Common Hidden Problems In Older Homes

There’s something charming about old homes that new construction just can’t rival. But while you might love antique wooden floors, 100-year old crown molding, and large, sweeping porches, it’s important to remember that old homes can come with their fair share of problems.

If you have been considering buying an older home, or if you currently own an older home, be sure you consider these often-hidden issues and have them addressed right away.

1. Foundation Issues

Some foundation issues are obvious — like a visibly noticeable warp in the floor. But other signs of impending doom via the foundation aren’t so clear. If you’re considering buying an older home, here are other ways to check for foundational issues:

  • Doors and windows that don’t latch properly
  • Cracks in drywall, especially over doors and windows
  • Chipping or flaking on floors and windows

If you notice any of the above, have the foundation professionally inspected.

2. Roof Leaks

Water intrusion is a home’s biggest enemy, which is why having a solid roof is so important. Checking for signs of water intrusion is one of the first things you should do when scouting an older home. Be on the lookout for water spots on the ceiling and stains from plumbing leaks and window leaks.

3. Old Plumbing

Combine decades of use and minimal maintenance, and your charming old home can have serious plumbing issues. Low water pressure, corrosion, leaks and the like might not seem like huge burdens to bear, but these annoyances can lead to much bigger problems down the line. While old plumbing shouldn’t necessarily scare you away from buying your dream home, it’s an important factor to consider as new plumbing systems cost thousands of dollars.

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4. Asbestos

Asbestos was commonly used as insulation and fire retardant in homes built before the 1970s. While it was once praised for its heat resistance, tensile strength, and insulating properties, asbestos is highly toxic and a known cause of mesothelioma cancer. Because it can be difficult to detect and remove, removal costs vary widely, with an average of $1,700 per project — so be sure to consider this before buying an older home.

5. Old Windows, Poor Insulation

Older windows don’t just add to your heating and cooling bills — they can also let in moisture. When it comes to any home, moisture is the enemy and can result in dry rot and mold problems. If the windows have been leaking for too long, there could also be damage to the walls and floors that isn’t visible to the naked eye so keep this in mind if you’re considering a historic abode. On average, homeowners spend about $4,800 when replacing windows so don’t overlook this.

6. Old Wiring

While most old wiring doesn’t pose a serious threat, if the insulation is crumbling or the wiring is knot and tube, you need to be mindful. Knot and tube was one of the first standardized designs for wiring — and although the design was effective, as it aged the insulators quickly broke down. This left exposed wires that were hazardous, easily causing fire or electrocution. Some older homes still have functioning knob and tube, so be sure to inspect the wiring in prospective homes and have it replaced if you choose to buy an older home with this type of wiring.

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7. Outdated Cooling and Heating

If you’re buying an old home that hasn’t been renovated in decades, chances are the HVAC system won’t be up to par. Some older homes weren’t constructed with ductwork meaning they’re left to rely on window units or other alternative methods of cooling and heating. Be sure to take this into consideration when purchasing an older home.

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Electrical, Plumbing and HVAC Services in South Florida

Buying an older home doesn’t have to be intimidating. At Sansone, we offer comprehensive services for electrical, plumbing and heating and air conditioning, so you have one less worry in your life. Give us a call today or schedule an appointment online to ensure your home’s electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems are all functioning as efficiently as possible.
Broward: (954) 800-2858
Palm Beach: (561) 701-8274
St. Lucie: (772) 879-5656

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