Home maintenance for historic and older homes can seem daunting, but the results may be worth it when it comes to resale value and efficiency. The key is to maintain original charm while improving efficiency over time. Here are some ideas.
Boost temperature control
Historic homes are often inefficient at maintaining a consistent temperature in the winter and summer. Consider these tips to improve temperature regulation:
- Windows made of wood can warp and crack over time, creating gaps where hot and cold air can flow freely. There are ways to make windows more energy efficient. Some old house owners desire to have the original look and have windows restored rather than replaced.
- Older homes often have insufficient insulation. Luckily, there are quite a few upgrade options for old house maintenance. Some are minimally invasive, such as expanding foam, which allows you to keep plaster walls intact. Others, such as fiberglass batting, are less expensive but require you to remove and replace walls.
- A well-maintained fireplace can be a good supplemental source of heat. Have your chimney cleaned and inspected annually.
- Window and door draft blockers can help keep your home warmer.
Maintain the exterior
An original exterior provides plenty of charm and curb appeal for your historic home. Tackle these tasks to keep it looking its best:
- Maintain your home's wood siding by regularly sealing it with paint or stain. Inspect it periodically for damaged pieces.
- Check your masonry and foundation for large cracks. To track whether a crack is growing, draw a chalk line at the end of the crack. Check periodically to see if the crack grows past the chalk line. Such cracks may require professional intervention.
- Examine your roof for signs of damage to the shingles, joints or base of your chimney. Ice and snow and condensation may cause roof damage. Many historic homes feature wood or slate shingles, which should be replaced if damaged. Hire a professional to examine your roof.
- Trim plants and trees away from your home since they would naturally carry water towards the home.