Older Houston homes can be wonderful. They have a personality all their own, and an individuality that isn’t quite as easy to find in today’s day and age! But those original hardwood floors and the beautiful wrap around porch could be hiding problems that may have gone unnoticed by other owners and inspectors. To limit the chances of a nasty, and costly, surprise further down the line, take a look at this inspection checklist perfect for older homes.
Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew can be an unfortunate problem in just about any Houston home - but the likelihood of finding mold is more common in older homes due to the increased chances of cracked foundations or leaky pipes. This is especially true if the home is located in an area where flooding can be a common problem. Small mold problems in areas like bathrooms could be easily cleared up with mold cleaner, but any more and the repair costs could add up to $5,000 or much more. Take the extra time to search and test for mold!
Plumbing is important for a variety of reasons. Not only is plumbing vital to being able to live comfortably in your home, but a pipe failure could cause catastrophic damage to everything from the floors or walls to the foundation. Not only could there be water damage, but the water could encourage a serious mold problem. Hire a professional to come and take a look at the entire plumbing system and especially keep a close eye on corrosion or bad connections.
A foundation problem may seem like a deal-breaker right away. However, that doesn’t have to be the case! Catching the problem early on is the most important part of foundation repair. Often, if the damage to the foundation can be addressed before it spreads to the rest of the house, thousands of dollars in repair costs can be saved. Look for cracked walls, uneven flooring or doors that don’t close correctly as indications of foundation problems, and have the foundation inspected to determine what repairs may be needed.
Radon, a tasteless, odorless, invisible gas is an issue that isn’t unique to older homes but can be far more likely. Radon is often drawn into homes through foundation cracks, so if problems are found with the foundation, then radon issues may not be too far behind. Luckily, radon testing is very simple, and can be done with any Accu-Star certified radon test. These tests are available at most local home centers.
Trees and Vegetation
Trees are a wonderful addition to any yard, but they can also pose a risk to the well-being of the house. Tree roots, especially on large, old trees can grow in many directions including directly into a home. With tree roots posing potential damage threats to pipes and foundations, it doesn’t hurt to inspect the root situation. As long as no damage has been caused, protecting a home against root damage can be as simple as implementing a root barrier system.
Bugs and Termites
Bugs and termites love water and moisture. They especially love it when it has created mold and fungi to be feasted on. Faulty plumbing or unaddressed flooding issues can lead to the perfect breeding ground for these little pests. A pest control specialist is your best bet to avoid a nasty surprise after move-in. Finding an infestation doesn’t have to be a death sentence to your dream of owning an old home - bug infestations are often very easily fixed!
Old attics can be perfect for storage, but they can also be a source of leaks or water damage. Older homes often do not have insulation, and many can be poorly ventilated. Check the status of the attic to determine what additions may need to be made to it and if it will be safe enough to use as any storage.
Decks and Porches
Decks and porches are a fantastic addition to any house and dreams of sitting outside enjoying the evening air could be dashed if it’s found that the porch or deck is rotting to pieces. Check the porch during the inspection for any signs of rotting or damaged wood, unstable steps, or issues with railings. Termite infestations can also leave warning signs in these areas!
Last but certainly not least is the importance of checking the wiring. Wiring can become loose or faulty over time, and, of course, outdated. Bringing an electrician in to check the status of wiring and ensure that the wiring is still up to local safety codes can mean the difference between happiness and regret when it comes to your purchase!
While it may seem scary to buy an older home with the risks listed above, all of the above problems can be fixed with a little time and care. Addressing the problems before move-in allows for a much easier time in the house without the potential of more costly problems later on. For help addressing foundation repair, or even just providing a complimentary foundation inspection, don’t hesitate to reach out to Allied.