Older homes have stood the test of time. From sturdier building materials to better craftsmanship, something about older homes simply makes them more durable than most built today.

Many people are drawn to the beauty of a historic house. With ornate details, stunning architecture, and the grandeur of times long since passed, it’s easy to get mesmerized by the idea of owning one of these older homes.

While strength and beauty are great, there is still a lot of work to maintain an older home. From questions like what policy owners of older homes should consider to understanding how to care for materials no longer commonly used, older homes require upkeep to maintain their strong status.

Older Homes Can Be Overwhelming

After the sparkle of a historic house wears off, you’re left with the reality of maintaining it. It’s easy to paint a picturesque idea of owning an older home in your mind. However, the truth is much more challenging than you might initially think.

There is a reason home insurance on historic houses usually costs more than coverage for a new build. Insurance companies often see outdated features as a risk. Typically, the price of coverage will reflect the age of the home.

All the small details that make an old home come with many specialized requirements to keep its charm. Understanding the proper care and maintenance for an older house allows you upkeep without losing any of its allure. 

Maintenance of a historical home may feel overwhelming to new homeowners. It may seem that the easiest option is to simply give up. But knowing the right tips and tricks can help ease some of the stress and worry.

Older Homes May Need Updates

When you purchase a historic house, there is a chance that many of the modern amenities enjoyed today have not been updated. Features such as plumbing and electrical wiring may be outdated and in need of repair.

To enjoy the best of your home, you will need to have these features updated to keep up with more modern living. When it comes to updates, you should make decisions carefully if you’re hoping to maintain the charm of your older home. 

Completely modernized bathrooms likely won’t suit the style of your house. This certainly doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your amenities or dream bathroom. However, it’s essential to choose the right pieces to maintain your home’s historic look and feel.

You may also want to update features such as wall colors and kitchens. To conserve the charm of your home, take inspiration from its unique features. The quality and craftsmanship of your historic home can serve as design inspiration, allowing you to modernize different areas while keeping its charm. 

Keeping up Maintenance on Older Homes

If you were fortunate enough to find an older home without the need for renovation or have reached your updating goals, you will need to understand what it takes to keep your historic house in good shape.

Setting up a routine maintenance list can keep you organized and on top of your older home. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by an enormous amount of upkeep, you can ease the stress by spreading out care and ensuring your historic house is well maintained.

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Routine Moisture Maintenance

The basics of historic home maintenance begin with routine upkeep. Moisture is typically the number one factor in aging a home quickly. On homes that are already ancient, it’s essential to keep up with routine maintenance to ensure moisture isn’t adding on extra years.

Ensure the gutters on your home are clean and in good condition. Routinely check around your house to make sure there are no damages or leaks after heavy rains. These small maintenances can help your home stay as moisture-free as possible. 

Make certain you are recaulking areas of your home that see the most moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens. The lifespan of caulk in these rooms is typically around five years. Even if you don’t see any problems after this time, it’s essential to keep up with maintenance to prevent moisture, mildew, or mold. 

Cleaning With Care

Older homes come with materials that typically need careful cleaning. Due to their age and makeup, some features such as historic hardwoods can become badly damaged if cleaned with the wrong chemicals. 

It’s essential to learn and understand the materials within your older home to ensure you are cleaning them properly and not causing damage. When in doubt, dry cleaning tools such as dusters, cloths, or soft-bristled brushes are always a safe option as you leave little room to cause harm. 

General Upkeep With Small Details

With the charm of older homes comes a lot of small details. Fancy woodwork, crown molding, multiple fireplaces, and elaborate trim pieces are what likely drew your attention in the first place.

Time, neglect, or improper cleaning can cause these features to get damaged. You must keep up those tiny details so your historic home doesn’t lose its character. Routinely checking these items around your home allows you to make sure they aren’t suffering any damage. Be sure to follow home hygiene guides to make sure you are keeping up on small cleaning details.

You should look into even minor, seemingly insignificant damages. It’s key to catch problems quickly so you or a specialist can repair them. Otherwise, you risk the damage getting worse. 

If the damage to these unique features becomes too severe, you may risk losing them altogether. Even the most skilled craftsman cannot repair something that is too severely damaged. 

If you’re planning to rent the home, consider hiring an expert to help with maintenance and management on your property. They will know the proper steps to take and have the resources available to maintain homes that require a little extra attention. 

Older Homes: Worth the Maintenance Work

A historic house can bring about a wide range of emotions. You may quickly go from enthusiastic and excited when you first step foot inside to overwhelmed and stressed once the weight of the home’s care hits you. 

Although it can seem daunting — and at times impossible — to keep up with the maintenance needed in an older home, it doesn’t have to be as stressful as it seems. 

If you fall in love with a historic home, don’t give up on it simply because you fear the work it will take. These powerful relics are well worth the effort they require. With the proper care and maintenance tips, you can have your older home in perfect condition and enjoy every unique piece of it. 

Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, ExpertInsuranceReviews.com. She is an avid lover of old homes and hopes to eventually own a historic house herself.