Did you know that nearly 40 percent of all homes in the country were built before 1970? In many parts of the country, there are even older homes out there. While there’s a lot of charm in old homes—at least ones that have withstood the test of time—there are often a number of problems just below the surface. Knowing these issues beforehand can make buying an old home or selling an old home easier for all.
Common Hidden Problems in Old Homes
- Hazardous Materials – It’s common to find lead and asbestos—two of the most common hazardous building materials—in older homes. Lead, a neurotoxic metal, is considered harmful to children. Asbestos, on the other hand, is well known for causing respiratory problems and lung cancer.
- Termite Damage – The longer a house is standing, the more pests it will ultimately attract. Older homes are commonly made of durable wood that termites love. Over time, termite damage can weaken flooring, structural supports, and drywall.
- Mold and Mildew – Even the smallest amount of water damage from, say, a refrigerator leak, can lead to mold or mildew in an old home. Since many old homes in the area are built with wood, it doesn’t take much for rot to set in.
- Plumbing Problems – Many old homes use plumbing that was adequate, but now we have better plumbing options. Unless you update the plumbing, you’re likely using faulty pipes, like steel, that only last about 20 years.