Old Property, New Tricks: Plumbing Maintenance
Consistent, timely maintenance is important in any rental property to keep tenants happy and keep your building structurally sound. Older buildings tend to have more plumbing problems than new buildings, particularly if they were outfitted with polybutylene pipes. Therefore, you must be even more vigilant if you own a building in Easton, PA, that was not just constructed. Here are some helpful maintenance tips.
Most clogs are caused by an individual blockage in a particular unit. Maintenance is generally not difficult on these clogs. You should keep a few things on hand to help you fix the problem:
• Drain auger (also known as a snake)
• Enzyme treatment
Most clogs can be loosened with an auger or plunger. The auger grabs the material clogging the drain and pulls it out while the plunger uses air pressure to force the clog through the pipe. If you notice recurring problems in the same unit, a monthly enzyme treatment may be helpful. If the clog causes the unit to flood, you may also need professional remediation services.
Old pipes made of polybutylene tend to flake and deteriorate the more they are exposed to the chemicals used to make water clean. This is partially why builders stopped using them in the late 1990s. If your rental property has these kinds of pipes, you may need to replace them at some point so that you don't keep having leaks that could cause severe water damage to your building. Other problems to look for are the roots of established trees. They tend to break pipes as they grow. A root killer flushed down a toilet twice a year can kill the roots that are encroaching upon your pipes without harming the tree itself.
Whether you are dealing with issues resulting from faulty polybutylene pipes or the third instance of a clogged sink from the same unit, it's important to acknowledge that older properties come with their quirks. Most of the quirks are manageable, however, if you stay on top of your maintenance routine.