a person cleaning the floor of the building

Plumbing Issues Found in Old Buildings

What do you see when you look at an old building? For most people, it is about charm, character, and history. It is about moments that have been shared and fates that have been decided in there, and that is all good.

An aspect you might want to think about, especially if you are looking to invest in real estate or get involved in a project that requires an old building, is the maintenance. If you want to buy a home, think about HVAC in Salt Lake City.

You want to be sure that you can afford whatever maintenance concerns your house is likely to throw at you. Some issues with plumbing are minor while others could pose significant property damage. Watch out for the following plumbing problems:

Old piping

A home built in the 1990s or before can have pipes that are not legally approved, going by updated building codes. For a house that was renovated in the last decade, some pipes may have been replaced. It is wise that you have the plumbing system inspected so that nothing catch you by surprise.

Most old pipes in old buildings are made of lead or polybutylene. Lead pipes were used in sewer lines for their durability as well as malleability. However, lead is toxic, causing even problems with mental developments for children.

Pipe bellies

Sometimes there will be pipes installed under the home or those that are buried so deep in the ground they are impractical. In other cases, the pipes will be covered with concrete. Such pipes will be affected by shifts in the soil over time.

When they move toward the building, they form negative slopes — ‘bellies’ — which will restrict water flow. Consequently, you see water or sediment pools in random places. Pipe bellies cause leaks and stoppages.

Faulty sewer lines

When sewer lines are buried, it is possible to never think about them until you notice a problem. One must never wait until they see the problem above ground. Seeping sewage can produce a bad smell around the home.

Polluted water could flow into the drinking water system and cause illnesses. Smart appliances in old houses that force heavy use on an old sewer line can make the sewers fail. Finally, the lines could be spoiled by roots from nearby trees.

Outdated connections and fixtures

man monitoring the pipes of the building

Nothing will last forever. In an old building, fixtures, faucets and other elements of the supply lines will be old. It is common to see wear and tear as well as corrosion that could restrict the flow of water. Watch out for leaks and broken knobs that could create inconveniences.

Old buildings can come with inherent plumbing problems. In most cases, it is the new owners who escalate these problems by deciding to get by.

Note that failing plumbing has a way of giving in the worst moments possible. It is prudent to take care of damage once you recognize it. Be sure to organize for inspections with licensed contractors.