Buying an older home is enticing to many people for its sturdy structure and charming appeal. However, many older homes come with limitations or risks that you and the professionals you hire should evaluate before making a serious purchase offer. Reaching out to an inspector and having the money on hand for fixes can be essential. Here are some of the common potential problems that need to be investigated before you move into an older home.
In the early twentieth century, many houses were built with asbestos siding and roofs. Asbestos has been classified as a serious health hazard. With prolonged exposure, occupants of a home that contains asbestos are at risk for developing serious illnesses. Many of these illnesses can have fatal outcomes. Although some homeowners try to remove the substance themselves, it can be tricky and risky to do it without adequate training and protective gear. Contact an asbestos removal expert for advice or to do the job since they will be equipped to do the work safely.
2. Lead Paint
Another toxic substance that was frequently used in homes up to the 1970s is lead paint. Since many rooms in a house were typically painted, lead paint might be lurking almost anywhere. The greatest risk is when young children chew on window ledges or baseboards covered in lead-based paint. Ingesting lead can cause a range of serious health problems, including brain damage. Lead paint can be painted over in some cases, but it is usually best to consult an expert for help in removing it to keep young children or pets safe.
A more recent problem found in many older and newer homes is radon, an odorless, colorless natural gas that enters a home through the basement or ground level. At certain levels, radon can cause health issues, including lung cancer. It can sometimes get into the home’s water system. Inexpensive tests are available through the local health department or hardware stores as well as online that you can easily administer at home. If detected, you can mitigate it by pumping it out of the home to keep the indoor air quality safe.
Termites can infest homes of any age. However, older homes have existed longer and may have sustained more extensive wood damage. Look for signs of damage in the basement or along the floorboards. If you are unsure or find evidence of termites, contact a termite exterminator to clear up the problem. An investigation should let you know what problem, if any, you have.
Handling problems like these before you move in can save inconvenience, aggravation, and expensive repairs later. It’s better to be prepared. Ask the realtor for information about these and other issues related to the home’s age to make sure the house is resident-ready as you prepare to move in. If your realtor is worth their salt, they will be honest about any of these potential problems and connect you with resources to fix them. An old home can be a wonderful treasure for you and your family. Take the time to make sure it is safe for living.
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