The charms of living in an older home can be many: history, style, craftsmanship, quirks. But there’s no denying that living in such a home has its challenges. Maintenance can be tricky and expensive, especially if certain systems and features have been neglected over the years. Let’s take a look at some common situations found in many older homes:
- Energy inefficiency is probably the number one issue with older homes. Most older homes were constructed with single-pane windows; if these windows are still in use, they likely don’t fit very well and may be in less than good condition. Replacement windows can be very expensive, but will contribute immensely to reduced energy use and heating and cooling costs. Replacement windows are available in different styles, so finding one that suits the look of an older home is easier than ever.
- Like single-pane windows, inadequate insulation will also waste energy and money. The most important and easiest area of the home to insulate is the attic, but walls and floors above ventilated crawlspaces should be insulated as well if possible. The attic may already have insulation but it may be inadequate by current standards and should be upgraded.
- If the home has older water pipes, they should be checked to identify the material and determine if they need to be replaced. Some older materials such as galvanized steel, iron, and even lead are still in use today even though new construction does not allow them. Replacement options include copper, PEX, and CPVC piping.
- Outdated electrical systems can still sometimes be found in older homes and may not only be dangerous, they can make the house uninsurable. Even if no danger is present, we use so much more electricity in our homes now that the capacity of older systems may be inadequate. Only a qualified electrician should attempt any repairs or updates to a home’s electrical system.
For more information on allergens in the home, please contact your local Pillar To Post office.