Older homes are always a popular choice in the housing market. Not only are they often cheaper than newer builds, but they have much of the charm and personality that new houses lack. But, buying an older house comes with a few considerations. Because of the date in which it was constructed, there could be a few issues in the house that happen with age. To avoid any major problems down the line, there are a few home aspects that should be double-checked to save money, stress, and a lot of headaches.
The foundation of a house refers to the platform on which the rest of the structure is built upon. A sturdy and well-constructed foundation is crucial to avoid any collapses that are both costly and dangerous. The foundations of older homes are susceptible to vulnerabilities because of their age. Chances are these platforms have been stressed and weathered over time. Consider hiring a professional company with tools like GPR scanning to ensure that the foundation still has the proper structural integrity. GPR scanning, also known as ground-penetrating radar, is used to ensure that a concrete foundation or structure is free of any major cracks or weaknesses that could potentially lead to serious damage.
Roofing, much like the foundation, is a crucial component of a safe and stable house. The older the roof on a home is, the more weathering events it has endured. While well-built roofs can withstand a good amount of stress, over time they become weaker and weaker. Older roofs are susceptible to leaking, poor insulation, and material deterioration. These vulnerabilities can cause a variety of problems, including inconsistent indoor temperatures, falling debris from the ceiling, and expensive water damage. Consider hiring a professional roofer to inspect your roof prior to moving in. Rebuilding or restructuring your roof sooner than later can help you avoid serious and irreparable damages.
The electrical system of a house is one of the most often used in day-to-day processes. Whether it’s lights, appliances, air conditioning, or even smaller-scale uses like phone charging, this system is constantly exerting energy. The older an electrical system gets, the more likely you are to encounter issues. One of the most common issues in an older home’s electrical system may not be equipped to handle modern amounts of electricity. Over time, we have started to use more and more electricity in our homes. We have more appliances, more media systems, and more chargers than ever before. While modern houses have electrical systems built to supply such large amounts of electricity, older homes don’t share that same privilege. It would be wise to check out your older home’s electrical system to ensure that it is safe to use with your level of usage. If it isn’t, it is best to replace it to avoid serious danger.
Plumbing systems often face the same issues as electrical systems. Older homes and their older plumbing systems struggle to keep up with modern water demands. Like electricity, we use more water now than we did in the past, thus older pipes have a hard time holding up against overuse. As a rule of thumb, plumbing systems should be replaced or at least thoroughly inspected every 30 years. Common signs of weak pipes are loud noises coming from your plumbing system when you turn the water on, constantly leaking faucets, showers, or toilets, and signs of water damage on ceilings and walls near where a pipe runs through. To avoid a major leak or burst pipe, consider having a professional plumber come in and examine your home’s plumbing system.
Hazardous Building Materials
Over time, building codes have changed to reflect emerging safety concerns in regards to certain materials. Two of the most common hazardous materials that have now been deemed a safety concern are lead paint and asbestos. Lead paint and asbestos have been linked to certain cancers and are suspected to cause a variety of health problems. Hiring a qualified testing company can help you identify if any of these major health hazards are present in your home. Often the solution is to remove any presence of materials until the inspections come back clean. It is also important to run these inspections prior to any renovations. Disturbing the material in an uncontrolled manner and environment can cause it to release its toxins and harm any person in the vicinity.
The Bottom Line
Buying an older home is an excellent investment. These houses often have historical value and architecture that is difficult to find and replicate in modern builds. This being said, like all things there are potential problems to consider. Before moving in or making any serious renovations, it is best to call in an inspection surface to go over areas of concern or vulnerability. The foundation, roof, plumbing system, and electrical system are excellent places to start. Not only do these inspections save you money down the road, but they can prevent any serious danger or damage that occurs as a result.