You are a Chicago property manager and you are having plumbing problems. We’re not talking leaky faucet, toilet running plumbing problems. We are talking pipes in the walls leaking plumbing problems. This is serious stuff. You have heard about pipe restoration services that can actually re-line plumbing with a minimum of invasive work. Perhaps you have even heard that it is significantly less expensive and quicker than tearing through walls and replacing lengthy pipe runs.

The questions is, how do you know what contractor to hire? Which ones should you avoid? If you are a Chicago property manager, here are 9 clues to watch out for when hiring a pipe restoration contractor.

  1. Pay attention to how they answer the phone. If they just say “Hello” or “This is Bob” you may want to re-think your choice. If your call is answered by a kid who yells “Dad! It’s for you.” you may also want to move on. Pipe relining and restoration is serious business and should be handled in a business-like manner.
  2. Make sure they are properly licensed and insured. The last thing you want to say to the board of directors is “I didn’t know they weren’t licensed or insured”. Protect yourself, your tenants, and your board members by performing your due diligence.
  3. Are they approved and certified by the manufacturer? You will want to be assured that your contractor knows how to properly apply the products he is using. Certification from the manufacturer is the best assurance you can get.
  4. Check out references and learn about their work history. While pipe restoration is a relatively new technology, it is proven and has been used very successfully in the field. You don’t want to be the first, or second job of any pipe restoration contractor. Find a contractor who has proven themselves in projects that are comparable to your situation. Just because someone has relined pipes in Aunt Martha’s duplex doesn’t make them qualified for pipe restoration in a 20 story building.
  5. Beware of subcontractors from national companies. Make sure your contractor is located in the Chicagoland area and restoration is their primary business. If they show up in a van with lettering that says “Chico’s Exterminating” they may just be getting referrals from a national toll free line. Ensuring they are local will also provide you peace of mind if warranty work or other emergency repairs need to be done in the future.
  6. Take the time to make sure your estimate is complete. Does it include the full scope of work involved? Ask what happens if the contractor underestimated the work involved. The time to ask is BEFORE work is started.
  7. Are your pipes being completely relined or gap-lined? If you expect a true pipe restoration don’t settle for a gap-lined process. Gap lining only covers areas of the pipe that are currently causing a problem. While it is less expensive, it will likely only lead to other eventual failures, even in the same pipe run. If you are going to do it, do it right.
  8. Ask for the process to be fully explained and how it will affect the tenants. If they can’t explain the process, how can they complete it? You want to work with a company who understands ANY interruption is an inconvenience to your tenants. Ask how their plan will minimize this inconvenience and how the tenants will be kept informed.
  9. Ask about warranties and follow up work. Make sure you understand the terms of any warranties and ask for suggestions on follow-up work. If you are having plumbing problems due to age, improper installation or severe cold, those problems will likely continue. See if your contractor has a master plan that you and your board can work together on moving forward with.

Nu Flow Midwest is Chicago’s experienced epoxy pipe lining solution. We can restore leaking, corroded or eroded pipes without the costly expense and disruption of pipe replacement. We can demonstrate our capabilities and show you real life examples of our work. If you are in search of a Chicago pipe restoration contractor, we invite you to contact NuFlow Midwest today!