Friday, 23 November 2018

Caring For Older Homes

When searching for the perfect home for your family, it goes without saying that there's a lot to take into consideration.

Modern Vs Older homes is often a sticking point for many people, with some preferring the clean design and mod-cons of a new build and some opting for the extra space that older homes can often give.

My personal preference would be new builds but there are simply never any of a suitable size for our family on the market in the areas we want, and so at the moment we live in a 1950s terraced house.

The bedrooms are more generous size than we'd be likely to find a new build and the storage space is plentiful, we also love the sea views from the rear of the property and the large bay window in the living room.

But, as with any older home, there have been some issues that needed to be addressed. This is something that Certas Energy are raising awareness of with their new #FixingOldHomes campaign.

Here are some of the problems we've faced which tend to be quite common in older homes, along with some advice on how to resolve them.

Mould Damage

When a home is exposed to moisture throughout a number of years, often mould and mildew can cause some problems when moisture is able to seep through leaky pipes and cracked foundations.

These can often occur in basements or bathrooms, but often the problems start inside walls so it can be difficult to spot when viewing a property.

While small amounts of indoor mold growth are largely unavoidable and to be expected, uncontrolled growth can worsen allergies and existing respiratory problems such as asthma in healthy children and adults. More serious infections can develop in the very young, the very old, and those with compromised immune systems so it's something to always take seriously.

Unchecked mold infestations can even cause structural problems.


  The best solution is always prevention and buying a dehumidifier can work wonders, as can ensuring proper ventilation through a combination of floor or ceiling fans and open windows during dry, mild weather.

You can treat small mold infestations on isolated areas o with store-bought mold spray, sponges, kitchen gloves, and some good old fashioned elbow grease. But of course, for larger infestations, this isn't going to be possible. Whole-home mold treatments can cost thousands, so do make sure that your insurance will cover it.

Old Roof

Older homes can often have an older, deteriorating roof which can cause many problems including pest infestations, interior water damage, and less effective insulation.

Damage caused by a leaking roof can cost thousands of pounds to repair, so it's something to really look out for.


Before you buy an older home, assess the roof’s age and condition to the best of your ability or consider hiring somebody to inspect it for you.

Inefficient Windows & Seals

Older homes are more likely to have older, inefficient windows and door seals which will in turn mean that you're paying out a lot more in electricity to try to warm your home - this is a big problem in our current home.


Of course the best way to deal with this situation is to replace old windows and doors with more efficient ones, but this can be very expensive to do and should be budgeted for when deciding on your home.

Alternatively there are some lower cost sealing products that can be used as a temporary measure.

Other potential issues with older homes include problems with boilers, plumbing, and leaking oil tanks. These kinds of issues require a professional plumber. You definitely don't want cold water because the boiler is broken or frozen pipes in the winter. 

It's important to ensure that you do your homework on all potential problem areas before committing to a new home, and be sure to enlist the advice of experts wherever possible.

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