If you own your home long enough, replacing pipes is an issue you may encounter some day. Aging pipes can become unreliable and eventually leak or rupture. Contributing factors include the type of pipe material, the mineral content of municipal water, and water pressure inside your home.

Replacing pipes should be a preventative measure. That means it must be done before unexpected pipe ruptures occur, potentially causing thousands of dollars of indoor water damage. Here are some warning signs that your pipes may be approaching the end of their expected service life.

Signs of leakage.

An impending pipe rupture due to internal corrosion may be preceded by slight external seepage that initially appears as discoloration on pipes. As the condition of the pipes worsens, pinhole leaks may cause visible drips and the area surrounding the pipe will be chronically wet. Dark seepage around pipe joints is another sign of internal deterioration. Any evidence of leakage from water-supply pipes should be a red flag that water damage may be imminent.

Low water flow throughout the house.

This may be caused by mineral accumulation — also known as scale — inside pipes due to hard water. Accumulation of minerals like calcium and magnesium eventually deteriorates pipes, leading to leakage as time passes. This is not a repairable issue. Replacing pipes is the only remedy to restore proper water flow and avoid leaks.

Discolored water.

Chronically rusty, brown, or yellow water is usually evidence of ongoing deterioration in household plumbing that requires you to replace the pipes. Exceptions to this include discoloration in the municipal water supply for some reason, or if the source of household water originates from a private well. Get this checked out by a plumber as soon as possible.

Mystery mold growth.

Active mold growth requires an ongoing moisture source. If you are discovering mold in hidden places like a basement or inside wall cavities, the source of this unexplained water may be seepage from deteriorating pipes. Comprehensive mold remediation often involves plumbing work such as replacing pipes.

Contact the pros at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing for more information about replacing pipes to avoid costly water damage.