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Upgrading Plumbing in Older Homes

Older Homes, Plumbing

Respecting History While Improving Functionality

Vintage retro bronze water tap faucet

The Chicago North Shore area is renowned for its vintage architecture and the many older homes that provide this area with its charm. Here in Evanston, where American Vintage Home is located, the median home age is 74 years old, and around 42% of homes were built in 1939 or earlier. That means if you’re a homeowner in the North Shore area and your property’s plumbing hasn’t been updated recently, you’re likely relying on some outdated plumbing equipment. Plumbing in older homes can present many problems, which is why it’s important to invest in upgrades that can help improve functionality while preserving the historic integrity of your property.

In this blog post, the “Older Home Experts” at American Vintage Home explain some of the most common challenges that plumbing in older properties can present, along with the upgrades we recommend for improving plumbing performance in your home.

The Challenges of Plumbing in Older Homes

Outdated plumbing can present unique challenges to families living in vintage homes, the most common of which include:

  • Outdated piping materials: Many older properties rely on pipes made from galvanized steel, cast iron, or lead, which can corrode, rust, or develop leaks over time as well as pose health risks to your family.
  • Dated plumbing fixtures: Toilets, faucets, and other plumbing fixtures in your older home may be outdated, causing water inefficiencies, leaking, and other issues.
  • Problems with pipes: Aging pipes are more susceptible to deterioration, scale buildup, and blockages caused by debris, sediment, corrosion, or tree root infiltration.
  • Incompatible plumbing systems: Modified or expanded plumbing systems in older homes may not be compatible with the original setup, leading to leaks, pressure imbalances, or inconsistent water flow.

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Plumbing Upgrades for Older Homes

While plumbing in older homes can present many challenges, there are plenty of upgrades that homeowners can make that can help improve the functionality and performance of their home plumbing system, including:

Replacing Lead & Galvanized Pipes

Many older homes in the North Shore area still rely on lead water lines or galvanized pipes, which should be replaced as they are unsafe. Lead pipes contain harmful contaminants that can seep into your water supply, posing significant health risks — especially to children and pregnant women.

Galvanized pipes are prone to corrosion and rust, leading to decreased water quality, potential leaks, and reduced water pressure. By investing in pipe replacement, you can ensure the integrity and safety of your plumbing system while preserving your home’s classic architecture.

Install a Tankless Water Heater

Some older properties have inefficient plumbing systems and limited space for bulky water heaters. Installing a tankless water heater in your older home can provide significant benefits by saving space and promoting greater water efficiency.

Tankless water heaters are compact and can be installed in smaller spaces, providing hot water on demand without the need for a large storage tank. By optimizing space utilization and reducing energy consumption, tankless water heaters make an excellent option for older properties with space constraints and outdated plumbing systems.

Update Faucets & Fixtures

Older faucets and fixtures can be more prone to leaking, water pressure problems, and performance inconsistencies due to wear and tear. However, some homeowners may be hesitant to replace these fixtures due to their vintage charm.

At American Vintage Home, our team specializes in replacing outdated fixtures with modern equivalents that maintain your home’s vintage design. By installing fixtures with classic designs and improved functionality, you can preserve the aesthetic appeal of your older home while enjoying the convenience and efficiency of upgraded plumbing fixtures.

Upgrade Your Older Home’s Plumbing With American Vintage Home

An American Vintage Home service van parked in front of a home

Ready to reap the benefits of modern plumbing fixtures in your older home while still maintaining its historic charm? American Vintage Home can help. We are proud to be known as the “Older Home Experts” as we specialize in servicing vintage properties in the North Shore and surrounding areas. Our team also offers free, no-obligation estimates on plumbing installations for your added convenience. With 24/7 emergency service availability and a broad variety of plumbing solutions designed to accommodate your older property, you can rest assured that you’ll enjoy modern convenience without compromising the historic design of your home.

Schedule plumbing services in Chicagoland by calling our team at (847) 999-4595 today!

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