Old vintage homes exude a sturdy eccentric charm that is both appealing and intriguing. Whether it is a rustic Victorian castle or a 1930s farmhouse, many people desire old vintage homes for their historicity and quirkiness. Many old houses have seen hard times and require careful handling and maintenance.
For many owners of vintage homes, especially first-timers, caring for the property can be expensive and fraught with many challenges. If you own a modern home, you may not have to deal with problems like:
Many old homes have lead water supply lines, which are a potential health hazard and can be pretty expensive to replace. They may also contain asbestos insulation, which can cause respiratory problems.
Vintage homes may have old knob and tube wiring systems that can easily get overloaded and cause a fire. Changing your home’s entire wiring might be the only way to avoid an electrical nightmare.
Old pipes in your vintage home may have reached the end of their lifespan, and changing the entire thing will take a lot of money out of your pocket. You may also need to break into finished spaces in the house, like walls and basement floors.
These and many other challenges come with living in an old vintage home. However, you can surmount most of these problems and prevent your property from further deterioration by following these maintenance tips:
Get Home Insurance
Getting home insurance is usually one of the first things to consider after buying any property. Insurance companies generally regard older homes as riskier to insure. They will typically require a higher premium or have specialized coverage, especially for homes with replacement costs that exceed their market value.
Vintage homeowners may need to purchase building ordinance or law coverage, an insurance plan that covers rebuilding costs of your home up to current building standards after a covered loss. If some disaster strikes your old vintage home, you won’t have to pay out of pocket for repairs.
Perform Regular Maintenance on Your Home
If you live in an old vintage home, it is essential to carry out regular maintenance activities on your property. Cleaning and painting your home, especially the exterior, will prevent rot and help you avoid costly repair expenses. You have to set and stick to a home maintenance routine to keep your vintage property in premium shape.
One way to ensure your property gets required maintenance is to keep a logbook for your home. Keep a journal of the last maintenance you did and what you found, repairs, and professionals you hired. Having a record helps not only you but professionals and future owners of the property if you ever decide to sell.
Stick to Original Details
You don’t want your home to lose its historicity, so you should limit the repair works to only the necessary stuff. Replace only damaged portions of windows, doors, and other parts of the home. If the entire element is damaged, take pictures before removing them, and show the professional to produce a duplicate of that portion, so your home retains its antiqueness.
Preserve, Restore, and Replace
With vintage homes, it is better to attempt to preserve elements of the house before any other step. Making minor repairs as required will often prevent you from requiring big ones. If a simple repair cannot fix the issue, try to restore the damaged portions.
Replacement is the last option when restoration of an element proves impossible. Replace the defective component with a replica or construct that comes close to matching the original.
Fight Bad Smells
Old vintage homes tend to have smells that are not so pleasing, especially if they have been unoccupied for a while. Shopping for air fresheners is one way to give your home a pleasant odor. You can give your home a vintage smell by spritzing lemon juice in water or keeping houseplants around your home.
Keep Your Building Dry
You want to keep moisture from getting into your vintage property as much as possible. Damp from your roof and pipes can lead to crumbling bricks, flaking plasters, and other structural problems. Check your roof coverings, drains, gutters, and pipes regularly to ensure there is no leakage. Fix leakages once you spot them or call for professional help.
Inspect Your Roof
Vintage roofs require regular inspections, so you should check your roof for broken, missing, or sliding slates at least once a year. You also want to check out your roof’s longevity to know whether you need to replace it instead of investing money in something at the end of its lifespan.
Vintage materials have a fragility about them, and you don’t want to destroy decades of history with the inappropriate cleaning material. Clean your hardware with cleansers containing natural ingredients.
Learn to Use Hand Tools
Many old homes were built with hand-crafted woodwork, and machine-crafted parts were made separately and installed later. Some of the vintage woodwork finishes in your home may not be replicable using machines, so you should get a handle on some hand tools.
The chances are there are other homes like yours in the neighborhood and probably built around the same period if there’s something about the construction of your home that you cannot figure out, contact residents of similar homes for insights and details about your home.
If you don’t know what you are doing, it is better to seek professional help. A vintage home specialist will help you avoid mistakes that may cause more significant problems later. You may not be able to tell the difference between drywall and a plaster wall or be able to distinguish vinyl from wood. Hiring an expert helps ensure that your home loses none of its vintage touches.
Maintaining a vintage home is a never-ending journey of care and patience, but the beauty and joy you derive from living in an antique house of your dreams make it worthwhile. Following and sticking to these maintenance tips will help keep your home in the best possible shape.