Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States and home to a variety of unique architectural styles. With its humid subtropical climate, Houston can be hard on homes—especially older ones. Keeping an aging Houston house in living condition requires regular maintenance and repairs, but with a few simple strategies, homeowners can make sure their houses stay livable for years to come.
From proper insulation to routine pest control, there are several key steps that Houston homeowners should take to keep their old homes in good shape. Making sure these tips are implemented regularly will ensure that your house remains safe and comfortable throughout the year.
In Houston, it’s important to make sure your home is properly insulated. Heat and humidity can seep through windows and doors if they are not properly insulated. Adding insulation in walls, attic spaces, and other areas of the house will help keep energy costs down while keeping your home comfortable year-round.
Additionally, insulating windows and doors with weatherstripping help to reduce drafts, making it easier to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
You might also try an energy audit of your home to determine the best course of action for insulating and conserving energy.
Plumbing and Sewer Maintenance
With Houston’s humid climate, plumbing and sewer maintenance should be a priority for homeowners. Regularly inspect pipes and fixtures for any signs of wear or leaks. Make sure to repair any problems as soon as possible to avoid major water damage. Additionally, consider installing a backflow prevention device to protect your home from potential flooding.
However, it is important to remember that sewer maintenance should only be done by a professional plumber. So, if you’re trying to look for plumbing services in your area, be sure to hire a licensed and insured plumber. They will be able to diagnose and repair any problems with your home’s plumbing system, and they can also provide advice on how to prevent future issues.
Roof and Gutter Maintenance
Furthermore, Houston’s hot and humid climate can be especially hard on roofs. Signs of wear or damage, such as missing shingles, loose flashing, or water stains, can indicate a problem with the roof, so regularly inspecting and maintaining your roof and gutters is essential to prevent leaks and other problems.
Have a professional inspect your roof annually, or as recommended by the manufacturer. Additionally, make sure to clear any debris from the gutters—especially after storms—to allow water to flow freely away from the house.
You might not think about the greenery affecting your roof, but make sure to trim any branches that hang over the house or near gutters to prevent damage and keep your home safe.
Over time, wiring in homes can become outdated and dangerous. Old wiring may not be able to handle the demands of modern appliances and electronics, which can lead to fire hazards or shocks. Have a professional inspect your home’s electrical system regularly to ensure it is up to code and safe for use.
Additionally, you can take steps to reduce energy costs by replacing old light bulbs with energy-efficient LED or CFL bulbs. This will not only lower your electricity bill, but it will also help the environment.
And for old homes, consider grounding wire, which is a type of wiring that connects most electrical devices in the home to reduce the chance of shocks.
Upgrading the House
To make sure your home is livable for years to come, you may want to consider upgrading some features. Adding insulation and energy-efficient windows are two easy ways to improve the efficiency of your home. Additionally, replacing old appliances with Energy Star-rated models can help significantly lower energy costs.
Finally, think about investing in a new heating and cooling system. Many older systems are inefficient and can cost a lot to run, so replacing them with an energy-efficient model will not only save money but keep your home comfortable throughout the year.
Inspecting the exterior of your home for signs of pest activity, such as holes in window screens or droppings on walls and floors, is also important. Taking steps to prevent pest infestations, such as sealing cracks and crevices and removing potential food sources, will help protect your home from damage caused by insects, rodents, and other pests.
Additionally, hiring a professional pest control service can help you keep your home free of unwanted critters. They will inspect your home for signs of pest activity and provide treatments to help keep your house safe.
However, make sure for professionals to use non-toxic or “green” products to reduce the risk of harm to people and pets.
Even minor issues with the structure can lead to major problems over time. Structural issues, such as cracks in the walls or foundations and sagging floors, can indicate a more significant problem.
Have a professional inspect your home’s structure regularly to ensure it is safe and secure. If any repairs are necessary, hire a contractor who specializes in foundation repair or structural engineering to fix the problem.
However, if you do notice any signs of structural damage, take action as soon as possible to prevent further harm.
Finally, it’s important to regularly maintain your home’s HVAC system. Regularly clean or replace filters and check for any signs of wear or damage. You may also want to consider having a professional inspect your system annually to ensure it is running efficiently and safely.
Having an efficient HVAC system not only helps keep energy costs down but can also help you maintain a comfortable indoor temperature all year round.
Additionally, keep windows and doors closed when the HVAC system is running to prevent heated or cooled air from escaping.
Keeping an old Houston house in working condition is no easy feat. However, with the right precautions and maintenance strategies, you can extend its life for years to come.
Regularly inspect your home’s exterior and interior for signs of damage or wear and take steps to prevent pest infestations. Additionally, upgrade features such as insulation, windows, appliances, heating systems, cooling systems, wires, and electrical outlets when necessary. And finally, make sure to keep up with HVAC maintenance by regularly cleaning filters and checking the system for any issues.
With these tips in mind, you should be able to ensure that your Houston home remains livable far into the future!