Common Issues with older homes

Older homes can be full of charm and character, but they may also have worn out systems and components - anything from ancient water heaters to sagging floors. The specific issues that will affect your older residence will depend on how well the home has been maintained. If the home has been well cared for you should only expect to perform some minor repairs, but in the majority of cases at least one major system may need updating. Read on to get acquainted with some of the most common issues associated with older homes.

Plumbing in an older home is usually a mix of old and new materials and the type you have determines how long it's good for. Cast iron piping can pit or crack as it corrodes from the inside out. Iron and lead pipes can fill up and clog with mineral deposits. These individual sections have different periods of efficiency and should be replaced as needed. Unless the home has had its plumbing gutted recently, you can count on updating at least some of the piping and fixtures.

Energy inefficiency is common in older homes. The best way to save energy is to cut down on convective heat loss, which occurs when warm household air flows through gaps like those around windows or the chimney of a fireplace. This means weather stripping doors and windows, and caulking gaps. If drafts become a serious issue, consider replacing windows and doors and checking fireplace dampers.

Wood Floors can really show the signs of age - anything from cracks, to burn spots, to loose boards. Each home has to be evaluated on a case by case basis to determine the difference between a cosmetic problem and a significant repair. If there is enough wood thickness to sand the floors and refinish, it's a cosmetic issue. If you have a sagging floor that can no longer support its own weight, it will need to be replaced.

Roofing. Many old roofs are a patch work of repairs and additions of different ages and materials. It's common practice to add layers of asphalt shingles over an old roof, but eventually this practice can cause the roof to sag. Make sure that your roof undergoes a careful inspection if you're in need of repairs, you'll avoid burying the problem.

A special Thank you to Bjorn Rygg, registered and certified home Inspector from Pillar to Post for this post.  Bjorn.Rygg@pillartopost.com or call 604-532-0530