A few years ago, Husband and I were going through the process of findung new contents insurance and one of the online calculators asked us when our house was built. A little bit of searching revealed that it was built in 1920, making our house now over a hundred years old! There are a few things we’ve had to do to keep the house in tip-top condition, and I thought I’d share a few of them:
Keep the House Dry
The most important thing is to stop damp from getting into your home. Portable dehumidifiers for the home are a big help. You need to check roof coverings, gutters, downpipes and drains regularly to make sure they’re working properly. A leaky roof is the most obvious issue, but damp from overflowing gutters or badly ventilated spaces can also cause timbers to rot, plaster to flake off, and bricks to crumble. It can eventually lead to major structural problems and you perhaps requiring new roofing with asphalt shingles to protect your home from the elements
Have the Chimneys Swept
We’re lucky enough to have a log burner in our house which we use regularly and this means having the chimneys swept on a regular basis. However, if you have fireplaces in your old home, even if you don’t have fires that you still use, you should still get the chimneys taken care of by a professional to avoid having birds nesting or soot build ups.
Clean the Gutters
Keeping your gutters clean is important in all houses, but it’s especially essential in an older property. Aside from the fact that full gutters can exacerbate a damp problem, having gutters full of wet leaves and other detritus makes them a lot heavier, which puts strain on the brickwork of your property. It’s easy enough to do yourself if you have a long enough ladder but you may want to get a professional to do it for you – a quick search on google including your location, such as gutter cleaning Virginia Beach, will give you plenty of options.
If your home has been standing for a really long time, it’s more vulnerable to infestations because of the tiny holes as well as nooks and crannies that develop over time. As well as mice, you could be vulnerable to bees, wasps, ants, birds and squirrels, among other things. We had a huge wasps next living in the roof of our house, which we had to get an exterminator in to deal with, and ignoring the problem can lead to structural damage, so make sure you keep on top of things.
Check the Windows
Old windows and doors can be a major intrusion point for water, resulting in dry rot and mould. If poorly flashed or failing windows have been leaking for some time, properly replacing them can be a major job that includes work on the exterior facade of the home, reframing some wall and underfloor sections, and interior work, not to mention possible mould mitigation. Look carefully at old windows on old homes for signs of staining, mould or other damage.