New homeowners in Denton, TX, quickly discover that home maintenance is a big deal. It’s a significant responsibility that has a direct impact on the health and well-being of everyone in the household. Professional plumbers offer invaluable services to new and experienced homeowners. However, plumbing experts also provide valuable services to potential homeowners. A house is the largest purchase many people make throughout their entire lives. Unexpected damage or outdated electric and plumbing infrastructure can turn joy into stress and anger. Minimize the risk of unexpected problems by consulting plumbers and other professionals to inspect a home before money changes hands.
Sometimes sellers or real estate agents try to hide or downplay problems, but sometimes they simply aren’t aware of any issues. It’s almost impossible for amateurs to perform a comprehensive inspection of a home’s plumbing. Only plumbing professionals have the tools and expertise to evaluate the entire system of pipes and fixtures in a home. The process is very different from a targeted repair of a known problem. Plumbers don’t know what they’ll find, nor do they know if any repairs are even necessary. They have to look at everything and consider all possibilities.
Tiny cameras that travel through pipes are excellent tools for inspections. A plumber can look through every inch of a pipe without tearing up the yard, digging access holes, or making any other physical changes. Although an inspection of an entire home can be time-consuming, it’s definitely worthwhile. Any problems found after the sale is finalized become the responsibility of the new owners. This means that buyers could be on the hook for extensive, or expensive, repairs. Even if the inspection doesn’t uncover any unforeseen defects, the new owners will still have peace of mind and a great head start on plumbing maintenance.
Toilets and Faucets
Inspecting toilets and sinks goes beyond the physical condition of the porcelain. A plumber will look in the water chambers, make sure the toilet doesn’t rock, and check for discoloration, dampness, and other signs of leaks around the bases of all bathroom fixtures. Sometimes a plumber will flush every toilet in the home several times to make sure the water is draining properly. It’s important to check every faucet too. Small amounts of rust coming from the tap aren’t unusual if no one has lived in the home for a while, but the flecks of rust should disappear quickly. Lots of rust, or small amounts that still show up days later, may indicate a bigger problem.
Leaks, Mold, and Mildew
Water stains on the walls or ceilings are a red flag. Even if you don’t know anything else, you know water is getting into places it shouldn’t be. The source could be leaky pipes or a roof in poor condition. Make sure to find and confirm the source of the water stains before going ahead with the sale. Other signs of leaks include peeling wallpaper, warped walls, or mold and mildew growth. A musty smell is also a potential red flag because it could mean that mold and mildew are present in places that aren’t visible.
Removing mold can be a time-consuming and frustrating process, but removing mold that’s growing inside walls or underneath carpets is even worse. Sometimes it isn’t possible to clean materials damaged by mold, so affected materials and structures need to be replaced. Clean-up costs can rise rapidly if new homeowners realize a mold infestation is more widespread than they thought. It’s a good idea to tell the seller or real estate agent that a sale is out of the question until the mold is cleaned up and the home is approved by a professional inspector.
Your plumber can check for leaks or excessive condensation on pipes within walls and other hidden places in your home. If the source of excess moisture isn’t addressed, the mold will just come back. Plumbing professionals can also figure out how old the pipes are and identify the material. Pipes in older homes are often made of steel or cast iron. While these pipes are strong and sturdy, they’re also vulnerable to corrosion over time. The house may need sectional or whole-house repiping, which is another project to insist on before buying the home.
Water heaters are large appliances that count as fairly significant purchases in many households. A well-maintained hot water heater can last for 15 to 20 years, but that doesn’t mean much to new homeowners if they don’t know when the heater was installed. If the previous owners already used the existing appliance for 15 years, the new owners need a replacement lined up. Sometimes there’s no documentation and no one knows how old the water heater is. Look for signs of aging such as rust, strange knocking or hissing noises, and leaky inlet or outlet valve. Pay close attention to hot water coming out of the tap too. If the water is red or brown, the appliance may be rusting inside. A rusty heater is on its last legs, so get it replaced before buying the home.
Pay special attention to septic systems for homes that aren’t connected to any sort of municipal sewage system. There’s nothing wrong with septic tanks. They work quite well, but only if the tank and leach bed were installed and maintained correctly. Septic pipes are prone to tree root infiltration because they’re located very close to the surface and tree roots are attracted to the water and nutrients inside pipes. A tiny root tendril that makes its way into a crack or hole can grow into a large root with extensive infiltration very quickly. Some local governments have specific rules for septic systems and require an inspection before a home is sold. If an inspection isn’t required, ask your plumber to arrange an inspection anyway.
The certified plumbers at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of North Dallas, who have a location in Denton, TX, are always ready and willing to assist customers with any plumbing needs throughout Denton, TX. Don’t hesitate to call and schedule a consultation for anything from routine maintenance or repairs to new home inspections. Emergency plumbing services are also available for problems that need an immediate solution.