Posted on: May 21, 2024 Posted by: Aaron_George Comments: 0

When buying and or renovating an old property, it’s important to be aware of potential issues that may require repair or replacement. Some may be picked up if you have a survey done, which is why it’s always best to do this before you commit to buying an older property. Here are 5 of the most common problems found in old properties.

1. Asbestos

Asbestos was widely used in construction from the 1950s to the 1980s for insulation, flooring, roofing, and fireproofing. It was then banned in 1999 due to the health risks of asbestos exposure. Breathing in asbestos fibers can cause serious diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis.

Asbestos is typically found in ceiling tiles, pipe insulation, artex ceilings, vinyl floor tiles, and cement roofing on properties built before 2000.

If you find or suspect asbestos is present, do not disturb it yourself. Hire a qualified asbestos removal Bristol company to safely identify and remove it before renovating or demolishing. Asbestos removal in Bristol must be carried out by a  licenced contractor. Asbestos removal firms will carry out a survey and remove/dispose of any asbestos they find safely.

2. Damp and Mold

Older properties often suffer from damp and mold issues due to outdated or damaged plumbing, lack of insulation, poor ventilation, and water penetration. Prolonged dampness enables mould growth, which can cause respiratory problems and deteriorate the property over time.

Signs of damp include peeling wallpaper, black mould on walls and ceilings, a musty odour and rotting wooden window frames.

Improve ventilation, insulate walls, repair leaks and consider installing a damp-proof membrane to remedy damp and mold problems.

3. Faulty Electrical Wiring

Outdated electrical systems found in old houses present fire and electrocution risks. Fuse boxes, aluminum wiring, undersized breakers, and improper grounding are just some of the hazards.

Flickering lights, frequent tripped breakers and outlets with no ground ports indicate outdated wiring. Hire an electrician to thoroughly inspect the electrical system and suggest necessary upgrades to meet modern safety standards. This may involve rewiring the entire property.

4. Lead Pipes

Lead piping was commonly installed in UK homes before 1970 for potable water. Over time, exposure to water traveling through lead pipes can cause lead poisoning.

Check with your water company to see if lead pipes service the property. Replace lead supply lines and pipes throughout the home. Also test paint, which may contain lead. Lead exposure is especially harmful to children and pregnant women.

5. Structural Issues

Settling foundations, cracked or crumbling plaster, sloping floors, sticking doors and windows, and exterior brickwork cracks are signs of structural problems. While some minor issues are expected in old homes, significant movement indicates deteriorated load-bearing elements.

Possible culprits are degraded foundations, compromised beams/columns, damaged rafters and weak floor joists. A structural engineer inspection can determine necessary repairs to stabilise and prevent further damage. Underpinning foundations or installing support beams may be required.

When assessing an old property, factor in time and budget to address these common faults. Thorough inspections, surveys and quotations for recommended repairs should be obtained before purchasing.

With some work, an old home can be transformed into a structurally sound, healthy and safe place to live for years to come.

Leave a Comment