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Hidden Problems

Potential setbacks when renovating an older home

When renovating an older home it’s not unusual to run into existing problems. A couple of common examples are the presence of asbestos and lead paint. If the home was built before the 1980s it is likely to contain asbestos which can show up in floor tiles, insulation, behind walls and ceilings among other areas. Lead paint was banned from use in residential homes in 1977 but was used extensively in new homes built before then. Both asbestos and lead paint particles can be very toxic to people and pets when sanded or disturbed then released into the air and inhaled or ingested. Other issues which can arise involve the home’s structure/foundation, water damage, HVAC, electrical and plumbing problems to name a few. There are solutions to all of these obstacles but they must be addressed and remedied before proceeding with a renovation. Here are some vulnerable areas and things to look out for.


• Cracks in walls, floors

• Drainage issues

• Foundation cracks, settling, shifting

• Crumbling materials

• Uneven walls, doors

• Sticky windows

Water Damage

• Roof leaks

• Ceiling damage

• Cracked pipes

• Flooding

• Damaged sheetrock

• Rotten wood


• Leaky ductwork

• Poor airflow

• Outdated thermostats

• No zoning

• Inefficient HVAC units

• Poor indoor air quality


• Outdated wiring

• Outlets not grounded

• No GFCI breaker

• Galvanized pipes

• Leaky pipes

• Corroded sewer lines

Unsafe Materials

• Mold

• Mildew

• Asbestos

• Lead paint

• Radon


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