Common Problems to Watch Out For in Old Buildings

Older buildings do have their endearing quirks and charms, it’s true, but whether you plan on buying one or remodeling them, there are certain old-house problems that you need to be aware of. If caught off guard when carrying out your renovations, it can get you in quite a dangerous situation so get to know these problem areas before you make that investment.



The Foundation

This obviously requires professional expertise to verify but you’ll be able to see and feel to some extent if you’re having some foundational issues. For example, if the floor is uneven you’ll be able to feel it, even slightly, while walking across the room or perhaps even notice it. Other major signs are doors and windows sticking, hairline cracks in the walls (which may not be anything major but it’s always better to be safe), dampness and mould on the walls etc.  Contact Combined Building Rising Damp for more information on how you can have professionals inspect your old building for these issues.

The Roof

Roofing problems can allow water to enter the building, which will slowly weaken your structure and cause far more damage over time. Water spots on the ceiling might not always indicate a leaking roof, however, it could be some other issue like your plumbing. Water spots on exterior walls of your house, on the other hand, are a pretty good indicator that you have yourself some roof issues. A quick inspection should have your suspicions sorted- any cracked shingles, missing tiles or unsecured flashing is a good sign that you need to call in some help.

Poor Drainage And Waterproofing

Needless to say, older buildings didn’t exactly have the sort of underfloor drainage or perimeter drainage provided on par with today’s standards. Neither would be the waterproofing of the foundation. Which is why, if you’re in an old building and you head down to the basement and you’re assaulted with a musty, humid smell, it’s probably mold. A house that has had its inner workings unchecked and not updated for the past 50 years or more, definitely needs this step addressed.


Obviously the layout of the house’s design would be rather outdated so you’re going to have to contact an architect that can help you come up with design solutions and a builder as well will help you determine the costs of these solutions.


The underfloor and attic need to be properly investigated in old buildings for termites and ants. These creatures can cause plenty of structural damage to your property that will drain your savings to fix.


Older windows are one of the more popular points that water uses to enter the house. Having these around can result in issues like dry rot and mold. This actually tends to cost quite a bit as it requires some effort, from working on the exterior, to reframing the wall and mitigating mold outbreaks.

These are the most common problems to watch out for when dealing with old property. Be careful, you don’t want to be spending most of your savings on this project by going into it without a proper idea of what needs to be renovated.


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