Reflections from Apartmentalize 2018 | SageWater

As the lone representative in the industry to attend the National Apartment Association’s (NAA) Apartmentalize conference in San Diego this month, we’re excited to share the top three insights we gathered from networking with property managers and owners on the tradeshow floor.

1. The problems with epoxy are real. We talked to several properties who all had their domestic water pipes epoxy-lined 10-12 years ago, and they were all experiencing failures. Flaking-off pieces of plastic that were clogging fixtures and contaminating drinking water as well as continued leaks were both common complaints. If you are considering epoxy lining instead of replacing your pipes, we highly recommend you perform your due diligence before making an investment decision in something that may or may not cause you trouble down the road.

2. Polybutylene is still not dead. Used from the late-1970’s to the mid-1990’s, this gray plastic pipe was deemed potentially defective in a billion dollars class action settlement in the late 90’s. However, most properties did not have their pipes replaced during the settlement period, and many are still plagued with leaks to this day. If you have poly pipes, it’s not a question of if, but rather when, your pipes will start to leak. It’s highly recommended that you start to track leak frequency to better understand how urgently you may be in need of a full system replacement.

3. Prioritization remains an issue. After speaking with numerous properties that had just gone through (or were currently considering) cosmetic renovations, we were shocked to hear how many were not thinking about upgrading their pipes at the same time. We have seen time and time again when properties spend a lot of money to refresh kitchens and baths, only to have them ruined by leaking pipes. As your property portfolio ages, prioritizing core projects like plumbing becomes more and more critical, and putting off replacement in favor of more visible upgrades becomes a bigger risk.

If you have any of these issues or concerns at your property, please don’t hesitate to give us a call for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are happy to talk through your pipe problems to see if we can help you avoid further plumbing issues at your community.