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10 Common problems in old homes (and how to fix them)

  • December 11, 2018
  • By Nick Vincent
10 Common problems in old homes (and how to fix them)

These days, #FixingOldHomes has become even more popular- especially among millennials. Unfortunately, old homes can have a lot of problems that need to be fixed before you can move in. Here are some of the most common problems, and how you can fix them:

  1. Grading and Moisture

As the ground around a house settles, the structure on top of it does the same things. This can be expensive as it can lead to leaks and other problems. One of the best ways to fix this problem before it becomes more costly is to repair any broken gutter. That’s because a broken gutter can be sending thousands of gallons of water towards the house, eroding its foundation.

  1. Lack of insulation

Older homes are simply not as warm as newer homes. A lot of this is due to simple lack of insulation, which is easily fixed. Repair the caulking around any windows, and be sure to install proper insulation wherever possible. While this may seem expensive, it will save you money in the long run.


  1. Steel plumbing

If you purchased a house that was built before 1940, it’s likely to have steel plumbing. These are always susceptible to rust, which can kill your water pressure, and also lead to burst pipes. The best thing you can do is replace these pipes as soon as you can.

  1. Poor wiring

May older homes have undersized wiring and electrical systems. Often, the entire power and electrical needs for multiple rooms are put on the same circuit. This is when you’ll notice your lights dimming when you use a major appliance. If this is the case, call an electrician to upgrade your wiring.

  1. Drafs

Many older homes have aluminium and steel windows. Unfortunately, these tend to crack and rust- letting in cold air. There are now many different energy-efficient options that will fit in well with whatever the style of your house.

  1. Old heating oil tanks

The older your tank, the more likely it is that it will leak. And this can cost you thousands of pounds down the line. If there’s one thing you do before you move into an older home, be sure to look into Certas Energy heating oil tanks.

  1. Cracked Shingles

In the 1980s, shingles were made out of fiberglass. Unfortunately, these tend to tear, rip, and crack after just five to ten years. It’s crucial that you keep moisture out of your roof, which is why you should check and replace any cracked shingles.

  1. Mould

Mould is very common in older homes, due to many of the problems above. This is particularly common in bathrooms and basements, and it can lead to allergies and health problems. Make sure your insurance policy covers mould if you don’t see any when you move in, and always use a dehumidifier if you live in a humid area.

  1. Termites

Termites can do a massive amount of damage to anything wooden in older homes. Look out for buckling or sagging floors, hollow-sounding floorboards, pinpoint holes, and peeling paint. If you have an infestation, you’ll need to hire a professional exterminator to come in.

  1. Hazardous materials

Asbestos and lead are both commonly found in older homes. Both of them can cause serious health issues- including lung cancer and respiratory problems with asbestos, and neurotoxin problems with lead.

Before you move in, check for signs of these materials and have them replaced ASAP.


By Nick Vincent, December 11, 2018