What most people don’t understand is that older homes weren’t built with some of the fancy modern amenities that we are all used to. Even the nicest homes didn’t have things the things we’ve all come to know as the basic necessities of comfort, like indoor plumbing, hot water, and even electricity. Over the years, many homes have been equipped with some of these amenities, but because older homes were built a certain way, some of the most modern systems, like heating and air conditioning, has to be fit in ad hoc. And even though many of these homes are retrofitted for the 21st century, there are still problems to look out for. So, get your pre-service checklist ready, because it is time to look at some of the most common problems. Here are five common older home maintenance issues.
- Electrical problems. In the old days – especially in homes built before the 1920s – electricity was scarce, but when it became popular, builders had to find a viable solution. The solution was to build ceramic tubes and pathways through the wood framing. The only problem is that the ceramic cracked and the wires because degraded next to the wood. So, if you have an older home, electrical problems could be common.
- Moisture problems. In older homes, moisture leaks are a big problem. In some cases, it is because of the way the house was designed – it simply attracts more moisture. Moisture can pose a serious problem, because it can cause mold and mildew to grow. There are many ways to protect an older home from moisture. For instance, you could install a whole house dehumidifier, which will absorb most of the moisture and keep the temperatures balanced. These systems are usually built in conjunction with the HVAC system.
- Insulation issues. Many older homes were built with extremely poor insulation. In most cases, older homes have barely any insulation or the insulation was removed or degraded. So, you can bet that if you are restoring an older home, that you are going to need to re-insulate the whole home. If you want to be economical, you can always re-insulate the attic yourself. Re-insulating the attic will keep indoor temperatures inside and will save you money on your utility bills.
- Plumbing problems. Up until about 70 years ago, steel and other easily corrodible metal was used a piping. Steel back then was in abundance, but after a while steel can rust, crack and eventually burst. If you don’t want to replace the piping your home, you could be dealing with many of these problems. The most common type of piping used today is copper, which doesn’t rust or clog.
- Leaks in the windows. Older homes have leaks in the windows, which are caused by the home’s age. After a while, any sealant that was weatherproofing doors and windows, wears away. So, what you are left with is tiny cracks in the window and door frames. All you need is a little caulking and that should do the trick.