Congratulations! You’re the ambitious type that chose to purchase an old house. Technically speaking, an older home is considered a structure built 50 or more years ago. There are undoubtedly loads of cozy antique details that attracted you to this decision. However, the workload that comes with maintaining an older home might have you questioning the sanity of your choice. The key to living in an older home is staying on top of the little things and addressing them before they become big problems. Below is a list of six areas to monitor to keep your elderly charmer in great shape.
1. Inspect the Foundation
It’s always a good idea to regularly inspect the foundation of your home. This is even more important when it comes to older houses. Keep an eye out for unevenness, leaking, cracks, warped beams and more. It’s likely that your home was built before there was technology available to avoid running into many common foundation problems. It’s important to maintain sound bones in your home, and preventative inspections to catch any problems before they cause long term damage are a great idea.
2. Watch Out for Mold
While we no longer live in the early twentieth century when breathing in toxins caused by mold spores was quite common, this can still be an issue while living in older homes today. Exposure, both short term and long term, to large amounts of mold spores will cause health issues. Mold is tough to detect with an untrained eye, so it’s a good idea to have a professional do a thorough inspection. Moisture is the main culprit behind mold growth, so keep an eye out for leaks, damp areas or unwanted sources of water.
3. Look for Compromised Plumbing
As the pipes in your home age, degradation is common. Often, the materials used when your home was built, were not held to the same standards as new builds today. Plumbing in particular, is an area prone to problems. Look into the material of your pipes, if there is any trace of lead they can break down as they age and contaminate your drinking water. Another common older pipe material is called polybutylene. This material is easily corroded by common household cleaning products and if not addressed has the potential to burst. Make sure to examine your plumbing set up to avoid potential costly and harmful outcomes.
4. Seal Your Windows and Doors
As a house ages and settles, cracks will appear where you least want them. Window and door frames are particularly susceptible to this, leading to drafts and lots of wasted money spent on heating bills. In order to avoid this, there are several different routes you can take to sealing your windows and doors. Caulking is a common one, and easy to master for even the biggest novice. There are also window weather sealing strips, or if you want to get more advanced, you can reglaze windowpanes that have come loose. Keeping your house sealed up tightly will help to make your home more efficient when it comes to heating and cooling and also prevents unwanted pests from entering.
5. Find a Reliable Electrician
Wiring is another aspect of older home ownership that does not always withstand the test of time. In order to avoid potential fire hazards, it’s a good idea to have a competent electrician in mind. He or she can help you to identify overloaded circuits, wiring that is not in great shape and other hazardous situations involving electrical work. Most are easy fixes, that when identified and addressed, can quickly be resolved. It’s always smart to keep an eye on the electrical details in your home to maintain a safe living space. When it comes to finding a local professional for your older home, this article provides you with tips and tricks for hiring the right individual for you.
There are many joys involved in the process of owning and living in an older home. You have charm in spades and are living in a piece of history. While there are many things to keep an eye out for, do not let this dissuade you from embracing the unique joys of older home ownership. It’s as simple as staying on top of the details and having a willing attitude to tackle any problem with gusto. Hopefully, these tips were educational and useful. Best of luck with your older home living journey!