5 Important Fixes For Older Homes

Posted on: 4 November 2014

Your home is probably the most substantial purchase you'll make in your lifetime. Buying an older home can save you money in the short term, but if it falls victim to structural issues, it could gradually bleed you financially dry. If your home is decades old, you can still enjoy it for years to come by keeping up with these key areas:

1. Leaks, Rot and Mold

These three things often appear together, as leaks can cause wood rot as well as the growth of mold in your home. Plumbing pipes and roofs are common places to find water leaks. Signs of leakage include water stains in walls and ceilings as well as a general mildewy smell. Seal leaks and replace any rotting boards immediately.  Take the time to replace or repair old, defective plumbing, and clean any mold caused by leaks using bleach and water solution.

2. Your Foundation

A crack in your home's foundation can impair its overall stability as well as its resale value. Inspect the perimeter of your home for breaks or cracks and signs of major settling. Changes in the tracking of your home's windows and doors can indicate foundational problems. If you see cracks that are bigger than 3/16 inch, consult a professional. Consider basement waterproofing with companies like Gord's Basement Waterproofing Ltd for older homes as well.

3. Roofing

Your roof is your first line of defense against weather elements. Inspect it regularly for damaged or missing shingles. Check the flashing around your chimney and vents and replace these seals as needed. If you find significant roof damage, hire a professional roofer to address the issues or replace the entire roof.

4. Sewage Lines

Older-home sewage systems should be monitored for breaks, leaks and clogs in the underground lines. Warning signs include water bubbling up in your toilets, bathtubs or shower drains. While some issues can be fixed, others may indicate the need for a new sewer system (which can run into the thousands of dollars.) When in doubt, get a video scope of your sewer line so that you can find sewer issues as early as possible.

5. Optimal Drainage

Inspect your gutters regularly to make sure they are always clear of leaves and other debris. Ensure that rainwater is always draining effectively away from your roof and property. Water should be routed by downspouts away from your home's foundation. Soggy soil and standing water in your yard could be signs of rainwater backing up in your underground drainage system.

Take the time to keep up with these five areas in your older home, and you'll increase your chances of enjoying a safe and sound home for many years to come.