4 Tips for Looking After an Old Home

Old buildings can be beautiful, but if you live in one, you’ll know they require regular maintenance to keep them safe and comfortable. Often, there are structural elements that need updating, water systems that need replacing, and glass panels that just don’t retain the heat.

Many people feel that period buildings have more character and charm than modern homes, but they are put off by the amount of work required to live in one. Perhaps your home wasn’t old when you bought it, but time has taken its toll. If your house is looking more shabby than chic, here are a few tips that will restore it back to its former glory.

Get Your Roof Inspected

Old roof structures can be vulnerable to decay, particularly those made from timber. Therefore it’s important to have your roof regularly inspected to check for damp, mold, sagging beams and structural failures. You should also be aware that some old timber frames can attract insects such as beetles, as well as rats and mice, so watch out for infestations.

If you know it’s been a while since your roof was checked over, call a local roofing company and ask them to do an inspection. If there are any repairs needed, they should be able to provide you with a quote on the spot.

Keep Up With Door and Window Maintenance

Original doors and windows may look quirky and beautiful, but they are tricky to maintain. Some windows and frames can be hundreds of years old, so it’s important to treat them like antiques. Check for rot and give a fresh coat of paint whenever it is needed, taking care to remove old flakes of paint and prepare the surface properly.

Old doors are prone to moisture penetration and swelling, so it’s best to take them off their hinges and prime, repaint and finish them whenever they show signs of wear. 

Eliminate Damp From Your Home

Damp can cause many problems in a home, including leaks, mold build-up and sagging ceilings. Damp caused by overflowing gutters or inadequate ventilation can also cause timber structures to rot and brick to crumble. As well as creating serious structural problems, mold spores are also to blame for various health issues.

To avoid damp getting into your home, make sure you’re regularly checking your roof coverings, gutters and drains to ensure they’re working properly. It’s also a good idea to keep your home well aired and check that your extractors and vents are doing their job.

Consider a Renovation, But Ask Permission First!

If you’re finding your house difficult to live in, a full restoration might be your best option. That way, you’ll be able to keep its attractive features, while making it more functional for everyday life. If you’re looking for inspiration, Period Homes magazine has some great advice on renovating old homes.

Just remember that although you own the house, if it's built in a conservation area you will need to seek permission before you alter or remove any original features.

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