Purchasing a new home should be one of those great events in our lives, and while so many of us are tempted by the idea of a fixer-upper, there are some pitfalls you need to pay attention to. Here are some of the most common you are likely to face when you are renovating.
Water leaks can cause a lot of damage so it’s vital to make sure a professional checks any potential plumbing issues. If your home was built before 1986, it may have lead pipework, in which case, it will need to be replaced with plastic or copper. Additionally, if you notice the water flow isn’t strong you may need to invest in additional water pump repair and if your property has any trees you need to check if any pipework has been damaged by the roots.
Electrical issues are not a DIY job unless you are experienced. Using a registered electrician is important as old electrics can be a serious fire hazard. You need to look out for outdated plug sockets and fuse boxes and any faded light switches to get an idea of how old they are. You need to bear in mind that if the property needs a full rewiring, this will involve installing wires in walls and taking up floorboards. Therefore, it’s best to do this at the start of any renovation job.
A Leaky Roof
It’s hardly a surprise that old houses will have old roofs. Any tell-tale signs from the outside include missing or cracked shingles and tiles, sagging gutters, as well as interior issues, such as moisture in the attic and water stains on the floor.
Mold and Mildew
This is the consequence of poor ventilation and excess moisture. The causes of mold, dampness, and mildew can stem from almost anywhere, and if you suspect any of these issues, you’ve got to look at the root cause. You do this by examining the exterior from the very top, all the way down. If you see any signs, such as a damaged chimney, they are not directing rain away from the building and any broken downpipes can result in damp walls.
Asbestos was banned in the late 1980s, so if you have invested in an older property it’s quite likely you will find it. If it’s not in the insulation, it could be in the floor tiles and gutters. While there is little risk if you leave it alone, if it’s found in an area that is prone to deterioration or is disturbed during renovation this could cause a lot of problems. Additionally, lead paint is found in homes prior to 1978 and it is important to be vigilant.
With so much charm exuding from an old home, you’ve got to bear in mind that there are plenty of potential problems. While there are issues with any new home, the best thing you can do is to be vigilant and as soon as you move in, conduct a thorough inspection. This is not just a good idea when you are moving in, but it gets you into the right mindset to tackle problems before they get bigger and more dangerous.