Common Issues Found in Older Homes
One of the most pressing problems found in older homes is an outdated electrical system which can cause fires or electrocution. Unfortunately, few homeowners are trained to recognize and replace inadequate electrical wires or systems. Issues like frayed insulation, outdated aluminum wiring, or old circuit breakers are a few serious conditions that only trained electricians can recognize or fix.
It wasn’t until the 1970’s that authorities realized how dangerous lead paint can be for adults and children. If your home was built before or during this time period, it is possible that there is lead paint in your home. If lead paint begins to peel and is ingested, it could poison children and pets. So it is highly advisable to get all painted surfaces tested, before sanding or stripping walls.
Many older homes don’t have proper insulation. This means high utility bills in the winter. In addition, adding insulation can become expensive if contractors have to cut through drywall to lay insulation.
Used as a fire retardant and insulation in the 1970’s, asbestos is now known to cause life threatening illnesses like mesothelioma and lung cancer. Asbestos is extremely difficult to detect with the untrained eye. It can also spread all across the home, laying on roof tiles, within the duct work, and in the carpet. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests leaving asbestos undisturbed. Contact a specialist to remove asbestos if found. Contact a professional immediately if asbestos is in the ductwork, as when it becomes airborne, it is extremely hazardous.
Older homes often have a lot of cracks and leaks. Sometimes leaks are not apparent until after the winter season or when it rains. Often, homeowners don’t even know that their home has a leak. Common places for leaks to occur are the roof, attic, basement, and in the walls. Cracks in the home can cause a variety of problems like high utility bills, and an entry point for pests. Cracked window frames, gaps around doors, and uninsulated electrical outlets can all lead to long term problems.