When it comes to restoring the integrity of your aging plumbing system, it’s best to start thinking about and implementing a plumbing restoration plan before your pipes start systematically failing. The first step usually involves talking to your board members, who may or may not be onboard for an expensive repair project. Thankfully, there are ways to present the idea to increase your odds of getting the approval you need.
1. Our plumbing system is at the end of its useful life.
When you enter into your next board meeting, bring with you all the documentation on your plumbing pipes, including the pipe materials and ages of the pipes. Depending on the type of plumbing pipes in your multi-unit residential building in Chicago and the age of your building, your pipes may be at or past their useful lives. Residential water supply pipes are only designed to last a maximum of 70 years, and some materials, like galvanized steel, may only be rated for 20 years. This means that if your building was built between 1946 and 1996, there’s a good chance your pipes are nearing the end of their operational lives. If you can start restoring your pipes before they are severely corroded or damaged by age, you can save money by getting them lined or coated with epoxy, which does not involve digging trenches through your landscaping or ripping out drywall.
2. Cost of repairs in last 6 – 12 months.
Before you enter your next board meeting, gather all of the repair bills associated with plumbing leaks and burst pipes from the last 6 or 12 months and make a note to bring them with you. Tell your board members about the cost of repairing the pipes and any cosmetic or structural components that were damaged by leaking water. Indicate if the repairs are getting more frequent and/or more expensive and give them the total dollar amount for all the bills.
3. Our last water test showed high levels of lead.
Many municipal water systems and residential plumbing supply lines still have lead pipes and/or lead soldering, and Chicago is no exception. While lead pipes are the obvious cause of lead leaching into your residents’ drinking water, copper pipes can also leach lead. This is because copper pipes were often sealed together with lead solder. As the copper deteriorates through age and use, the lead in the seams and joints can infiltrate the water. High lead exposure has been linked to birth defects and developmental delays, and while the government mandates limits on lead contamination, there is no level of lead that is safe to consume.
4. Complaints of low water pressure
Bring all documented complaints of low water pressure to your next board meeting. Low water pressure is a sign of pinhole leaks and hairline cracks. Tell your board members where the majority of the complaints are located and how many complaints per week or per month you receive. This is especially important if the calls and complaints from your residents have increased in frequency or if the problems appear to be spreading across the building. As additional pipes start to fail, you will need more capital to repair your pipes. This could deplete your annual maintenance budget and start eating into the building’s profits.
Benefits of Pipe Restoration Plans
Getting approval from your board members to create a pipe restoration plan is essential for starting the process of restoring the integrity and function of your water supply pipes. Once you have approval, you can start allocating funds and creating a schedule to have your pipes either lined or coated with epoxy instead of completely replaced, which could save you thousands of dollars over the cost of replacing your entire system.
Creating a Pipe Restoration Schedule with Nu Flow
Our pipe restoration experts can help you come up with a pipe restoration schedule that improves the durability and longevity of your pipes without destroying your budget or inconveniencing your residents. We can work with you to start restoring the pipes in your building that are the most corroded or oldest. From there, we can start lining or coating newer pipes or pipes with less damage, and this type of replacement schedule can be spread out over a time-frame that works for you.
For your information on pipe restoration and how to create a pipe restoration schedule, call us at 815-790-9000.