Common Problems in Remodeling Older Homes
Remodeling a home can be a fun, exciting activity for many homeowners. Contractors and professional remodelers can also transform broken-down homes into new, modern residences. However, older homes have some risks to consider. These are some of the most common problems in remodeling older homes that any DIYer or professional must consider.
Lead paint is toxic and hazardous for humans. Lead poisoning can cause nervous system damage, stunted growth, kidney damage, and delayed development. Children often consume it via paint chips and toys because of its sweet taste. In adults, it can cause reproductive issues, such as decreased sperm count and infertile eggs. Lead is also highly carcinogenic, with high fatalities on record. Banned in the late 1970s, lead paint is still common in many older homes. Due to these health risks, you must take precautions when dealing with peeling or chipped lead paint, as this can enter your airways.
Asbestos is another fatal and hazardous construction material in older homes. Asbestos fibers were popular building materials prior to the 1970s due to their electric insulation and high heat resistance. Inhaling asbestos particles can lead to serious lung issues such as asbestosis and mesothelioma, the two most common asbestos-related diseases. Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease that leads to shortness of breath, low oxygen in the arteries, and respiratory failure. Even worse, it can develop into mesothelioma, a highly fatal form of lung cancer.
While not often fatal, mold is a common problem in remodeling older homes. It’s an irritant that causes asthmatic respiratory issues and that can trigger allergic reactions in some people. Mold grows in homes when moisture seeps into cracks and spaces. This can lower indoor air quality and cause respiratory problems such as shortness of breath and dry cough. Mold in older homes also indicates poor structural integrity, since moisture often enters through cracks and holes.
Plumbing and Electrical Issues
The final issues any contractor or DIY repairman must identify are with the plumbing and electricity. Plumbing is one of the first considerations to make before any bathroom remodel. The type of plumbing system in the home could affect the water quality and pressure from your faucets and drains. Upgrade small pipes and keep them insulated to prevent them from freezing in cold temperatures.
Another task is protecting your electrical wiring. Poor or faulty wiring could lead to fires or electrical shock. Avoid structural damage and protect your personal safety by having an electrician make the necessary repairs to make the home safe and sound.