Older homes have more character, but as you will see, there are more dangers that come with them. Yes, they have charm and character, but we need to be aware of the issues that we can run into when we purchase one. So here are some of the most common problems you need to look out for.
Carbon monoxide is called the silent killer because it is odorless and invisible. CO is found in fumes produced by vehicles warmed up in garages, gas-operated equipment, and furnaces. Anybody who is exposed to carbon monoxide can be poisoned or can die from breathing it in. Any emergency furnace repair company should be able to conduct essential maintenance, but it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. One of the best methods of prevention is to have a carbon monoxide detector.
Problems With the Foundation
A very common issue in older homes, and needs to be addressed to make sure that the home is livable. The cause of foundation problems can arise from wear and tear, wet soil, or if there are tree roots from an established tree nearby. The best approach is to have a structural engineer address and assess the damage so they can repair the property. Some of the signs include doors that do not latch, windows that won’t open, and cracks in the interior and exterior walls.
Hazardous Building Materials
Lead-based paint and asbestos are common in homes built prior to 1978. Before you buy a home that was built before 1978, have it checked for both hazardous materials. They cannot be seen by the naked eye, and both can cause life-threatening damage. The signs of asbestos include crumbling drywall and siding, cracked paints, but the year the home was built is a giveaway.
Outdated Electrical Items
If you are moving into an old home, it’s very likely you will need to update the electrics before you settle in. While the electricity system may have been checked, and deemed to be safe, we have to remember that modern technology is far too advanced for primitive electrical systems. Any wiring that was installed before 1960 will last approximately 70 years. If you notice any issues with the outlets, for example, if they are unbranded, they will need to be changed to the ground wiring. Another key signpost would be flickering lighting, warm outlets, and frequent power outages.
Part of the charm of your home is the windows, but when winter comes, you may find yourself turning the thermostat up because heat is escaping easily. Many older homes are built without effective insulation. If you feel a draft with the windows closed, see condensation between the layers of glass, or you have difficulty opening or closing the windows, it’s safe to say you are not living in an environmentally friendly home. Also be sure the glass walls are built using good quality toughened glass.
While these are all things to keep an eye out for, an old home has a lot of charm. Older homes are built to last, and these reasons shouldn’t put you off purchasing an older home. It’s just important to be aware of the dangers and conduct your due diligence.