Are you thinking about buying an older home? They can be very attractive. Better built than many newer homes. Often more affordable for new homebuyers.
Before you invest your hard-earned savings into your favorite older home, remember that with age comes older plumbing. Unless the plumbing has been completely renovated and updated, you will want to know exactly what you’re getting into with your older home purchase.
Perhaps outdated plumbing is one of your greatest concerns about buying an older property. But plumbing doesn’t need to be a source of discouragement or worry. You just need to know what you’re looking for, before you buy.
As you have the plumbing systems inspected in the older properties you are considering, you will want to be sure and check three areas of plumbing:
1. Look for plumbing that is worn out.
Many older homes are well designed and built out of strong materials that have withstood the effects of aging. But eventually, even the best plumbing system with the best materials can wear out from constant use. When that occurs, the plumbing needs to be replaced.
Check the entire plumbing system. An isolated broken or leaky pipe is easy to repair. But if you see signs that the plumbing system has reached its limits overall, it’s time to replace it.
You’ll want to check with a reliable industry source to find out the typical lifespan of each part of the plumbing system. Know how to check for signs of aging, corrosion, and leaking across the system.
2. Look for quick fixes made by previous owners.
You can’t assume everything in the home was professionally installed or updated. With so many avenues for do-it-yourself home improvement, you might be looking at an older house that many people have tried to renovate over the years, without the help of a licensed professional plumber.
You will want to have a trusted plumbing professional inspect the entire system – a licensed professional who knows how things should be properly installed. This will help you make intelligent decisions about repairs that are needed and costs involved, before you purchase the house.
3. Look for outmoded or defective plumbing.
Some older houses might have plumbing systems made out of material that is no longer in use or recommended. You need to determine what the house’s plumbing is made of. Should it be replaced with something new? What does the industry recommend?
Even if you don’t see obvious signs that the piping is worn, there may be internal corrosion or problems on the horizon. Outmoded or defective material is in disuse for a reason. An upgrade now can save you a lot of headaches after you move in.
Older houses are filled with charm. You’ll probably find quirks that you are willing to accept, and even enjoy. But your plumbing system should not be one of these. There is nothing charming about rotting floorboards or a flooded basement. Good plumbing decisions, up front, will help you get the most out of your older home investment.
Give us a call if you need help with any plumbing issues!