New American Funding Blog

Maintaining a Vintage Home

By Shantell Lorraine Nicole Russell   |  February 5, 2015

A historic home is a solid investment with proper care and maintenance. Older homes have a wonderful charm to them. They are often nestled in cozy communities and the character in the woodwork is impeccable. The nostalgic nature of people increases the demand for older homes, making these properties solid investments. There are undeniable advantages to owning a vintage home, but there are some potential issues that might come up and proper care of a historic house is essential to heightening its value. Follow these tips to address older home maintenance: 

Radiators can be beautifully ornate. Oftentimes they have been cast with intricate details and look more like works of art than heating devices. While they might be beautiful, sometimes they can make quite the ruckus. Too much steam pressure causes these loud noises. You will need to ensure that the pressure is set correctly and that your radiator heating system is regularly maintained. 

If necessary, investing in a new heater might ultimately be the best option. According to the Home Energy Center, the average life expectancy for a furnace is 16-20 years. Shop around and cut down your energy costs with a more modern and efficient heating system. 

Windows are responsible for a great deal of the energy that is lost. However, don't rush to replace them with new ones just yet. Aged windows are valuable for the architectural character of a home. Instead, insulate your windows with curtains or plastic window film. 

Also evaluate and bulk up the amount of insulation in the attic. The insulation of these vintage homes is also not as effective as that of modern homes and since heat rises, the proper insulation of your attic is important to deter heat from escaping through the roof. Also, use ceiling fans as a way to distribute that rising air throughout the room. 

Historic porches
A front porch is a wonderful feature to any home. The historic porch defines the character and intensifies the curb appeal of a vintage home. Avoid removing any piece or part of your porch to abstain from eliminating any historic authenticity. 

Acknowledging these points, you must also consider how structurally safe a porch is and what alterations must be made. The Technical Preservation Services reports that decay often occurs in the flooring of porches. Check the wood on the flooring regularly for paint chips, rot and splintering boards and see that repairs are completed. Also avoid having heavy outdoor rugs on your porch. These may trap moisture and lead to damage. 

Keeping your porch maintained adds value and appeal to your home. It is also a wonderful way to connect with the community where you are residing. Sitting on the porch allows you to wave at passing neighbors while you enjoy your outdoor living room. Appreciate the luxury of having a porch and make sure to properly care for it on a regular basis. 

Antique fireplaces are often an included feature of vintage homes. The beautiful and detailed mantels add immense character to historic houses. Additionally, wood-burning fireplaces will ultimately save you money on heating costs. 

Ensure that you continue proper care of these assets by:

  • Scheduling an appointment with a professional chimney sweep annually and monitoring for possible creosote buildup regularly. Smoke escaping into the home is typically a sign of this. 
  • Burn harder woods that are less sappy such as oak, ash and birch. This will cut down on creosote buildup. 
  • Regularly sweep out cold ashes and keep the fireplace's interior as clean as possible. 
  • Do not use a furniture wax or polish on the mantel - dust with a cloth that has been soaked in warm and soapy water. 
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