Old houses are full of charm, character, and original features that attract many homeowners who are looking for something other than the cookie-cutter styles that are popular in new construction. But old houses unfortunately come with their fair share of structural concerns, which can lead to fire, high energy bills, and even water damage Denver homeowners can sometimes avoid. If you live in an older home or are considering buying one, beware of the following structural and other systemic problems that may exist:
1. Corroding foundation – One of the most common structural problems in an older home is a cracked or rotting foundation which occurs over time depending on the level of moisture in the surrounding soil, shifts in the bedrock, harsh weather patterns, and other factors. A corroding foundation can extend into the interior, causing doors and windows to jam or stick, visible wall cracks, and uneven or cracked floors.
2. Deteriorating electrical system – Original electrical systems and wiring eventually wear out. But in addition to normal wear and tear, a previous flood or pest infestation in the home could cause hidden damage to the electrical wiring, leading to the danger of shock, a power failure, and even fire. Deterioration can also occur in your electric service panels and circuit breakers.
3. Leaky roofs and windows – Old roofs and windows pose a number of concerns: they can allow water to seep in, creating moisture problems and water damage; they leave your home vulnerable to pests and critters; and their all-around lack of energy efficiency means huge energy bills. Original windows without a tight seal let cold air into your home in the winter and hot air in the summer. And a roof that has been allowed to age too long without repairing it or replacing it is likely to have missing shingles and sagging gutters, among other signs of damage.
4. Failing plumbing – A main cause of floods in an older house is an original or substandard plumbing system, as well as the type of pipes you have, whether steel, plastic, brass, or copper. Corroded pipes can suddenly burst, causing major water damage to your floors and inside your walls, which can then lead to the growth of potentially health-threatening mold. And the recent concern over lead is also pertinent to some older homes, as it could be present in the pipes.
5. Incomplete or shoddy updates – An older house has probably had a fair number of occupants over the years, which means that someone may have tried to make some updates at one point. But if those updates weren’t completed or were done in a shoddy manner, look out. You could see structural, electrical, or plumbing changes that aren’t up to code and therefore pose a variety of hazards, including some of the ones mentioned above.
If you’re buying an old house, learn about additional problems to watch out for.
Talk to the experts at NuBilt Construction about your older home. We specialize in remedying the effects of water damage, home improvements, and home reconstruction to solve structural issues, as well as restoration of your home after Denver water damage. Call 303-368-4688 to discuss your needs.