Older homes are full of character and history, which is why they are so sought after, and they have often been lovingly crafted with a lot of attention paid to the small details. They can also be a lot of work to maintain if you dont keep on top of it. After you have carried out any initial maintenance work, its a good idea to create a regular maintenance schedule to stay on top of it.

Waterproofing

One of the key requirements of our homes is that they keeps us warm and dry. This is important not only for your comfort but for the health of your home, too. Older homes are often constructed using a lot of wood, and if damp gets in this can be damaging. Regularly check your guttering, downpipes and drains to make sure that they are working as you expect them to be, and if you notice an issue, then dont delay in getting it fixed.

A common issue with buildings that have been standing for a long time is that the roof wont be as effective as it once was. Some signs that your roof may need attention are:

  • Damp stains on your ceilings.

  • Cracked and broken shingles on the roof.

  • Damp in the attic.

  • Mould on the ceiling, exterior walls, or outside where your roof meets any exterior walls. This indicates that water has been sitting long enough for mould to form, so could indicate a drainage issue.

  • Cracked or broken housings and seals on your roof vents.

  • If you have a brick chimney, it will usually be surrounded by metal flashing. If there is rust on the flashing it needs to be replaced to keep it watertight.

Energy efficiency

Theres a reason that old houses in horror movies are often shown as being cold and drafty! If you want to conserve energy and keep yourself warm, there are a few energy efficiency measures that you can implement. As with any home, in an old home, loft insulation is an important way of preventing heat from escaping, so its a good idea to add it if you dont have any. If you already have loft insulation, check that there arent any gaps or cracks.

Its also a good idea to seek out any draughts coming from things like ill-fitting doors and window frames. For this type of work, particularly if you are trying to preserve the original aesthetic of the woodwork, its a good idea to contact a joiner who has experience of working in older homes like homecountiesjoinery.co.uk.

Heating and plumbing

A lot of older homes will have old-fashioned heating and plumbing systems that wont be as energy-efficient as modern systems and probably wont work as well.

Ask a plumber to check for pipes that are made of steel or asbestos. Steel pipes can eventually burst due to internal rusting, and asbestos is just bad news! Its also worth seeing if you can get your boiler replaced for a modern one if its not been done recently, as this will save you money and keep you warmer.

An electrician will be able to check out the wiring in your home and make sure that it is safe, as a lot of older wiring systems can be a little treacherous.


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