Plumbing problems are commonplace for homeowners (especially those living in the coldest regions of our nation) during the winter months. The potential for trouble is multiplied for folks living in older homes. Plumbing systems commonly found in older homes have much more wear and tear and as such, are more susceptible to freezing temperatures. Those that own older homes shouldn’t just be concerned about their home’s plumbing—they should also consider how the combination of old pipes, fixtures and equipment as well as the additional exposure to freezing temperatures from their drafty or poorly insulated home may affect them.
Houses constructed before 1960 most likely include a cast iron plumbing system as galvanized, or zinc coated, and cast iron pipes were standard as that time. However, as the years went by, age, weather as well as normal wear and tear took its toll. Many homes still rely on this original plumbing system. As winter sets in and temperatures drop, an additional strain is placed on an already aging system. Pipes that were already vulnerable are now subjected to extreme cold, which can freeze or cause the pipes to rupture.
Since older homes have been around much longer, it goes without saying they have probably gone through many remodels and modifications. Even though the work might have been top notch at the time, there still is the chance that it was not. Exterior breaches you may be unaware of carry the potential to allowing freezing temperatures to enter the sub walls. This can damage your plumbing.
Lack of Insulation
In early home construction, insulation was mostly an afterthought. In older, wood-frame constructed homes, it is not uncommon to find little to no insulating material. Since your plumbing will run through some of these same walls at some juncture, they are fully exposed to the winter temperatures. This can lead to frozen pipes which will not only deprive you of running water, but also can lead to costly home repairs should they burst, crack and/or leak.
These are just a few of the plumbing problems older homes experience during the winter. It would be beneficial to hire a licensed plumber to inspect, adjust and protect your home’s plumbing system before winter arrives. It may prevent your pipes from being left out in the cold this winter. For answers to any more questions you may have, contact The Pink Plumber today.
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