Is your old home hurting you?
Have you ever stopped to think what your old home is doing for your health, wellbeing and finances?
There’s no denying the fact that older properties have a lot of character and charm. Many people say they prefer older homes to more modern alternatives, but there may be hidden depths to your older property which aren’t so pretty.
If you live in an older house and have been feeling under the weather or out of pocket, your home could be to blame. There are various factors and potential hazards to consider in older properties, so let’s take a look at some of the things that could be affecting your wellbeing.
A draughty dilemma
Let’s start with the obvious — an old home tends to be draughtier than modern properties. This is largely thanks to the use of older materials, worn out seals and the fact that these homes were built before the days of strict energy efficiency guidelines within building regulations. Properties built in the 1960s and earlier will almost certainly have been built with single glazed windows. You might think of draughts as a harmless nuisance, but in the winter they can be hazardous, leading to a greater risk of colds and other health issues.
Feeling the pinch
We’ve already mentioned single glazing, but there are plenty of other common features in older homes which can drain your energy efficiency and force you to do more to keep your home at a temperature you can bear. Older homes are, in general, far less insulated than recently built properties, and this means that any heat from your radiators is quickly lost. The consequence of this? Heftier bills.
The mould problem
One of the most frequently seen problems in old houses is moisture. This usually comes from common wear and tear issues like leaky pipes and broken shingles, leading to a build-up of water. Excess moisture not only smells bad, but can also create the dreaded problem of damp and mould, which can be damaging to your health. What’s more, many older homes are fitted with asbestos-based products in their insulation and roofing, and this can cause serious health issues if the asbestos products start to crumble or become worn. In fact, asbestos poisoning can even be fatal, and so any asbestos in your home should be dealt with by a professional.
Old wiring and electrics
It’s not uncommon for an old home to have outdated electrical systems which aren’t designed to withstand the demands of modern appliances and contemporary electrical usage. An outdated electrical system means a less efficient system, and a greater chance of things going wrong. This isn’t helped by the fact that faulty wiring is also often seen in older properties, and this can increase your risk of suffering a serious accident like a fire. In order to rectify this issue, you’ll need to fork out hefty sums for rewiring.
A huge number of homes built before the 1970s contain lead paint on trims or moldings, especially if your property dates from around the 1940s. This can cause lead poisoning if particles are inhaled or ingested, often through sanding or scraping old paint. Lead poisoning can pose a serious threat to your health and is especially dangerous in children.
Less room to grow
If you’ve been aware of the way interior design has changed in recent years, you’ll know that people are increasingly drawn to open plan spaces, rather than homes with lots of smaller individual rooms. An open plan kitchen is one of the most sought after features by today’s house hunters, as it maximises your home’s capacity for space and light, and means that you don’t have to shut yourself away from the rest of the family whenever you cook a meal. The use of natural light in your home has even been shown to reduce stress levels and increase energy, while an open plan space means more scope for socialising. Unfortunately for owners of older homes, open plan rooms are far more common in newer builds.