If you purchased an older home, it may be oozing charm and character and is probably full of history to boot. However, while these original buildings are beautiful, they also need to be maintained regularly if they are to stay in top condition.
If you own a historic estate or are thinking about buying one, it’s important to understand some of the common maintenance tasks which need to be completed each year. Read on for some handy tips you can keep in mind today.
Put a Schedule in Place to Stay on Track
Put together a maintenance schedule for yourself so that you don’t let months pass by without completing the necessary tasks required for the property. It’s easy for time to pass by quickly, and you don’t want to keep putting things off for so long that small problems end up turning into big ones.
When compiling your schedule, remember that different tasks have different frequencies, from monthly or quarterly requirements through to annually or every few years. As well, it’s a good idea to take photographs around your house, so you have documentation of its condition. These pictures will make it easier for you to keep track of wear and tear. They’re also handy if you need to put in a claim for home warranty insurance.
Keep Your HVAC System Maintained
Next, one of the most important things to stay on top of when it comes to maintaining your older home is the HVAC system. Often, the heating and cooling in a “grand dame” is as old as the property itself, or not far from it, and may need to be repaired or replaced altogether.
If your heating and cooling isn’t as ancient, then maintaining it will help it to last longer, run more efficiently and leave you needing fewer repairs as time goes on. If you have the skills, inspect your HVAC annually yourself or, alternatively, hire a licensed tradesperson to take a look for you. A good time of year for this job is either spring or fall, before the really warm or cold weather hits. When systems are serviced before they have to run all day and night, they will be more efficient at the times when you most have to rely on them.
Clean Roofs and Gutters
Don’t only concentrate on the internal areas of your property. Outside, the roof and the gutters must get some attention if you want to keep your home in good condition. The roof should be inspected for signs of wear and tear at least annually. Broken tiles or shingles can appear because of weather exposure, overgrown plants creeping onto the roof and more. After a while, if these gaps aren’t addressed, water and worse can end up leaking into your home.
The gutters are important too. They should be cleaned out and all the debris in them removed a couple of times per year or more frequently if you have trees nearby dropping leaves, sticks and muck into them. If you ignore your gutters, icicles and ice dams can form, which in turn can lead to rust and holes.
Check Out Pipes and Drains
In older homes, a lot of the time there are still original pipes and drains remaining, which can cause issues. They can clog up and burst because of internal rusting, leading to repairs or replacement as well as potential flooding problems. You also never know what kinds of things have been poured down drains over time, which can cause them to back-up significantly. As such, keep a close eye on your home plumbing and bring in a plumber as necessary.
Watch for Pests
Lastly, home owners of all types should keep watch for pests. Termites, especially, are big problems and can eat away at the frames and walls of your home causing incredibly expensive damage. The problem with these kinds of pests is that nests can grow quickly and are often in areas not easily visible, such as inside internal walls or in the roof. To reduce your risk, get a pest inspector to come to your property every 12 months or two years to investigate and erect barriers if necessary.0