Plumbers Near Me for Plumbing Maintenance in Older Homes

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Plumbing maintenance issues are one of the last things anyone wants to face out of the myriad obstacles of everyday life. When something does happen, it is imperative to your peace of mind to know that a plumber is right there when you need them, able to fix any of the problems of old and new homes alike.


Older homes require a little more attention and the maintenance can be more frequent, but there are many things you can do to be proactive about potential problems you might face. By being your own handyman, true plumbing emergencies are left to the professionals for when there is actually a major problem that requires a specific course of action. It is far too easy to resort to the “plumbers near me” query for issues that can be solved with a little know-how and a few supplies.


Most Common Plumbing Problems in Older Homes


Before reaching for your tool belt it is important to know exactly what you are up against. There are many problems your home can face, but some are more common and easily fixed than others. In older homes, one of the largest problems is outdated pipes. As the world around you moves forward with progress, there is something to be said for the structural soundness of older homes. As sturdy and well-made as those homes may be, the infrastructure may need an upgrade every now and then.


Iron, steel, and lead piping were the choice pipes for homes built in and around the mid to late 20th century. As time passed, these pipes began to rust and become galvanized causing brittle piping and leaks, along with contaminating the water running through them. Lead pipe problems are very common and are causing water issues across the world. Replacing piping is no easy task and should be left to the expertise of an experienced plumber. Though it might cost a bit to get done, the overall extended life of the home is at risk to potentially destructive damage.


Large tree roots are a huge menace to pipes, and a common source of emergency plumbing calls. When the house was built and the family planted a tree commemorating the move, they didn’t realize they were planting a seed for future problems! Tree roots can take over underground pipes with great power, breaking, bending, and contaminating them. The worst part is this issue is typically not noticed until it is too late and you wake up one morning with no running water and a lake in your front yard. Knowing where the pipe lines run and checking them every so often can save them and the 50-year-old tree in the front yard that sold you on the house.


Another issue facing older homes is older plumbing fixtures overdue for a repair or replacement. Neglecting this aspect of maintenance can take a small fix and turn it into a major problem. Antique and vintage fixtures have a lot of charm and may have been a selling point for the house. They built things better “back then”, but no plumbing fixture is meant to last forever; even the strongest copper piping should be replaced every few decades.


With that being said, most plumbing fixtures should be replaced on a rotating basis making sure they are working properly. Everything from toilets to faucets to even shower heads should be checked and replaced as needed. Your beautiful old fixtures will last longer if you regularly replace seals, rings, bolts, and other parts that wear down over time.


In older homes, problems tend not to surface or be noticed until it is too late which can cause even greater issues. A common example of this is seen in water heaters. When water heaters are replaced, the entire plumbing system of the house should be taken into consideration when installing and fitting a new water heater. One wrong connection or missing drip pan could potentially flood the house.


One of the worst plumbing issues is an issue that you did not know about and that was not yours to correct. In older houses, there could have been multiple families living there before you who were calling it home which means there could have been many plumbing problems that might not have been fixed properly. Just because you do not see a problem does not mean there is not one. The last thing you want to do is move into a house and be faced with issue after issue.


One way to mitigate that risk is before you move, have the plumbing in the home verified by a plumber beforehand. If there is any major issue, the details of correcting said issue can be worked out. This is also a great way to learn about your home’s plumbing. Important details like what your pipes are made out of and where the emergency shut-off valves are located will make it easier for you or a professional plumber to tackle problems down the road.


If you decide to do any of the maintenance yourself, it would be beneficial to find a plumber that can come out and check your work. It can be frustrating to fix a problem, and then create a bigger problem because the fix was not the correct fix. Just calling to get another set of eyes on the situation and another opinion could save you loads of money in the long run. Even if you have not done any recent maintenance, scheduling a consistent check every couple of years of the piping, fixtures, and overall all integrity of the plumbing system might not be a bad idea. Older homes especially require a little more attention to make sure everything is working properly.


There is a Problem, What Should I Do?


The first thing to do when a problem arises is not panic. The initial fright of spraying water can be surprising but it is just water and will likely not hurt you. If it is a faucet or toilet or some exterior appliance the first thing to do is cut the water supply off. If the water supply can be turned off and the leak stops, it is not an immediate concern and you can call a plumber for a scheduled visit to look at the problem.


If the leak does not stop when the water supply is turned off, the ever so common “plumbers near me” emergency search is the best way to go and the problem likely originated elsewhere requiring urgent attention. While you are waiting for the emergency plumber to arrive it is important to document what is happening and try to find the origin of the leak to try and save time for when the does plumber arrives. This way they know exactly where to begin and can fix the problem in a timely manner to avoid any further damage.


It does not hurt to have some basic plumbing supplies readily available in the event of an unsuspecting problem. Plumbers tape is the cheapest and simplest way to stop small dripping leaks for a short period of time. For just a few pounds a roll, you can use it generously and wrap it tightly a couple times around a hole in a pipe or a loose connection and it will greatly reduce, if not stop completely, the leak for a short time while you make other arrangements to fix it. In addition to plumbers’ tape, having extra sealants and fittings could also help maintain your home. Over time, seals around pipes that connect an appliance to the wall can deteriorate, which is no major plumbing concern by any means, but it should still be taken care of. Replacing the seals and fittings are easy and do not require any special tools. What is important is that in older homes, if you are replacing the original seal, be sure to completely clean out and remove all the original sealant before putting on any new. Sometimes, using brand new sealant over the remains of 40-year-old spackle will not create such a good connection and will look like a poor patchwork attempt.


Finding a Plumber Near You


If you have noticed a problem and have done what you can but the issue still persists, it is time to call for a plumber. Whether you call for an emergency plumber or to schedule a visit, your physical location and general information about the issue are key. There are plenty of plumbers in the London area, meaning a plumber in East Dulwich is not going to Leyton when a plumber in Stratford is available.

It is also important that you give all pertinent information about the issue when you make the call. Tell them you live in an older home and, if you can, even the year it was built and the types of pipes and appliances you have. These details affect the tools and information the plumber will prepare. One benefit of focusing your search on “plumbers near me” is that they’re likely used to working on homes of a similar age and will know what to expect. Emergency plumbers can be the key to saving your home from plumbing nightmares, and in older homes, keeping the home livable for as long as possible is the top priority.