Proactive Plumbing plumbing

Common Plumbing Hazards for Older Buildings and Homes

There’s something charming about an older building. Be it a massive office or a historic home, older buildings come with a sense of history that their newer counterparts simply can’t match.

Talk to anyone who lives an older home, however, and you’ll discover that owning an older building isn’t as easy as it seems.

For instance, they require a level of upkeep above and beyond what you’ll find in a recently built home, especially regarding plumbing.

Older plumbing can introduce several health hazards into your home if you’re not careful. Stay safe by reading up on the most common plumbing safety hazards.

Lead Plumbing

Without a doubt, lead in your plumbing is the biggest cause for concern.

Decades ago, lead was the standard construction material used in household plumbing.

It was affordable, easy to install, and lasted quite a while. Unfortunately, that’s where the benefits ended.

It wasn’t long before home and building owners began noticing unwanted symptoms, such as developmental issues, seizures, abdominal pain, vomiting, and irritability.

If your home was built before 1986, you may want to contact your building super or real estate agent to see if your home is a risk.

Some states require the disclosure of lead plumbing before a home or building is purchased, but not every state is passing the Environmental Defense Fund’s guidelines.


Many older homes have poor or inadequate ventilation, resulting in trapped moisture. Also, a small leak from a pipe can exacerbate the issue tenfold.

The result: a nasty case of mold that spreads like a wildfire.

If you hear a soft dripping noise or see water damage on your roof, call your local plumber as soon as possible.

It’s true that mold is easily treatable, but it isn’t always simple to spot. Be on the lookout for itchy eyes, constant sickness, and dry, scaly skin.

Defective Plumbing

Up until 1995, many homes featured polybutylene plumbing as, like lead, it was easy to install and cost relatively little.

It didn’t take decades for building owners to notice the issues with polybutylene. Their plumbing soon began to malfunction or deteriorate altogether!

At its core, polybutylene is merely a reinforced plastic — and not a very strong plastic, at that. When exposed to certain chemicals, such as chlorine, the plumbing would begin to flake and weaken drastically.

Even normal usage resulted in some homeowners reporting warped and ruined plumbing.

It became such an issue that a massive class action lawsuit was filed, ending the manufacturing of polybutylene plumbing altogether.

Plumbing Safety is our Primary Concern

Don’t let these plumbing safety hazards keep you from buying an older home if that’s what you’re after. As part of your home inspection, get your plumbing checked before signing any final paperwork.

Proactive Plumbing is your choice for hard-working, honest plumbing services. Whether you need an entire line replacement or just want help finding a leak, we can help keep your family — and home — safe.

So be proactive and get in touch today!

Proactive Plumbing has provided dependable plumbing services, installations and repair for more than 15 years. We service Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, San Marcos, Escondido and other areas of San Diego County.