Well-built homes in Australia are generally designed to last 30 years or more. This does raise questions regarding extending their life and whether they should be more sustainable and made to last for longer.
Putting this aside, there are plenty of homes much older than this. If you choose to invest in an older home there are some steps you should take to ensure your older home is safe.
1. Get the Electrics Checked
The majority of house fires are started through faulty electrics. Electrical cables have a long lifespan. However, there are several things that can affect their lifespan, such as rodents chewing on wires or people pulling on sockets. The result can be loose or exposed connections. These create sparks which can give electric shocks or start fires.
Getting the electrics checked annually will help to keep them working properly, you safe, and your house still standing.
2. Structural Reviews
Most houses settle after they have been built. It’s a result of the ground settling. It can cause small cracks in the walls but they generally don’t change after the initial settling period.
However, if the cracks become more serious this is a sign that you may have subsidence or some other structural issue. In some cases the cracks are not even visible, this is when you’ll need magnetic particle testing to check the structural integrity of the property.
It makes sense to check and rectify any issues rather than deal with the problem when it happens. After all, the results of subsidence left untreated is generally a wall falling down.
3. Review Locking Systems
Older houses are likely to have inferior locking systems compared with modern homes. This is because technology has improved. You’ll want to inspect and possibly replace your door and window locks.
It won’t just increase the security of your home, it is also likely to be required by your insurance company. In other words, if you don’t do it and your property is broken into, the insurance company may not payout.
All homes need regular maintenance to ensure they last as long as possible. The older your home the more often you should be checking to see if any of the standard jobs need to be done. This means clearing gutters, cleaning windows, doors, and walls, re-painting as necessary, and even replacing or repairing cladding.
5. Plumbing Systems
Older houses are likely to have older plumbing systems. You should check to ensure the water pipes are not made of lead. If they are they will need to be removed and replaced.
Even if the pipes are copper they should be inspected to ensure there is no corrosion present or that the pipes haven’t developed a leak.
In most cases, a visual look will tell you about any issues. But, it can help to get a professional in once a year to check the plumbing and service your appliances. This will help to prevent issues, such as water leaks, making your life needlessly stressful.