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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Out with the Old: Changing your Pipes

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Collapsed ceiling. If your commercial building seems to have more water damage problems than it usually does, polybutylene pipes may be the culprit.

From the 1970s to the 1990s, a specific sort of pipe was used in a lot of commercial plumbing. Polybutylene was thought to be the pipe of the future because it was inexpensive to make and easy to install. After a few years, however, those buildings started having plumbing problems. These pipes are not used in Las Vegas, NV, today because they inevitably wear out, and they cause significant water damage when they do. Here are some reasons these pipes must be replaced if they are part of your building's plumbing.

1. Exposure to treated water makes it brittle. One of the reasons this particular piping does not work for plumbing is that the water itself destroys the pipe. The chlorine and antibacterial chemicals used to make drinking water safe make the polybutylene pipes brittle and prone to breakage. Over time, they cannot be fixed. They must be replaced.

2. Disintegrating parts get stuck in water. Another startling effect of this type of piping is that as it disintegrates, it flakes off and leaches chemicals into the water supply. New plumbing made from safer materials is a necessary upgrade.

3. It costs more to maintain than to replace. Replacing these pipes have a comparable cost to replacing the carpet in your house. The piping change isn't inexpensive, but neither are all the costs from having to hire water remediation experts to clean up every time you have water damage.

4. It drives down the resale value of your building. Because this piping causes so many problems, it needs to be fixed before you put your property on the market. Most realtors won't even show a commercial property that still has old pipes in it. The pipes must be replaced before the building is likely to sell.

If your commercial building seems to have more water damage problems than it usually does, polybutylene pipes may be the culprit. Have the pipes replaced to avoid additional repair expenses.

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