While older homes are full of character, history, and charm, they also tend to need more maintenance than newer properties. Whether you’re considering purchasing an older home or historic estate or already own a much-loved house, you need to be on the lookout for tasks which need to be done to care for your home year after year. Read on for some tips you can follow today.
Create a Maintenance Schedule
The first thing to do is create a maintenance schedule. Days, weeks, and months slide by easily, so you don’t want to suddenly realize you’ve forgotten to handle upkeep tasks. Put a home maintenance plan in place and you can live by the “prevention is better than cure” adage.
When it comes to catching small problems before they turn into big ones, know which tasks to prioritize. It’s important to note that some tasks should be done monthly, while others can be completed quarterly, annually, or even every few years. You can set up an automated system online, or simply use a paper calendar, to remind yourself when to address various maintenance jobs.
Also, think about taking photographs of areas of your home. Photos can document the condition things are in when you last checked. That way, if you need to keep an eye on wear and tear, you won’t forget how something looked months before, and think a problem hasn’t worsened when it actually has.
Maintain Heating and Cooling Systems
It’s also vital to maintain the heating and cooling systems in your older home. If the heating and cooling system is as old as the property itself, you may need to replace it altogether. However, the more you maintain systems, particularly the more modern ones, the longer they’ll last for you and the less costly repairs will be.
It pays to inspect (either yourself or via a licensed tradesperson) heating and cooling systems annually. The HVAC filters, in particular, need to be cleaned and replaced. It’s wise to get this task done in the fall months, before winter hits, or in spring, before the hot weather comes in. This way, your systems will be able to run more efficiently during the months of the year when you most need to use them.
Ventilation is also something to think about in homes which have some age on them. Have you heard strange noises coming from vents around your house, or noticed cold spots? If so, this is an indication you could have a ventilation issue. Unless you’re experienced in this field, get a professional to take a look to see if work is required.
Be on the Lookout for Pests
A big issue for properties can be damage from pests. In particular, termites can cause all sorts of problems in and around homes. Nests can grow quite quickly, and will often be in spots you can’t see or don’t look at much (such as inside internal walls or under homes). Make sure you get a pest inspector to look over your property at least once every year or two.
There are some visible signs to look out for too. For example, if you notice the paint on some of your walls has started to crack or get bubbles in it, look for the cause. If there are thin mud tubes inside or outside your house, you could be under attack. Don’t delay in these situations; call a home inspector to review the property as soon as possible.
Pay Attention to the Roof and Gutters
Another area you might not think about regularly but which really does require attention is your roof and the gutters around your home. Clean gutters to remove debris at least annually, if not more often, and make repairs as necessary.
It helps to use a rake and leaf blower to get rid of the leaves, sticks, and other muck that builds up over time in gutters. Doing this will help to stop icicles and ice dams from causing rust and holes too. As for your roof, inspect it for signs of wear and tear. Tiles and shingles can break due to weather exposure, and over time gaps can lead to water and other items leaking into your home.
Keep a Close Eye on Drains and Pipes
Lastly, don’t forget to keep a close eye on the drains and pipes in your property. Many older homes are at risk of having their old pipes clogging up and then bursting due to internal rusting. Homeowners may have to replace pipes over time. As well, if drains have had the wrong things poured down them over the years, it’s likely you’ll end up with backed-up sinks at some point. You can learn how to unclog a kitchen sink online if you’d like to do the work yourself, or else call in a plumber to assist.
Interested in learning more about older homes in Colorado? Check out the REcolorado Vintage Home Guide.
*This article is from ReColorado.com®*
Keep this list close for planning the perfect outing when you have friends in town or need a fun family day!
I was unaware until recently that our beautiful city of Denver sits at #11 on the list of worst air quality in the nation! Specifically for particulate and ozone pollution, which are the most common and widespread issues in the air of large cities.
We are also the 3rd city with the highest Urban Heat Island in the country. Urban Heat Island refers to when a city absorbs and maintains heat from the sun, causing city temperatures to be an average of 5 degrees hotter in the metro area than the surrounding areas.
Last November, Denver took a step towards improving Colorado’s position on those environmental issues by voting YES to the Green Roof (or living roof) Initiative, effective January 2018.
There are multiple benefits the city hopes to get from this initiative, the main ones being:
Local Air Quality Improvement – Having vegetation at the roof level helps filter air, dust, and other particles much better than a traditional roof or venting system. Living roofs have also been linked to improving mood, performance, and accuracy within workplaces as well as providing alternative lunch spaces and recreation areas for employees at work.
Storm-water Absorption and Drainage – Denver locals are too familiar with intense, heavy rainstorms that come and flood the cities densely populated streets. Adequate storm drainage is a problem that is ever-increasing as the city continues to grow. Green roofs have been named as a the best management practice by the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District to control, retain, and release storm-water.
Lower Urban Heat Island – By adding green space on buildings, plants and vegetation would be absorbing the sun’s rays while insulating the structure below by reducing heat-flow through the roof. The National Research Council of Canada says heat-flow can be reduced by 70% to 90% in the summer and 10% to 30% in the winter. The effect of this would be cooler days as well as less energy consumption throughout every building.
Urban Agriculture – This initiative also provides new space for urban farming, which would open doors to businesses working with farmers to utilize their space. This creates great relationships for local distribution, which helps Denver work towards its goal to grow/produce 20% of food locally by 2020. Call it the cherry on top, but urban agriculture on our roofs would also promote a rich biodiversity for insects and birds! Not to mention, a green roof lasts longer 2-3 times longer than a black roof!
Starting January 1st, 2018 any new construction of a building within the city of Denver with a floor space of 25,000 square feet or more will need to include a living roof covered by vegetation and solar panels or a combination of the two.
This will have a direct effect on upcoming construction, commercial real estate transactions, and insurance policies. Installing a green roof will cost more than the typical roof upfront, but will end up helping our city environment in addition to many other benefits in the long run- energy efficiency, lower operating costs, reduced structure fire risk, and increased value for future resale are just a few examples. See more below!
(Photo sourced from www.denvergreenroof.org)
I am thrilled to be celebrating this year as my 25th anniversary in Real Estate!
Since I announced this milestone of mine, I have received many kind words, thank you’s, and reiterated support from those whom I have met along the way. In honor of my celebration and the love I have received, I have decided that I want to share the feeling of warmth and encouragement that you all have given me and I have found an organization with a great cause that I feel strongly about supporting. It is called The Family Tree House of Hope.
The House of Hope is an amazing program in Englewood, Colorado that caters specifically to homeless women with children. They are dedicated to providing a safe shelter as well as resources for families that are overwhelmed with the daily struggle of where to stay the night, find their next meal, or have a safe place to stay while they begin to get back on to their feet.
House of Hope’s basic goal is to provide food, shelter and a safe environment to the ever-increasing number of homeless families and single mothers. The families work with the staff and a variety of community agencies to complete the goals outlined in their plans, which often include applying for housing programs, getting children into school and daycare, obtaining employment, achieving a GED, or attending a job training program. During their stay they also have the opportunity to meet individually with an on-site therapist and also attend life-skills workshops.
What makes this organization unique:
- The only shelter for homeless families in Arapahoe County
- Case management services to assist families with becoming self-sufficient
- Assistance with obtaining housing employment, education, job-skills training and childcare
- Families can stay for up to 90 days
- On-site therapist
- On-site health clinic staffed by volunteer doctors and nurses
- Community referrals