Common Problems Found in Older Homes in Milwaukee and Racine, Wisconsin
Older homes that are 100 or more years old are plentiful in cities like Racine and Milwaukee. Many of these homes are in great shape and some have been updated over the years. Some older homes have not been well maintained. Regardless of the condition of the home, older homes have some distinct differences that make them unique in comparison to newer more modern homes. The problems found in older homes are consistent and should be considered when purchasing a home.
One of the biggest differences is the foundation. Many homes over 100 years old were built with field stone, brick, or cinder block. Field stones were laid on top of each other and mortar was used to hold them in place. These foundations still perform well but need regular maintenance. Parging or repointing of the mortar between the stones has to be done consistently to ensure the foundation remains in good condition and does not cause problems with moisture intrusion or deterioration. Brick foundations were normally laid with 2 widths of brick and also needs regular maintenance. The brick has to be regularly repointed at the mortar to ensure the brick remains in good condition. Brick foundations have a tendency to bow or lean over time and often need supports to hold the foundation in place. This often occurs when moisture is not moved away from the foundation. Cinder block foundations are laid with large blocks and are often seen on older larger buildings. The foundation needs to be inspected to ensure there are no significant problems.
Electrical issues are a common problem in older homes. Older wiring can be difficult to upgrade or bring up to modern standards. Knob and tube wiring was the first wiring type used in homes and when found in older homes it is recommended that it be inspected by a licensed electrician. It can be dangerous if covered with insulation or if the wiring becomes degraded. Many homes have 2 prong electrical receptacles which don't have a ground wire. These receptacles will not allow modern 3 prong receptacles to be used and may not protect electronic equipment from damage if an electrical problem occurs. Some electrical panels are outdated and may be panels that are unsafe or have known problems. These problems can be expensive and should be inspected prior to purchasing a home.
Another common problem found in older homes involves plumbing issues. Many older pipes have leaking or corrosion that will need repair or replacement. Plumbing issues can be expensive and difficult to repair in an older home. When certain types of pipes begin to fail they corrode from the inside out causing water flow to be substantially lower than normal. Often repairs made on plumbing pipes are not properly done.
Older home can often be purchased for substantially less than a newer home. Buyers need to realize that older homes often need updating or maintenance that a newer home would not normally need. At Dairyland Home Inspection we perform home inspection in Racine, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Waukesha, Walworth, and Ozaukee Counties.
Roofing Problems Found During Home Inspections in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Roofs are one of the most important areas inspected during a home inspection. Roofs are an area that home owners rarely see or pay attention to unless a problem occurs like a leak or obvious damage is present. Home buyers often don't notice or observe the roof when looking at homes and when they do they can only see a small portion of the roof. Replacing or repairing a roof is very expensive so when looking for a home it is critical to make sure there aren't any significant roof problems.
Roof problems can often be caused by poor installation. In the below photos are some good examples of poor roof shingle installation. Shingles hanging down over the edge of the roof are a pretty obvious sign that the roof was not professionally done. This should never occur when shingles are installed. On newer roofs when shingles come off easily or there are areas of missing shingles it can often be a sign of poor installation resulting in missing and loose shingles leaving areas exposed to moisture intrusion due to missing roofing material.
Often roof repairs are poorly done, which can result in problems not being repaired properly and resulting in additional damage. The roofing repair int he below picture shows an area of the roof repaired using shingles on top of shingles and allowing fasteners to be exposed. These issue can result in moisture intrusion and no solution to the original roof problem repaired.
Older roofs that need replacement are another common roof problem observed during a home inspection. Roofs that age often show problems like delamination where the shingles begin to fall apart to missing shingles from aged shingles breaking off the roof due to their poor condition. In these cases roofs need replacement quickly to prevent moisture intrusion and damage to the inside of the home from potential water problems.
When buying a home make sure that you get the total picture of the roof. Many of these roof issues could not be observed from the ground. So make sure if you hire a home inspector they see the total roof so that you don't buy a home with expensive home problems. At Dairyland Home Inspection we serve Racine, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Waukesha, Walworth, and Ozaukee Counties.
Home Inspection in Kenosha, Wisconsin
If you're buying a home in Kenosha or the surrounding area we are here to help you. Kenosha is a great city and an area that is growing. Many people that live in Illinois moving to the Kenosha area for a better cost of living and lower taxes. It's a great option for people who work in Illinois but don't want to pay more to live in Illinois.
We provide home inspections, radon testing, termite (WDO) inspections, and mold testing. Our goal when performing a home inspection is to protect our clients interests when they purchase a home and ensure they know as much information about their home as possible.
We often find expensive home problems when conducting a home inspection and save clients thousand of dollars purchasing a home and then having to make expensive repairs. Some common problems we find are roof defects, chimney problems, foundation and structural problems, HVAC issues, electrical safety issues, and exterior problems.
We provide same day reports that include the areas of the home that were inspected and any problems found. Photos and video of the problems found are provided in the report. If clients attend the inspection we do a walkthrough of the home and point out any problems located.
Fair pricing and working hard for our clients best interest are our goals when doing every home inspection. We provide fair and upfront pricing for every service. We work seven days a week and have flexible scheduling. Let us know if we can help you.
Bob Carter is a home inspector in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. He is the owner of Dairyland Home Inspection.