Old buildings have a certain charm, just like a graceful elderly lady. Yet, they certainly do come with their own set of problems. Before you fall for the beautiful façade of an old house and decide to make it your home, here’s a reality check: have the house checked out thoroughly for any problems you might face, because after you sign the check, they become yours to fix.

Galvanized Pipes

Some problems particular to old buildings and homes have to do with the plumbing. Any residential building constructed before the 1960s would have used galvanized steel pipes for the plumbing. The problem with galvanized pipes is that they tend to corrode and get plugged up. One of the ways to check the state of the plumbing is to turn on the hot water; if the pressure is low, it is dead certain that there are problems with the galvanized pipes. Even if the pressure is good, it is no indication that the plumbing is alright. Just damaged parts alone might have been replaced, which means it is a matter of when you will need to replace the plumbing, and not if. You can check under the floorboards for a better idea of the existing condition of the pipes, because professional plumbers run pipes under the floors rather than break the walls.

Sewer Lines

The other major issue you might face when you buy an old house is with the sewer line. If the house is on a sewer line, you need to have it checked out by a professional plumber before you buy. The original piping material might be plastic, which can break easily, or clay, which can break too and is also susceptible to root damage by nearby trees, or cast iron, which is prone to corrosion and leaks. The sewer line checking is essential because the line from the street to the house belongs to you and so you are responsible for fixing it in case of problems. It might cost you to have the sewer line checked out with a sewer camera run down the line for the existing conditions, but it will be money well spent if you spot any problems areas, because they can be really costly to repair or replace at a later date. Consult a plumber and have him evaluate the existing conditions before you sign on the dotted line.

Repairing & Replacing

When you buy an old house, you have to check for various problems that are typical to old buildings, and one of the most important ones to be checked out is the plumbing. Just like anything else that is old, the house might need extensive plumbing repairs and replacements. If you don’t do your homework before you buy, you might end up spending tens of thousands of dollars tearing up the walls or the floorboards trying to fix the antiquated plumbing. Check out the house, top to bottom, with a professional plumber before you buy the place. If the house has a crawl space, go under it to check the pipes. Plumbing in old houses might be more complicated, as you never know the repairs and replacements which have been carried out over the years.

Bill Fenwick Plumbing Company is fully aware of the importance of finding a reliable plumber to call in an emergency, especially when you live in an older building. Our business was founded and built with the mission to provide quality service combined with ethics and better business standards, which changed the plumbing industry in Northeast Florida. Ours is a family owned and managed plumbing business, and from 1969 to this day, we have upheld the ideals of Bill Fenwick Sr., and plan to do so in the coming decades, under the management of Bill Jr. We do all kinds of plumbing installations, repairs and replacements. Call us today for your plumbing needs!