Buying An Old Home? Check The Basement For Plumbing Problems

If you plan to finance or purchase an older house as your first home, be sure to check the basement first. Even if an old home has some upgrades, such as a new kitchen and appliances, it might still use outdated plumbing pipes and fixtures in the basement. Some of the outdated pipes can burst or break when you least expect them to. Here are things to look for when you inspect the basement and what you can do to fix them if you decide the buy the home:

What to Look For

Some of the first things to look for when you investigate the basement are water stains. When pipes leak, they leave behind dark blotches or spots of water. The leaks can occur inside the walls and flooring supporting the basement, or the leaks can happen in the ceiling above the basement. Some staining may occur along the baseboards of the room.

Leaking pipes can also encourage mold, mildew, and other organic matter to grow in the basement. The organic matter may give off a musty odor that permeates the basement. Mold can also spread to the rooms upstairs, so you want to inspect the rest of the home during your visit. 

Also, look for cracks in the basement's foundation, including around the water heater and furnace. Cracks can allow water from a leaking pipe to seep into the room and damage the metal housing of these appliances.

If you find signs of leaking plumbing pipes and still wish to purchase the home, you can take steps to repair them.

How to Fix the Problems

If the current homeowner or seller is willing to do so, ask them to repair the pipes. If the seller refuses to repair the plumbing, you can obtain services on your own. Ask the plumber to inspect the entire home and not just the basement. Some plumbing leaks can occur in the bathroom, kitchen, and other upstairs rooms.

After the inspection, a plumbing specialist will generally give you an estimate of the repairs or replacements. You can choose to repair or replace some of the bad plumbing or all of it. It's a good idea that you complete the job all at once. Even if you solve one plumbing problem, other pipes can continue to leak into the basement. 

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