Carrying out inspections on older buildings needs detailed planning and careful effort. Without a thorough understanding and implementation of some fundamental steps, maintaining an older building is almost impossible. Maintaining is not about reacting to problems, it’s about preventing them from happening. Whether you are dealing with an older multistorey building or a single storey one that you inherited from your parents, maintenance must be backed by a solid inspection routine. But first, you need to know what to look for and where to look, and then you need to know how to carry out an inspection and maintain it. To that end, we have curated an excellent list of old building maintenance tips for you to follow.
The walls of an older building are prone to various types of damages. That is to say, constant exposure to water can affect the integrity of the wall as well as cause structural damage. If you smell dampness, investigate thoroughly for water dampening problems. Look behind the cupboard, bed, or sofa sets; check every infrequently accessed place. After finding the damaged area, fix it with damp-resistant plaster. Also, look for fungus growth or mold and remove soil banked up against walls (if any). Otherwise, this will erode the cement on the wall and eventually cause brick decay.
The roof is one of the most vulnerable parts of older buildings. From getting exposed to the sun and water to becoming a playground for different types of insect infestations and fungus growth, the roof of a building endures many damages. These issues become even more sensitive when it comes to the roof of older buildings as the building itself has already withstood so much damage. Algae growth is another important issue that most older buildings have, especially on their roofs, and needs to be tackled so that it can’t cause any lasting damage. Furthermore, look for joinery defects; pay extra attention to junctions between different building elements such as the roof and parapet wall or guard walls.
Windows and doors
Materials used to make windows and doors are mostly wood in older buildings. Wooden doors and windows tend to last a lot longer if treated well. However, over time, different parts of the door or windows can wear off, and normal wood tears here and there can leave what was once a beautiful and grand door looking aged and in need of replacing. If you suspect any damage or rot, use a knife to test it. A sound timber should resist penetration.
That is why make sure you keep them clean and dry. Long exposure to the sun and water can damage the wood. So give these a good varnish or paint job every now and then to protect them against UV rays and water damage.
Drainage upkeep is another important aspect when it comes to older building maintenance. Oftentimes, the drainage system gets clogged up with plastic, mud, leaves, or non-disposable household items, making it difficult to channel wastewater out of the building. This can cause various issues across the house and give rise to problems such as water dampnessing, salt damage, algae growth, and so on. This is why a thorough inspection is needed. Use a torchlight to see if there is any blockage in the pipes. If there is any, use a rod to clear it.
Last but not least, give your house a makeover (once every 2 years or so) with a new fresh coat of paint. Among all the old building maintenance tips, this is one of the best ways to keep your interior and exterior protected from sun or water damage. Meaning an overall longevity increase.
Maintenance is also important both before and after extreme weather events such as a rough storm or prolonged rainfall. Neglecting the maintenance of an old building can be rough on your wallet as the repairment costs will be much higher. Simple issues such as an algae affected roof, a cracked wall, or a blocked drain can quickly escalate into major problems if left unchecked. The longer the problem goes unchecked, the greater the damage. So make maintenance a routine task and prevent buildings from facing unnecessary damages.