As your Columbus, Ohio home improvement company, we love an older home- they are typically very charming, but an older home can also be accompanied by some major issues! Building codes have been updated over the years and many of these homes have been left behind. If you are looking to buy an older home, or if you currently live in one, here are some things to watch out for:
Lead paint is a much-feared danger in older homes. If the house was built before 1978, there’s a chance that you have a layer of lead paint beneath the surface. While older homes are at risk of containing this potentially troublesome toxin, lead paint isn’t really a problem until it starts chipping and peeling. If the paint on your walls is intact and in good condition, it’s best to just leave it alone. But if you notice peeling paint and suspect that it might contain lead, you should have it tested by a professional.
A common form of insulation and fire retardant until the 1970s, asbestos has since been linked to lung cancer and mesothelioma. Asbestos is both difficult to detect and incredibly pervasive, showing up in floor tiles, duct work, roof tiles and many other building materials. While it is common and potentially deadly, asbestos shouldn’t cause immediate alarm for homeowners. For the most part, the material is unlikely to become airborne, and the Environmental Protection Agency recommends leaving it alone in cases where it is contained. However, the material can become a major hazard in some cases, for instance when used in duct work or during construction projects. In cases like this, or any instance where it can become airborne, you’ll need to call in a specialist skilled at asbestos removal.
If you cut open the walls of many older homes, you’d probably find that that there is either terrible insulation or even no insulation at all. As a homeowner, this can leave you shivering and dealing with sky-high utility bills.
Drafty Air Leaks
A properly insulated home is really just a battle against drafts, and unfortunately, older homes have plenty of leaks. The most common culprits are cracked and drafty window frames, poor quality windows, un-insulated electrical outlets and gaps around doors, all of which could be inflating your monthly energy bills. To track down leaks in your home, grab an infrared thermometer and hunt for cold spots to see what needs to be fixed.
Potentially one of the more dangerous problems in older homes, an outdated electrical system poses the risk of fires and electrocution. Unfortunately, potential problems can be hard to diagnose on your own because there are so many things that can go wrong with an electrical system. If you notice things like flickering lights, frayed wires, or if your circuit breaker is constantly tripping, you might have a problem.
Buying or remodeling an older home is exciting and scary at the same time, you are never quite sure what you could uncover, but in the end… if you hire a skilled professional like NJW, you can rest assured that we will make your health our top priority!
We currently build in Westerville, Worthington, Whitehall, Upper Arlington, Powell, Pickerington, New Albany, Lancaster, Hilliard, Gahanna, Dublin, Bexley, Columbus and all of Central Ohio.