy water:
The usual cause is corroded galvanized pipes, but this is not always the case. Sediment and rust can also settle inside older water heaters, causing brown or reddish hot water flow. Replacing the heater could solve the problem, and will also allow your plumbing contractor to inspect joints and fittings.
Reduced or poor water pressure:
‘Hard water’ contains a lot of calcium and other minerals which accumulate inside pipes. If you are on a tight budget, descaling the pipes may be possible. However, rust can also block pipe segments, and those should be replaced.
Leaks and dribbles:
Water pipes wear out as they age, especially at joints, bends, and fittings. Constant water pressure will cause leaks or even burst pipes, especially in areas with severe temperature fluctuations. When leaks start occurring in different parts of your home it’s time for a thorough inspection because small leaks can unexpectedly turn into a major hazard.
Water stains or wet spots on walls or floors:
It’s easy to miss warning signs in the basement or crawl space under the roof, but neglected leaks can cause havoc if left unchecked. Finding leaks quickly can dramatically reduce the cost of repairs. Although water damage to insulation and drywall can be expensive, remember that water damage to wooden support beams and electrical installations can be extremely hazardous.
Mold and mildew:
Moldy growth along damp patches is unsightly, hard to get rid of, and a potential health hazard. Mold and rot on your floors and walls are important symptoms of an underlying problem and should be attended to without delay.
Invisible signs that you have plumbing problems:
Keep track of your water bill and investigate any sharp or gradual, sustained increase. Try closing all taps and then watch your water meter to check for a continuing count. If it keeps ticking it’s a clear sign of a hidden water leak.
In extreme cases, you may even spot cracks in the foundation or subsidence of one or more corners of your home. That is a definite cause for immediate action!
Plan your plumbing maintenance:
Prevention is always better than cure, so we recommend that you schedule annual plumbing inspections. A plumbing professional can identify potential problems before they become costly repairs. If re-piping is necessary, a new plumbing solution that is tailored to your property will solve your problems.
If you plan on re-piping your home contact the experts at D&N Plumbing and Gas to make sure it is done right!