Common Problems With Older Homes, and How to Fix Them

Posted On Wednesday, 14 October 2020 21:31

If you are living in an older home or are considering purchasing, or even renovating one, it is important to understand how your maintenance and living requirements will differ in comparison to the requirements associated with newer homes. 

There are a number of unique problems that are associated with older homes - this will come as a result of differences in building approaches and materials used, as well as general surroundings of the home. Some of these problems might appear to be minor inconveniences, however a closer look can often reveal significant problems. 

Knowing how to spot the indicators of common problems with older homes, as well as understanding the costs associated with them and how you can resolve these problems is crucial when living in, purchasing or renovating an older home. 

What is an Older Home?

Ultimately, whether or not your home is ‘older’ is subjective - generally, if your home was built over 30 years ago, you should definitely consider the problems outlined in this article.

On the other hand, if you are unsure of whether or not you should consider your home to be old, you can accurately decide whether or not it is by considering a few factors regarding the house condition, build qualities and environment. 

Factors that Cause Problems in Older Homes

Firstly, consider the environment surrounding your home. This might include weather conditions and any geological conditions that might impact how your home has aged over the years. Even conditions that you might consider to be minor, such as humidity, rain or extreme temperatures can have a huge impact on how your home ages, potentially warping materials or weakening the structure. Roof damage and dampness in the basement are particular examples. Obviously, if your home is located in an earthquake prone area, risk of damage is even more apparent.

Next, consider how the home might have been treated in the past. If the home has been regularly maintained and repaired, the current condition of your home can be drastically superior to one that has not been well looked after. Another point here is to think about whether or not the home has been renovated significantly in previous years - your home might feel new, despite being older. In some cases, renovations can turn your home into one that is ‘new’ - particularly if changes are made to structure or other areas prone to deterioration. 

Finally, consider the construction style and materials used within your home. If your home uses solid, higher end materials, it might have fewer maintenance requirements - the same is true regarding the skill and attention to detail of the builders of the home. The style will also make a difference, as some housing styles will hold up better in certain conditions. Finally, whether your home was mass produced or not could impact the condition of your home today - custom built homes often have a higher build quality.

Common Problems in Older Homes

Now, onto the problems you might face. Firstly, potentially the most obvious and problematic problem you could face is in regard to structural damage and issues. This might be in regard to the roof, foundation, or general structure of the home. There are a number of structural problems you might face - you can repair arch and lintel failure, mold and dampness, wall cracks, corrosion, and many other issues.

Next, think about deteriorated or outdated protection against other external elements. Waterproofing, drainage, insulation, and protection against things like termites are often not nearly as prominent in older homes, if at all. Today’s standards are dramatically improved, ensuring that your home is safe and future proof. 

Finally, a problem that you might consider to be less significant - the layout and design of the home. Whilst this can include aesthetic issues that won’t affect the safety or maintenance needs of your home, it can also include more serious problems. An example of this is seen in the narrow hallways and kitchen layouts often found in older homes - factors like these might not live up to today’s safety standards. Cosmetic considerations and layout might also be important - they will influence how the home is lived in and used. 

How to Approach Problems With Older Homes

Ultimately, there are too many potential problems to list - even hazardous materials such as asbestos can become apparent in an older home. The right approach to purchasing, renovating or living in an older home is crucial in ensuring its safety and longevity.

This means that whether you have spotted a particular issue or require a more comprehensive inspection of the home, the optimal approach to fixing problems in an older home is to enlist the help of a professional or specialist that can do an effective job - in doing so, they might add years of life to your home, while ensuring safety and general appeal.  

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Agent Resource

How to capture your next prospect - click here

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.