If you own a “grand old dame” home that has been around for many decades – or even centuries – you probably get to enjoy elements like high ceilings, beautiful moldings and other period features and impressive street appeal.
However, not enough people think about when the maintenance that’s required to keep such a property in good condition. Read on for some helpful tips you can follow today to stay on top of the maintenance and ensure your house looks just as good in another decade – or century.
Set up a Maintenance Schedule
Since it can be so easy to forget maintenance tasks when life gets busy, it pays to set up a maintenance schedule for yourself. You don’t want small problems to turn into big issues, so the more vigilant you are about sticking to a schedule, the better.
Put together a list of tasks that need to be completed each year to keep your old property in good condition. You’ll find that some of these jobs have to be done monthly or quarterly, while others might only need to be considered once or twice a year or perhaps even every second year.
It helps to take photos of your home, so you can see what condition it is currently in and then check back later in the year to see if this condition has deteriorated. Since the human memory is fallible, this is a more reliable way to notice if wear and tear is increasing at an alarming rate.
Get the HVAC Serviced
When it comes to important jobs around the property, servicing your HVAC system(s) is among the top. In older houses, heating and cooling units can be original, or at least still potentially decades old. As a result, these systems often have been neglected over the years or are simply outdated.
You may find that you can’t get access to parts to repair ancient units, so they need to be replaced altogether. While this is more expensive up front, it can save you money over time, not just on repairs, but also on the amount of energy used. Older HVAC units tend to eat up a whole lot more power than modern ones.
No matter whether you opt for new systems or repair and maintain old ones, always make sure you hire a licensed tradesperson to do the work for you. The best time of year for these units to be examined is usually spring or fall, before the really hot or cool weather hits. This way, when the temperature soars or plummets and you need to use your systems more, they’ll be all ready to go.
Keep the Roof and Gutters Clean
The roof needs to be inspected at least once each year to see if there are any signs of significant wear and tear. Over time, many roofs end up with broken tiles and shingles. As well, tiles can shift and lead to gaps opening, or overgrown plants can creep onto the roof and get under tiles, lifting them up. If you have any of these issues, water can soon get into your roof, and you could end up with flooding and other water cleanup issues to take care of. Avoid this by looking out for problems earlier on.
Don’t neglect your gutters, either. If you’ve recently purchased your property, when you first take a look at the gutters it’s quite possible you’ll find that they are clogged with debris such as leaves, mud, sticks and other much, if no one has cleaned them out for years. While this isn’t a particularly fun job, it is an important one. If you leave all this mess to choke up your gutters, ice dams and icicles can form over time, leading to rust and holes. To avoid this, check this part of your home at least twice per year or preferably each quarter, especially if there are trees overhead.
Your home is your pride, especially if it has long been grand and old. These simple maintenance tips will keep your beauty of a house standing tall for years to come, perhaps even longer than you.