Adequate plumbing is just another thing on a property manager's list of things to keep up on. Supplying sufficient hot water to a retirement community is difficult enough, but there are also considerations to make about when and where to use hard water. There are pros and cons to having hard water in each unit. Understanding how it can affect the elderly is especially important.
Hard Water: Hard on the Outer Body
There's no denying that the older you get, the thinner, drier, and more sensitive your skin becomes. Things that didn't used to irritate your skin can now leave lasting damage. Keep this in mind when you consider using hard or soft water throughout the retirement homes. Hard water in the bathroom could end up damaging some of your residents in these ways:
- Skin: Hard water dries out the skin, but the minerals in the water also cling to the pores in your skin. For younger people, this could lead to embarrassing acne, but for older people, it could mean rashes and increased sensitivity.
- Hair: It's harder to wash hair with hard water, because shampoo and conditioner don't rinse out as easily. For retired members, this could spell disaster. Many older women wash their hair once every week or two, and rely on their perm to give them a fresh appearance. But hard water contributes to greasy hair and causes perms to relax.
Hard Water: Soft on the Inside
While hard water isn't beneficial to the outside of your body, studies suggest that it is useful to your insides. And when it comes to older residents, any little thing can be a big help! The kitchen is the place for hard water, and here's how drinking hard water can benefit members of your retirement community:
- Prevent Deficiencies: The main two minerals in hard water are calcium and magnesium. When these minerals are in drinking water, it helps combat deficiencies. While the younger generation might focus on the benefits of calcium to teeth and nails, the older generation recognizes that bone density is also improved by the calcium in their hard water.
- Heart Health: Recent studies suggest a correlation between heart health and fluoride found in hard drinking water. While lifestyle and environment still play a role in cardiovascular health, it's nice to know that you are doing something to improve the health of your tenants.
- Diabetes: Hard water is by no means a cure for diabetes, but magnesium can help regulate insulin levels. Patients with type-2 diabetes are often found to have magnesium deficiencies and improve with supplements.
Hard Water: Combating the Effects on Your Plumbing
While hard water has a time and place, it can still cause problems. As a property manager, you have to deal with these problems on a regular basis. These tips will make a big difference in your commercial plumbing system:
- Pipes: Hard water increases buildup along pipes and water fixtures. But the minerals in hard water don't adhere to plastic or copper pipes as much as other materials such as steel. Consider using one of these materials for simpler maintenance.
- Water Softener: An industrial water softener reduces the buildup on fixtures, making them easier to clean and better to look at. Water softeners also increase the lifespan of boilers or water heaters.
Having hard water in a retirement community isn't a bad thing – as long as it is used in the right part of the home. The kitchen is the best place for hard water, but soft water should be available to your residents in the bathroom. The right type of water could improve their aging experience by benefiting them both inside and out. For more information, contact a commercial plumber.