The Allure and Problems of Older Homes
Connecticut has a number of homes over 50 years old, including many that are considered “historic”: which age over 100 years old. Many of these homes offer a certain character and beauty that is often lacking in new homes. However, they often have problems with their foundations, basements, structure, and other systems due to their age. Residential ResQ has experience doing foundation repair and waterproofing in both older and historic homes in Connecticut.
Benefits of Owning an Older Home
There are a number of reasons homeowners prefer older homes, including some of the following:
- Established neighborhood – Many older homes are located in established neighborhoods with long-term homeowners who care about the area. These areas often have more mature trees and landscaping, and a stronger sense of community over all.
- Convenient location – Older homes tend to be located closer to shopping, recreational activities, and places of employment.
- Unique character – Most older homes have unique period architecture. Some include built-in bookcases and display cabinets that make them more aesthetically pleasing, things that can be difficult to duplicate in newer homes.
- Better construction quality – While not all older homes are well-built, many are constructed more solidly and with more durability than newer homes which may be built by cheaper mass-construction.
- Opportunity to build equity – Many older homes offer opportunities for homeowners to update kitchens and bathrooms, finish basements, add attached garages, build decks and patios, and install new landscaping that increases the value of the home far greater than the cost.
Common Problems with Older Homes
Foundation and Structural Problems
Due to soil moisture and erosion, most older homes eventually develop foundation and structural problems. Such problems include foundation cracks, uneven slabs or perimeter foundation walls, corrosion and dry rot due to moisture, and damaged piers, pilings, or concrete support for the entire structure. Signs of failure include wall, floor, and ceiling cracks, doors and windows that jam, bowed or leaning walls, and floors that are not level.
Residential ResQ can repair most foundation and structural problems through repairing cracks, leveling concrete, fixing leaning walls, installing foundation support systems, and installing interior and exterior drainage systems.
Mold and Mildew Damage
Older homes with excess moisture, especially in the basement or crawlspace, can develop problems with mold and mildew. While a small amount of indoor mold is not a serious problem, uncontrolled growth can cause problems in children and adults who have allergies or respiratory problems, including asthma. Mold also eats away the surfaces of wood, drywall, grout, and other porous substances and can lead to structural problems in your home.
Residential ResQ can repair your leaking basement, place proper insulation in your basement and crawl space, and install fans and dehumidifiers to prevent moisture that causes mold and mildew growth.
Plumbing and Electrical Problems
Another problem with older homes is old or substandard plumbing and electrical systems. A pipe failure can flood the home and cause major water damage to the home’s interior. It can also cause mold infestations. The solution is to hire a plumber to replace the pipes. Electrical wiring can cause problems with shocks, short circuits, and fires. Wiring installed before 1960 lasts about 70 years, while newer wiring will last at least 100 years. Hiring a licensed electrician is the best option repair electrical problems.
Once your plumber and electrician have taken care of the immediate issues, Residential ResQ can repair cracks in the floors and walls and other damage caused by broken and leaking pipes.
Lead and asbestos are two hazardous materials that were used in homes built before the 1980’s. Lead, potentially harmful to children, was commonly used in paint before 1978. Asbestos, a fibrous material which contributes to lung cancer and respiratory problems, was used as insulation material until the mid-1970’s. Many crawlspaces, walls, and pipes in older homes are covered with asbestos.
If you have small children, investing in lead paint removal and a water filtration system for drinking water are both good solutions for reducing exposure to lead. Asbestos is only a problem if you plan to tear out walls or floors containing asbestos.
At Residential ResQ, we take proper precaution when dealing with asbestos to make certain your family and our workers are safe.
Older homes may develop signs of termite damage which include sagging floors, pin-sized holes in drywall, hollow-sounding floors, and peeling paint. The best solution is prevention of infestations before they cause damage to your wood structure, floors, or drywall. Ways to prevent termites are to prevent water from pooling near your home’s foundation by installing drainage systems, to remove old shrubs, roots, and wooden mulch away from the foundation, and to seal foundation cracks which provide entry for termites.
Termite damage can be avoided by hiring pest control professionals before you are required to make more expensive structural repairs.
Residential ResQ can also install interior and exterior drainage systems, repair leaks in the walls and foundation, and seal crawlspaces to discourage termite infestations.
Residential ResQ Helps to Preserve Older Homes
Even the most elegant and beautiful home in an established neighborhood may have some of the problems outlined above.
Residential ResQ appreciates the investment you have made in your older home and offers many services to repair and preserve it for years to come. Our services include:
We also use only the finest quality materials from Earth Contact Products (ECP) to repair cracks, settling foundations, and bowed walls. If your home is older or newer, our professional services can repair and preserve it in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. Contact us today!