As a homeowner, four things must be maintained to preserve the structural integrity of your home. This is especially true if you’ve purchased a vintage home. If you’ve purchased an older home, having the following four things inspected now can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
It’s out of sight, and a home’s foundation is often overlooked until there is a big problem. But, a cracked or unstable foundation will affect the rest of the house; walls could begin to buckle, and it can even affect your roof.
Foundation problems are most likely to occur in areas subject to earthquakes and flooding. If you’ve purchased an older home in an earthquake zone, having a foundation inspection is smart. Likewise, if the house has ever been subjected to flooding, it may also need a foundation inspection.
If your house has worn and missing shingles, you’ll need to have them replaced. But first, have a qualified roofer inspect to make sure the roofing underlayment is fine. If there have been long-term roof leaks, you may need to have a new roof installation.
While it can be expensive, a roof installation allows you to choose the color, style, and roofing materials you really want. If you’ve ever wanted a tile roof or shake shingles, now is your chance. Best of all, quality roofing materials can last decades.
If you’ve purchased a home that was built in the 1960s or before, it may have two-prong outlets. These are ungrounded, and not up to code. Even if your older home does have three-prong outlets, you should still have the electrical system inspected. The outlets may not have been installed properly, and there could be other problems, like an out-of-date electrical panel. A home electrical system that is not up to code can be dangerous.
If your house was built before the 1990s, it may have unsafe pipes made from polybutylene or galvanized steel. If your house was built before the 1920s, there’s a chance it could even have lead pipes. These materials leech toxic substances into the water and should be replaced.
Even small plumbing leaks can lead to big problems, such as weakening the foundation or encouraging the growth of toxic mold. Termites are also attracted to wet wood. Have any leaks repaired right away.
It’s best to catch any problems with your foundation, roof, plumbing, or electrical system early. Unaddressed, these problems can become catastrophic.
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.