Drainage and Plumbing Issues to Consider Before Flipping Older Properties

As someone in real estate that purchases and flips properties, you may think that a multi-unit building would be ideal. You can choose to flip the building to remodel the units and sell or rent them for long-term income. You may also decide to gut the building and flip it into larger units or one large nicer property.

Regardless of the option you choose, you will likely be running into a few drainage and plumbing issues, especially if the building is older. Here are a few serious plumbing and drainage issues to consider before you decide to purchase and flip a property. 

Basement Drainage

One area of older buildings, especially multi-unit buildings, that may be overlooked is the basement. Depending on the age and location of the building, a sump pump may have been installed. This pump could have severe drainage issues. This can be fixed with a new sump pump and angled flooring.

You may also need to make sure that the drainage is adequate outside of the building. Keep in mind, drainage should run down and away from the building at a slope. 

Another issue with basement drainage may be found in basement situated laundry areas. This is popular with older buildings where the unit may not have washer and dryer hookups, but the basement does.

The drainage may still be an exposed pipe that does not handle larger flows of water well. This can be fixed with new plumbing that allows for higher flow water drainage to accommodate the capacity of the units in the building.

Multiple Plumbing Repairs

You may not think that previous plumbing repairs would be an issue, but depending on how these repairs were handled, they could cause problems. If the previous repairs were made as quick fixes, patch jobs, or if different styles of pipes were used, then you could have pressure issues that can eventually lead to leaks.

Another issue with previous and multiple plumbing repairs may be the age and material used for those repairs. For example, most areas no longer allow lead piping to be used due to lead content in water.

However, lead pipe may have been standard when the building was built or when repairs were made. If this is true in your building, then you may need to replace all the plumbing in order to pass inspections. This process and the careful and proper disposal of the pipes may be expensive.

Unused or Blocked Off Pipes

As a building ages, changes ownership, or is renovated, the pipes may be moved around. They may also be left unused, blocked off, or even rerouted. This can lead to several drainage issues and plumbing issues that could lead to severe water damage. For example, if you have a series of unused or blocked off pipes that happen to retain some moisture, a leak may occur that you are unaware of or unable to find.

During an inspection, an inspector can follow pipeline trails and find any unused or blocked off pipes. They can then remove these pipes as part of the servicing to the building. They can then go in and ensure that the pipes that are still in place are draining properly and that there are no issues that could lead to leaks or water damage.

Your first step, ideally before purchasing the property, would be to have a company like RMC Reservoir Maintenance Contractors perform an inspection of the property.

An inspection will uncover drainage and plumbing issues, which will help you create a plan to tackle those issues and determine if there are hidden issues that you were not prepared for.  The experts at RMC Reservoir Maintenance Contractors can also develop a time frame and pricing for the work.