Own an Old House| 9 Best Home Maintenance Tips to Remember

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        Older houses have a unique appeal, but owning and caring for an older home can be challenging. As the house ages, so do the electrical system, appliances, heating & cooling systems, and pipes. If you own an old house, you need to embrace the fact that you’ll frequently have to do some more or less minor repairs and improvements. However, finding proper home maintenance tips and repair advice can save you a lot of time and money and help you live comfortably. 

        Here are nine tips that will help you keep an older home perfectly functional. 

Best Home Maintenance Tips to Make Your Old House Look Good

Inspect Your Electrical Panel Regularly 

Many older homes have Zinsco or other outdated electrical panels that often fail to operate effectively due to the high energy demand of the modern household. A malfunctioning board will overheat and can even catch fire, thus posing serious safety risks. Many electricians and home inspectors recommend frequent zinsco breakers replacement to eliminate safety hazards. 

Upgrade Your Wiring and Insulation 

Home Maintainance Tips

An older home may have outdated knob-and-tube wiring, which presents safety risks due to not being grounded. Upgrading to a modern wiring system can help you enjoy higher protection from electrical hazards. However, even modern wiring needs regular inspections. As the house ages, the rubber insulation on the wires wears out, so it may need regular reinforcement.  

Be on the Lookout for Pests 

Older homes are more vulnerable to pest infestations due to cracks and holes in the exterior walls and foundation. Moreover, the windows and doors may not be sealed as tightly as they should due to many years of use. If they can find a way, pests will enter your home, making themselves comfortable in moldy, dark, or damp spaces. Being on the lookout for pests is crucial because these tiny invaders can cause severe property damage. Termites, wasps, cockroaches, and rats can cause all sorts of problems in and around your home. 

Keep Your Attic and Basement Decluttered 

Home Maintainance Tips

Regularly decluttering your basement and attic is vital for keeping your house clean, safe, and functional. Extremely cluttered and dark spaces attract pests and gather dust, mold, insulation particles, and toxic compounds from the air. Moreover, clutter can exacerbate home risks. It can cause a fire to spread more quickly or make it difficult to manage a flood in the basement. Moreover, clutter can block access to pipes or wiring in case of a plumbing or electrical emergency. 

Seal Windows and Doors 

Your old house may be drafty if you haven’t updated it recently. Since energy costs were lower in the past, insulation was not considered a stringent need. To improve energy efficiency and cut airflow, consider sealing your doors and windows tightly. You will prevent pests from entering your living spaces. And you will also improve home security. If your windows and doors have old handles and locks, upgrade them as quickly as possible. Loose locks can facilitate a break-in. Add latches and smart locks to make sure your home is always secure. 

Inspect Your Roof for Leaks and Damage 

Home Maintainance Tips

An older home can be very vulnerable to water damage. The damage may not be visible for months or years. Once it becomes noticeable, the problem may be already expensive to fix. Inspecting your roof for leaks is an efficient way to ensure that water will not cause structural damage to your home.

Ideally, you should inspect your roof bi-annually or even more frequently if you live in an area with heavy rain and frequent storms. Look for missing or damaged shingles and gaps around chimneys and vent pipes. You can also check your attic for signs of roof leaks. Look at the walls and ceilings. Are they damp? Do you notice soft spots or peeling paint? These are all signs that you’re dealing with water damage. 

Clean Drains Regularly 

Older homes tend to have more plumbing problems because pipe materials corrode over time and experience residue build-up. If your home was built decades ago, you probably have already experienced plumbing issues. Pipe corrosion and sewer residues can make your plumbing system more prone to clogs.

Modern plumbing materials and devices are less vulnerable to degradation, so you may need to upgrade if you experience frequent problems. However, cleaning the drains can help you avoid problems and prolong the functionality of the drain components. Clean drains in sinks, showers, tubs, and dishwaters whenever you clean your home. 

Update Your Light Fixtures 

If you live in an old house, your light fixtures are probably outdated. And old light fixtures can affect the look of your home negatively due to their antiquated designs. Plus, they’re a lot less practical than their modern counterparts. Modern light fixtures are energy efficient and can thus help you lower your utility bills. And with so many styles and designs, you can find options that provide aesthetic value while also illuminating your home more efficiently. 

Beware of Hazardous Materials and Substances 

Many materials and chemical compounds widely used in the past are now considered health and safety hazards. Two relevant examples are lead paint and asbestos. Lead paint was used for interior and exterior surfaces in older houses and asbestos was used for insulation. Removing hazardous materials from an older home can be expensive.

Moreover, to do it, you need special equipment and professional expertise. These issues can lower the market value of your home, in addition to posing risks to your health. When doing various household activities, make sure you don’t have direct contact with surfaces that may be hazardous. 

Final Words 

An old house has personality and character, but the prospect of dealing with frequent maintenance issues often keeps buyers away. If you’re the happy owner of an older home, use the tips above to make sure you’re always enjoying your living spaces to the maximum. You can keep your house functional with minimal costs and little effort by paying attention to warning signs. 

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