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What to look for when inspecting older homes

If you are currently on the market for a home, you might be looking at old and vintage-style homes. These can be wonderful purchases as they have a lot of history and original architecture, but there are also some things to consider. During your house inspection, make sure you look for the following things to ensure the home is safe and healthy for your family.

Pest Infestations

With older homes, having pests in the home is typically a larger problem than if you bought a newer, modern home. With these homes, there is a risk of termites in the wood, especially if it hasn't been treated recently. The attic might have bats or rodents, as well as the basement of the home. During an inspection, make sure the inspector looks for insects and rodents throughout the entire place, from cockroaches and spiders, to rats and mice. Finding pests isn't always a deal breaker, but consider the type of damage they might have caused and what needs to be done to get rid of them.

Lead Paint

Lead paint is another thing that is more common with older homes. A typical inspection should look for traces of lead paint, but find out for sure just to be safe. Lead paint was not just used on walls and ceilings, but window frames, door frames, and crown moulding. This is something you can have removed from the home, but it does add to the overall cost of renovations before the house is safe to live in, so keep that in mind.

Traces of Asbestos

Make sure you always have an older home tested for asbestos. There are not often obvious signs of asbestos in the building materials of a home, and by the time you get ill from it, it's already too late. Get the home properly tested by an asbestos company, and if it is positive, ask about how to have it removed. Asbestos is not released until renovations are done, but with an older home, renovations are very common. It can be found in insulation, flooring tiles, roofing and ceiling materials, and many other areas of the home.

Old HVAC Systems

Older heating and cooling systems might not put you at risk, but they also might not be very efficient. In many cases, you will need to replace them with a modern system. The ducts might need considerable repairs, and most likely a good scrubbing. Include this in your list of areas to inspect in an older house.