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Purchasing an Older Home: 5 Important Things to Know About Your Gas Lines

Older houses have a special charm that includes feeling a sense of history every time you enter your front door. Yet, you must be aware that your charming starter home may also come with a few surprises.
Houses that are over twenty years old have been subjected to more wear and tear than those in newer neighborhoods, and many older homes were built with gas lines made from materials that have high rates of corrosion. For this reason, it is important for you to know these five things about protecting your home and family from a gas-related emergency.

Have Your Gas Lines Inspected

With older homes, a gas line check should always be part of your initial home inspection. This is because gas lines do have a shelf life, and that steel gas pipe that was installed fifty years ago may be on the verge of breaking due to corrosion. It is also possible that previous owners have installed new lines that were placed incorrectly or that do not follow proper codes.
Scheduling an inspection gives you peace of mind that your home is safe from a gas line breaking, and it can also let you know what you may be facing regarding replacements or repairs.

Recognize the Signs of a Gas Leak

Utility companies put a special chemical into the gas that runs through your system that allows you to detect a leak by smell. If you catch a whiff of a rotten egg odor outside your home or near your appliances, then you should always suspect a gas leak.
Outdoor gas leaks may cause changes in your yard such as dead vegetation, blowing dirt or bubbles in standing water above the line. Inside, you may notice weakened flames in your appliances or hear a hissing sound at the source of the leak.

Be Careful With DIY Projects

Naturally, you want to get started on fixing up your old house. However, many gas-related emergencies are caused by a homeowner's error. Make sure to know where your gas lines are located before you begin digging outside so that you do not inadvertently break one.
If you are installing new appliances, then you may also need a professional's expertise to make sure that you are using the right type of line. This is especially true if you are replacing electric appliances with gas ones.

Know What to Do in an Emergency

It is always best to know how to handle a gas emergency before it happens. This is because gas is highly flammable, and all it takes is a single spark to ignite the gas that has built up in a space. If you suspect a gas leak, get away from the area and call your local emergency services or gas company to have it shut off properly.
Make sure to avoid using your cell phone in the area of the leak. Once the gas is shut off, you can open your windows and doors to vent the area. Then, you will need to call for gas services to repair the problem and restore your home's safety.

Understand the Difference Between Repair and Replacement

Gas leaks can have many causes. In some instances, your gas leak may be caused by a faulty connection between the gas line and your appliance. In these instances, repairs are a simple fix that are very similar to other plumbing issues.
However, you may need to have a line completely replaced if it is old, corroded or severely damaged. Either way, addressing your issue head-on is critical for ensuring the wellbeing of everyone who enters your home.
When you have a gas emergency, we know that time is of the essence for keeping your family and neighbors safe. Give us a call at the first sign of a problem, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your gas lines are secure.