While older homes are full of character, history, and charm, they also tend to need more maintenance than newer properties. Whether you’re considering purchasing an older home or historic estate or already own a much-loved house, you need to be on the lookout for tasks which need to be done to care for your home year after year. Read on for some tips you can follow today.
Create a Maintenance Schedule
The first thing to do is create a maintenance schedule. Days, weeks, and months slide by easily, so you don’t want to suddenly realize you’ve forgotten to handle upkeep tasks. Put a home maintenance plan in place and you can live by the “prevention is better than cure” adage.
When it comes to catching small problems before they turn into big ones, know which tasks to prioritize. It’s important to note that some tasks should be done monthly, while others can be completed quarterly, annually, or even every few years. You can set up an automated system online, or simply use a paper calendar, to remind yourself when to address various maintenance jobs.
Also, think about taking photographs of areas of your home. Photos can document the condition things are in when you last checked. That way, if you need to keep an eye on wear and tear, you won’t forget how something looked months before, and think a problem hasn’t worsened when it actually has.
Maintain Heating and Cooling Systems
It’s also vital to maintain the heating and cooling systems in your older home. If the heating and cooling system is as old as the property itself, you may need to replace it altogether. However, the more you maintain systems, particularly the more modern ones, the longer they’ll last for you and the less costly repairs will be.
It pays to inspect (either yourself or via a licensed tradesperson) heating and cooling systems annually. The HVAC filters, in particular, need to be cleaned and replaced. It’s wise to get this task done in the fall months, before winter hits, or in spring, before the hot weather comes in. This way, your systems will be able to run more efficiently during the months of the year when you most need to use them.
Ventilation is also something to think about in homes which have some age on them. Have you heard strange noises coming from vents around your house, or noticed cold spots? If so, this is an indication you could have a ventilation issue. Unless you’re experienced in this field, get a professional to take a look to see if work is required.
Be on the Lookout for Pests
A big issue for properties can be damage from pests. In particular, termites can cause all sorts of problems in and around homes. Nests can grow quite quickly, and will often be in spots you can’t see or don’t look at much (such as inside internal walls or under homes). Make sure you get a pest inspector to look over your property at least once every year or two.
There are some visible signs to look out for too. For example, if you notice the paint on some of your walls has started to crack or get bubbles in it, look for the cause. If there are thin mud tubes inside or outside your house, you could be under attack. Don’t delay in these situations; call a home inspector to review the property as soon as possible.
Pay Attention to the Roof and Gutters
Another area you might not think about regularly but which really does require attention is your roof and the gutters around your home. Clean gutters to remove debris at least annually, if not more often, and make repairs as necessary.
It helps to use a rake and leaf blower to get rid of the leaves, sticks, and other muck that builds up over time in gutters. Doing this will help to stop icicles and ice dams from causing rust and holes too. As for your roof, inspect it for signs of wear and tear. Tiles and shingles can break due to weather exposure, and over time gaps can lead to water and other items leaking into your home.
Keep a Close Eye on Drains and Pipes
Lastly, don’t forget to keep a close eye on the drains and pipes in your property. Many older homes are at risk of having their old pipes clogging up and then bursting due to internal rusting. Homeowners may have to replace pipes over time. As well, if drains have had the wrong things poured down them over the years, it’s likely you’ll end up with backed-up sinks at some point. You can learn how to unclog a kitchen sink online if you’d like to do the work yourself, or else call in a plumber to assist.
Interested in learning more about older homes in Colorado? Check out the REcolorado Vintage Home Guide.
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