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July 23, 2018

By: Ian Pearson

Many people nowadays are in search of old houses. Which is completely understandable, vintage homes have a certain charm. They are cozy, big, and have specific, home-like, warmth to them. But it is not only looks and style that you should worry about when assessing property value, for selling or renting purposes.

Of course, it does matter a lot, but there is much more to a house than just the outside and people nowadays are getting more and more knowledgeable about complications that can occur regarding plumbing system and internal works in the house in general. Plumbing problems are not a rare case when it comes to older houses, and if your house is few decades or older, it is more likely that you will encounter a problem, so here are a few things to pay attention to, since it can significantly decrease the value of your property. 

 Most Common Problem – Galvanized Pulps

Having a basic understanding about your plumbing system and pipe materials can help you a lot when it comes to making a decision about repairs and even deciding if your house is in the need of one, before putting it on a market. A process of pipe galvanization means coating steel pipes with a layer of zinc for protection, and it was used mostly before the 1960s. Galvanized pipes are responsible for quite a lot of problems in the plumbing system, and they are prone to corrosion and leaks, and water damage is what you will inevitably end up with. So, if you are dealing with discolored water, it is most probably galvanized pipes.

Their life expectancy is around 50-70 years, and at some point, they will make problems, and they will need to be replaced. Also, even some laws require the replacement of galvanized pipes in order to put the house on the market. So, if you know or you suspect that this might be your case, it is highly recommended to change the pipes, as it can also decrease the appraised value of your property.

Modern materials that are used are copper or PEX, and the whole replacement process can be finished in the short period of time, if it is done by professionals, and usually doesn’t require more than two people. 

 Pipe Bellies

The earth that your house lays on is constantly shifting and moving, and in the response, your house is moving and shifting too. It then causes problems in the pipes themselves that are known as pipe bellies. Basically, what happens is that pipes bend and curve, which makes the water flow difficult. The whole process is very slow, so you may not notice it at first, but problems that are caused by bent pipes are poor drainage, reduced and slow water flow, and various stoppages that are happening due to sediments that are accumulating in the pipes. 

Polybutylene Piping

Polybutylene piping was used from the late ‘70s until the early ‘90s, it was cheap and very easily installed, but it is no longer allowed because of its material features. Polybutylene reacts with oxidants found in water in the way which makes pipes prone to damage and breaking easily under water pressure. As the guys from Solved Plumbing tell us, there is no other way of dealing with this kind of piping then completely replacing them with alternative piping material that is used today.

 Sewer Lines

You have to consider that not only what is within the confines of your house is a potential cause of the problem, and sewer lines are a big part of it. They connect your house to the main sewer line and can be a potential problem if they are not checked regularly. Sewer lines are constantly wet so they make the perfect environment for tree roots to grow and form around them, which put pipes in danger of crashing, or easily clogging them. Pipes that are made out of cast iron, are much more prone to leaks and cracks. It is better to prevent the problem than to have to deal with it, so precaution measures are highly recommended. The best would be having a professional pulling the camera down your sewer lines, and in that way, they will know if your pipes are clogged with tree roots, if they formed bellies and if they need any kind of repair. 

In the end, every material has its lifespan. House maintenance and regular checks are plumbing’s best friends, especially if your house is older. And if you are thinking about selling or renting your house, digging in a little deeper can only help you prevent unnecessary problems and prevent decreasing the value of your house. 

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