While some of us prefer to see the world through a slightly rosier lens than most, this idealism doesn’t hold true when buying a home– especially the older kind.
Let’s face it. Property management and maintenance tasks aren’t necessarily a walk in the park. Owning a home takes a lot of time, effort, and spending cash, and if you’re in the market to buy a house, you’ll want to avoid unnecessary expenses due to the poor home management of previous owners. Not all of us have black AMEX cards to swipe at every whim and call! But even if you’re NOT looking to buy a property anytime soon but are planning to sell your home, it’s still a good idea to keep track of the most vulnerable parts of your home to avoid problems with your home sale earlier on.
So, what common home maintenance problems should we watch out for in previously-owned homes? What are the “repeat offenders” on home inspectors’ lists? Here are the top nine home maintenance issues to address.
Most certified home inspectors find poor drainage quite a common problem when inspecting older homes. To improve your drainage, installing a new system of roof gutters and downspouts is ideal. Having the lot re-graded to better channel water away from the house is also an option.
An insufficient or outdated electrical system is inevitable, especially in older homes. However, if not addressed, this problem is potentially hazardous and should NOT be taken lightly. If you encounter this problem, replace the entire electrical system, or at least a major part of it, and bring the home up to code– and make it safe!
Ah, those roof leaks! Water damage caused by old or damaged shingles, or improper flashing, can become concerning, especially when it translates to roof leaks! While it’s cheap and relatively easy to repair shingles and small amounts of flashing, it may not be the case if you’re dealing with an old roof, so expect a bigger expense in roof replacement.
Poorly maintained heating system
Did you know that a poorly maintained heating system or one that’s past its prime can be a serious health and safety hazard? It’s also a common problem found in homes.
Have that old furnace repaired or replaced! While it can be a big bump in your budget, new furnaces are more energy-efficient, which will probably save you money down the line. If your heating system is anything but electrical, install carbon monoxide detectors in a couple of locations in the house.
Minor structural damage
Minor structural damages mean the house will not likely fall due to these but are still problems you should deal with before it becomes more serious. These include water seepage into the foundation, floor joists, rafters, or window and door headers. To best resolve, find the cause of the problem and repair or replace any damaged pieces. The more extensive the damage, the more expensive it will be to repair.
Most common plumbing defects are caused by old or incompatible piping materials, faulty fixtures, or waste lines. Fix this issue by replacing your fixtures or the plumbing itself if the problems persist.
Did you know that poor ventilation causes too much moisture that wreaks havoc on your interior walls and structure? Oh, and it can also exacerbate allergic reactions! Put a stop to this issue by installing ventilation fans in every bathroom if there are no windows, and regularly open all the windows in your home. If damage has already occurred, you may have to replace your drywall and other inexpensive pieces. If it’s a structural element, though, it will be more expensive!
Unfortunately, environmental problems are new and growing causes of home defects. These include lead-based paint (common in homes built before 1978), asbestos, formaldehyde, contaminated drinking water, radon, and leaking underground oil tanks. To take care of this issue, arrange a special inspection to determine environmental problems. However, take note that they’re usually expensive to fix, so be sure to have enough budget before you schedule an appointment.
Home exterior problems
Poor caulking and weather stripping are the usual culprits when your house’s exterior lets water and air inside your windows and doors, so the fix will relatively be easy and inexpensive. Whew.
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