3 Common Problems with Older Properties

Older properties have bags of features. They are often quirky with attractive architectural styling you don’t often see in generic new homes. They also tend to be larger than modern houses, on more spacious plots with larger, mature gardens. For anyone looking for a home with character, an older property ticks a lot of boxes. But, if you are not careful, you could end up buying a money pit that sucks your bank account dry and causes you no end of pain.

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The big problem with older, period properties is that they often come with a long list of issues. Some are easy to fix, but others can be costly and difficult to remedy. In the following article, we are going to look at three common problems found in older properties.

Poor Insulation

Period properties were not built to the same specifications as modern homes. Building regulations dictate that modern homes must be well-insulated and energy efficient. Older homes are anything but. They may have solid walls, but insulation is often poor or non-existent and there are holes everywhere.

This was intentional, of course. Older houses were supposed to breathe.  Cracks around windows, open fireplaces, and suspended timber floors allowed airflow and prevented damp, mold and mildew. However, these days, a drafty house is cold, difficult and costly to heat. Therefore, depending on the structure of your home, you can and should try to make the property more energy-efficient by adding extra insulation to the roof and fixing all holes and gaps.

Lead Paint

Lead paint is invisible but highly likely to be present in an older property. Lead paint isn’t dangerous until it flakes or chips, but removing it is tricky. Even tiny particles of lead paint are toxic to people and pets, so if you suspect there is lead paint on the walls or woodwork, have it tested by an expert. If lead paint is present, it should be removed by a specialist with ZOTApro EPA certification.


Modern homes have a damp proof course fitted, but older properties relied on natural ventilation to remove moisture. Unfortunately, damp is a big issue on older properties, so look out for signs of damp, rot, mold, and mildew, although this will depend, to a degree, on the local climate.

Moisture can seep up through foundations and through walls. You may not even notice if there is damp, as it can sometimes be hidden inside cavity walls or behind furniture. Look out for salt deposits on walls, mold and mildew infestations, and the tell-tale smell.

Unsafe Electrics

Electrical systems need to be kept updated. Many older homes still have original electrics, which are unsafe and prone to problems. Flickering lights and frequent power outages are a sign that things are not right. If you suspect an electrical problem, have the circuit tested by a qualified electrician. Electrical problems can cause fires and electrocution, so don’t ignore the issue.

Take heed of the problems mentioned above and if you do fall in love with a gorgeous period property, don’t let your heart rule your head.