With old pipes, tree roots may become a serious problem. Tree roots can sense the water in sewage and water pipes, and they seek out these water sources, growing closer to your pipes every year. Clay sewer pipes were used up until 1980. Tree Roots can penetrate these pipes, causing blockages and sewage to back-up into the home. It may cost thousands of dollars in damage. To prevent this from happening, it's wise to replace old sewer pipes before they become a problem.
If your home was built between 1930 and 1990, you may have galvanized water pipes. Although galvanized pipes are thick and durable, the zinc coating on the outside eventually breaks down, which can cause rust buildup. Rust can clog the pipes from the inside, causing decreased water pressure. It can also cause leakage or breaks in the pipe, especially at the pipe joints. It is often best to replace these pipes before they fail, preventing costly damage before it happens.
Polybutylene water pipes were commonly installed in homes between 1978 and 1995. Polybutylene was cheaper than copper and was easier to install, making it a popular choice for home builders. However, it was later discovered that polybutylene pipe deteriorates over time when it reacts with water soluble oxidants. If you have high chlorine levels in your water, it can cause the pipes to deteriorate even faster. With polybutylene pipes, it's often hard to tell how badly the pipes are deteriorating because most deterioration occurs on the inside of the pipe where it is exposed to the chemicals found in water. Buried pipes are exposed to groundwater, so they deteriorate even faster. It may be hard to predict a leak until damage has already occurred to your home and property. Replacing these pipes before they fail could save thousands of dollars down the road.
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