4 Major Risks for Ageing Homes – and How to Address Them

By accessibleproperty

November 16, 2020

A home is a long-term investment. Many families own homes that have been handed down from ancestors for generations, providing a piece of pride and unity for those who live within them. However, older homes can gradually succumb to the realities of ageing just like everything else. These issues can range from aesthetic inconveniences to life-threatening hazards. Ultimately, it is vital to know which concerns are most important and need to be addressed upon manifesting.

Whether a family plans to live inside the home for years to come or is planning on selling the home in the near future, addressing the risks of ageing homes is crucial. These four major risks must be evaluated and fixed regardless of situation.

Subsidence Issues

Older homes – particularly those dating back one century or more – can have numerous issues affecting overall structural integrity. However, few are as dangerous and compromising as failure of a home’s foundation.

Older homes were often built with foundations that did not reach as deep into the soil as newer homes. Over years and decades, strain placed on the foundation due to cycles of warm, cold, moist and dry conditions can cause the foundations to crack and deteriorate. Additionally, foundations in ageing homes tend to sink, requiring substantial repairs. This is an absolutely vital risk that will require inspection by a surveyor and subsequent intervention.

Electrical Degradation

Ageing homes occasionally need electrical and wiring repairs. Particularly in homes that are several decades old or more, many base electrical components may need to be repaired. How can the condition of a home’s electrical components be verified?

An EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) is a document provided after formal inspection by an electrician or engineer. In older homes, an EICR should be conducted at least once every 5 years to avoid potential electrical hazards, fires and other damaging malfunctions.

Professionals such as Trade Facilities Services provide comprehensive EICR solutions – as well as other vital inspections that can be useful for ageing homes with electrical issues. You can learn more about Trade Facilities Services and their EICR options at electricalsafetycertificate.co.uk.

Mould, Mildew and Moisture

Ageing homes have ageing materials within them, so it shouldn’t be surprising that as these materials deteriorate, secondary issues emerge. Dangerous elements such as mould and mildew can arise from the presence of moisture seeping into the home through the foundation, roof or walls.

Stains and spots are usually the first sign of a problem. Treatments such as a chemical damp proof course can eliminate future moisture seeping into the home, but additional measures – such as a timber survey – may be needed to address existing damage.

Outdated, Dangerous Materials

For anybody seeking to maintain – or especially purchase – an ageing home, the prevalence of outdated and dangerous materials within its construction can be a huge risk. Components such as asbestos and lead can be detrimental to long-term health (yet can still be found inside a variety of homes built as recently as 20-30 years ago).

Lead and asbestos testing are an absolute must when purchasing – or simply residing in – an older home. It is vital to health and well-being, yet all too often overlooked. These major risks can affect the quality of life of individuals residing within a home, as well as the long-term value of the property itself. Before purchasing or committing to such a property, it is vital to understand these risks. Likewise, those living in ageing homes must be aware of the conditions that could otherwise impact their quality of life over the long-term.