• Howard Gallagher

Common Issues In Older Homes

Older homes are full of character and history. A lot of homes in America especially in the Northeast and Midwest are over 50 years old. They require a different level of upkeep compared to newer homes. Older homes tend to have outdated materials in them. Home Construction has changed immensely in the last few decades. Certain older homes were built with lead, mercury and asbestos. Here are 5 common issues you can face with an older home.


Asbestos And Other Toxic Materials


Asbestos has been used in construction for over 100 years. It can slow the spread of fires. However once open in the air it can cause cancer and other health conditions. The EPA has banned in new construction but hasn’t enforced asbestos removal. Asbestos can be removed and replaced with a much safer material. Lead paint is another toxic material found in older homes. This is particularly important for families with small children. Lead paint is known to crack and small children can ingest it. Lead paint removal is recommended for this issue.

Foundation Issues

Foundations are built to last long. However over time they can crack, sink or need repair. One of the issues that is even more prevalent in older homes is damage to the sill plate. Over an extended period of time the sills in a home can become susceptible to water, insects and other external elements.

Electrical Issues


Any type of electrical issue can be a safety hazard to you and your family. Wiring installed before 1960 lasts roughly 70 years, while newer wiring is estimated to last at least 100 years.


Plumbing Issues


A water filtration system can clean any hard minerals in your water system. The major issue with older plumbing systems is the likelihood pipes need to be replaced. Tree roots can grow and clog older drainage pipes.


Pest Control


Termites and other pests can be a nuisance in your home. Termite damage can break down floors, walls, paint and expose your drywall. Prevention is the best solution. Remove any dead trees from near the bottom of your home. Close any cracks in the foundation.

Roofing Issues


Roofs can break down due to a variety of reasons. Pests, water damage or extreme weather can put wear and tear on your roof. A damaged roof can lead to leaks. signs of potential roof issues include missing or damaged shingles, crumbling roof cement, bowed or sagging gutters, persistent moisture in the attic, evidence of water damage in the upper floors, and critters in the attic or upper crawlspaces.


Appliance Issues

Old homes are more likely to have older home appliances. Most home appliances last 15 to 20 years. In event of a breakdown without a home warranty you would have to pay for a contractor to repair the unit or buy a new unit. With a home warranty plan you are covered for repair or replacement of home appliances. All you have to do is file a claim and pay a small service call fee.