So you’ve decided to buy a new house, and you love everything about it. You love its look from the outside and its interior, and you couldn’t wait to get the paperwork done so you can move in right away. However, before you affix your signature to anything, bear in mind that you shouldn’t really be buying a house just because you like the way it looks on the outside. If anything, it’s what’s on the inside that needs to be looked at more closely before buying a house.
When we say “what’s on the inside”, we mean what’s hidden behind those walls: its plumbing system. A house could look great on the outside, but have plumbing problems that could cost unwitting home buyers thousands of dollars long after the ink has dried on the paperwork. That is why it’s always wise to take a closer look at the plumbing before making that life-changing decision. Here’s some of the hidden plumbing problems to watch out for before buying a house.
Check the sewer pipes
Make sure that the sewers system in the house you’re eyeing is not made of clay. That’s because a clay sewer system can break anytime and cause you problems that could cost you hundreds of dollars. To check for evidence of clay pipes, take a closer look at the base of the house’s downpipe or garden taps.
Be wary of bathroom or kitchen renovations
It is common for home owners looking to sell to renovate the bathroom or kitchen to make it look more attractive to potential buyers and allow them to ask for a higher price. While bathroom and kitchen renovations are fine, you have to make sure that they were done well, not just to cover up any lingering plumbing issues. Ask about the bathroom and kitchen renovator who did the job and see if they are reputable ones.
See if the pipes are galvanised
Look outside the house and locate exposed water or gas pipes. When you find them and you see that the pipes are made of copper, run your hand along the surface. You know the pipes have galvanised if you feel the surface to be pitted, rough or thick. They will eventually have to be replaced, so decide if you want to pay for it after buying the house or just move on and find another house.
Check the toilets
Drop by all the bathrooms in the house and flush all the toilets to see if they’re working perfectly. If you find one that doesn’t flush properly, you may have a drainage issue that could cause you problems in the future.
Find out how old the hot water system is
You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to find out the age of the hot water unit. All you have to do is look at its badge and you’ll find the information you need. Generally, water heaters that see regular maintenance last 15-20 years, while poorly maintained ones only have a life span of around 8-10 years. If the water heater is more than 8 years old, you have to prepare for the cost of replacing it.
Keep an eye out for cuts in concrete
Look around the property and see if there is a section of concrete on the ground with a square cut out of it. That cut means the previous owners of the house actually experienced drainage problems and actually tried to investigate it. Just make sure that whatever that drainage issue was, the problem has already been solved.
Check the roof
Replacing a damaged roof can cost you a lot, so make sure that it’s in tip-top condition before buying it. Check for rust, which is always a red flag. Be wary if the roof has a fresh coat of paint, because that could have been done just to cover up some damage. Make sure that all access points are visible, because concealed or hard-to-find ones mean someone is hiding something.
If the home you’re buying was built before 1986, there’s a chance that the pipes of its plumbing system are made of lead. There is no need to elaborate on the fact that lead is an environmental toxin, and you don’t want your family living in a house with lead pipes.
These are just some of the hidden plumbing problems you need to watch out for before buying a house. If you need the help of a professional plumber to assess a home’s plumbing system, call us at Beez Neez Plumbing, and we’d be more than glad to assist you in any way we can.