Nobody wants to think about the possibility of plumbing damage, as this can cause damage to belongings, and the home itself. While this is usually expected in older homes, it can happen with relatively new plumbing due to installation flaws. Low-quality fixtures and freezing temperatures can also cause major plumbing problems. You might avoid expensive repairs if you spot some of the signs that major plumbing work is necessary.
Choosing the Right Material
Every homeowner should have some knowledge about their plumbing. The type of material indicates how long you can expect the plumbing to last. This is one of the most important pieces of information you will get in a home inspection report. PVC is the best plumbing material as it can last well over 100 years, and is corrosion resistant. Other plumbing materials and their life expectancy are:
- Galvanized steel can last for between 20 to 50 years
- Brass can last for up to 45 years
- Cast iron lasts for roughly 100 years
- Copper lasts for roughly 50 years
Any old plumbing made from clay should be replaced as this material breaks down easily. It is also important that the correct pipe sizes are used, and that all connections are done properly.
Signs of Plumbing Issues
While most people look for dripping pipes, there are other signs that your plumbing is deteriorating. Some of the most common ones are:
- Low water pressure
- Water stains on the floor
- Warped flooring
- Wet spots behind sinks
- Gurgling noises in pipes
- Signs of dampness
- Mold growth
Sings of rust on tubing suggest that there is corrosion somewhere in the plumbing system. If drains start to run out slowly, there could e damage to external lines, or blockage in the line connected to the sink.
Anyone who deals with persistent plumbing problems should start thinking about replacements. This does not always mean complete replacement. To keep costs down, only replace in areas with obvious signs of damage, unless the plumber advises otherwise. If you are remodeling the kitchen or bathroom, it is wise to replace the plumbing to go with the new fixtures. Otherwise you could be forced to remove walls or newly installed tiles to make repairs. You should always have simple tools on hand like a plunger or pipe snake, but it is important to know a good plumber in your area as well.