The Boston real estate market is full of older homes. In fact, Maine’s housing stock is the second-oldest in the entire country with half of all occupied homes being built before 1962. Many homeowners love the rustic charm and lower price tag of these aged properties. But many come with a hidden secret: poor plumbing. Let’s take a look at some common plumbing problems homeowners with older properties might face so Bostonians know what to look out for.

Galvanized steel corrosion
The plumbing in older Boston homes is often built with galvanized steel piping. This material was chosen because of its thickness and durability, but it doesn’t interact well with water. That’s why galvanized steel piping was always equipped with a protective metal layer to keep drinking water from coming into contact with it. Over time, though, this coating erodes and exposes the galvanized steel to running water. The resulting rust can show up in your drinking water as tiny particles, discoloration, or a nasty taste. If you experience these issues, you should avoid using or drinking tap water and call a plumbing specialist immediately. Your pipes might have to be replaced entirely.

Solder debris
In 1986, the Environmental Protection Agency passed the Safe Drinking Water Act that banned plumbers from using solder because it contains lead. While that’s good news for all homes built after the law was passed, Bostonians living in older homes might have to deal with the effects of this material. Many copper and steel plumbing pipes used to be joined together with solder. As pipes corrode over time, this material can seep into your home’s water supply resulting in lead contamination. The health hazards associated with lead are especially bad for young children. Homeowners that suspect their home’s plumbing system might have been built with solder material should have a Boston plumber conduct a thorough inspection to determine the best steps to keep your family safe.

Drainage problems
If your Boston home is experiencing drainage issues, older pipes might be the culprit. Even the highest quality piping will have trouble staying free of any blockage for extended periods of time. Waste, sewage, foodstuff, grease, soap scum, and anything else flushed down your home’s plumbing system can build up over time and eventually cause clogging that might appear to come out of nowhere. Kitchen sinks, shower drains, toilets, and sewage lines all have the potential to become clogged simply due to age. It’s advisable to call a plumbing professional to come inspect your home’s system to determine the cause of your clogged drains.

Tree roots
If you’ve ever seen a tree root break through concrete, you know just how disruptive this force of nature can be. Unbeknownst to many homeowners, the same thing might be happening to their plumbing system underground. Older properties where trees have been growing uninterrupted for decades are at a higher risk of this issue. When tree roots penetrate sewer lines and obstruct the flow of waste, homeowners aren’t only looking at significant plumbing problems but potential health hazards too. If you notice foul odors inside and outside your home and have unexplainable drainage issues, a tree root might be to blame. Make sure to call an experienced expert if you come across these symptoms. Sewer services in Boston don’t make for a good DIY project.

Poor repairs
Plumbing services have become increasingly efficient over time. This is due to improved techniques, more effective tools, and more knowledgeable professionals. If your older Boston home received a sub-par repair in the past, the resulting problems might have waited until now to rear their ugly heads. Maybe a previous homeowner even attempted a DIY repair that eventually gave way. Regardless of the cause, poor repairs made in the past can come back to haunt current Boston homeowners. An experienced plumbing professional can identify these problem areas and make the necessary repairs to restore your home’s plumbing.

If your home is experiencing plumbing issues, the experts at Boston Standard Plumbing are here to help. We have years of experience offering comprehensive plumbing services to homeowners throughout Boston. Contact us today to set up an appointment.


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