Older homes carry an unmistakable air of unique character that is sometimes missing from newer homes. This fact may be what led you to purchase an older home in the first place. While that fact is true, also innate at the core of older homes is the fact that their plumbing can have an eccentricity all its own. There is no standard. There is no normal. Every single setup is different and as a result, the nuances of taking care of these older systems is different than a standard game plan. Not blind to this fact, we will outline a few ways that you can help maintain the integrity of older plumbing to keep the home’s charm in your sights.
Mature Home, Mature Everything
Often times a factor that you may overlook is the fact that if you’ve invested in an older home, they generally have mature foliage and growth on the property. A misguided root from a older tree can have catastrophic implications for your homes’ pipes. A critical point of triage can truly reside in this area. Even if there aren’t presently trees on the land, that doesn’t mean that there weren’t some in the past that were incompletely removed. An unattended root in the plumbing can be the kiss of death for your home’s system.
You Put the What, Where?
Your drains are not a trash can. Sometimes the best way to maintain them is to treat them right with your day to day habits. Put a hair catcher in your shower, don’t flush sanitary products down the toilet, oil doesn’t belong down the kitchen sink… Over a short period of time, these habits, especially in an older home, will cause the constant frustration of a clogged system.
Invest in Some Plumbing Tools
This may seem simple, but it can truly make an entire project. Whether it be a snake or plunger, having easy access to these products can be a quick, easy, and cost effective way to clear a clogged drain.
All Products are not Created Equal
Especially where old plumbing is concerned, try to steer clear of corrosive cleaners. This can be something as simple as a bleach based product or as common as a Draino type product. This Old House recommends things like 7th Generation or Method brand products that are more natural alternatives. When in doubt, however, seek the counsel of a professional. While many projects can be handled yourself, sometimes good intentions go south and more damage is caused.
With an older home, there comes a whole unique spectrum of problems where the plumbing is concerned. If you cater your care to the distinctive quirks of your individual system, you will find that you have less ongoing problems and can simply enjoy your home.