Modern houses can take all the fun out of homeownership. There isn’t much to do unless you want to drastically change the configuration of the rooms! But properties that were built decades ago will always fire up the imagination of life from the time. Period features, picture windows, and the highly desirable avocado bathroom suite may be long gone now. However, the bare bones of your building will stand for a long time. That is, of course, if you continue to take good care of it.
Storms and age are the biggest enemies of any property. You may be in love with the red clay tiles of your 1930s house, but these weren’t designed to last the 80 years they’ve been up there. In fact, most roof coverings need to be replaced after just twenty-five years. Think of all the seasons they’ve seen. No wonder they’re getting cracked and mossy. It’s best to replace them before one of them lets the next winter snowfall in.
Chimneys are also problematic. Decades ago, there were some interesting designs harking back to the gothic style. But taller chimneys are more vulnerable. And if your chimney tumbles down, the damage could be catastrophic. Most house purchase surveys pick up on problems here. But if you’ve been in your place for a while, it’s worth looking up occasionally and looking for signs of cracks or movement.
Most houses in the UK are brick built. Even those 1960s and 70s houses with the weird cladding could have brick bones underneath. But brick can move, crack, and even crumble over the decades. If you think your house walls or lintels are starting to lose their structure, speak to some wall tie specialists about securing them again. You may have problems with your windows fitting correctly or even your bay window cracking if this happens to your home.
Storms come almost every year. They bring high winds, flooding, and deep freezes. If your building has suffered something like this in recent years, it’s worth checking for signs of damp this year. Water can penetrate the bricks where guttering may have failed. Freezing can perish the mortar of your bricks. And high winds can dislodge your roof tiles. It’s not just the stains that mould and water patches can bring. It’s the spores in the air that you and your family will be breathing in that you should worry about most.
Wood is beautiful. We have wooden floorboards, wooden skirting, and maybe even original wood panelling. Then there are the wooden beams that hold your roof up. The wooden frame that secures your water tank, and the dozens of other important things in your home. Woodworm is slow, but it can be catastrophic. If your home has never been treated, it’s worth checking those rarely seen places for signs of it.
The work of a homeowner is never done. Every season brings new additions to the maintenance list. And every so often we have to make repairs. But would we have it any other way?