Expect the Unexpected When Remodeling an Older Home

Expect the Unexpected When Remodeling an Older Home

Top 3 Issues Found in Demo Discovery

Renovating an old home is like slicing through an onion—it reveals itself in layers, and sometimes it can make you cry. Remodeling a home, especially one more than 30 years old, can come with many surprises. Demo discovery is an important part in any home renovation for many reasons. We’ve listed the most common surprises below so you can be prepared for what your home may have in store.

Clay Pipes

If your home was built before the 1950s, you may have clay pipes connecting your home to your municipal sewer system. Floods, settling foundations, and ground shifting can all damage clay pipes. The most common issue with clay pipes is root intrusion. Tiny tree roots can enter loose joints in clay plumbing, where they grow bigger and eventually break the pipe apart. Replacing clay pipes is an expensive endeavor but getting ahead of the issue before it causes major problems will save you time and heartache in the future.

Hidden Water Damage

Homes older than 30 years are three times as likely to have plumbing or drainage problems than newer homes. Even if your home is newer, there is a possibility that previous owners may have cut corners on repairs. We’ve found that often the source of the issue is resolved (i.e., the leaking pipe is replaced) but the surrounding damage is hidden. Subfloors and framing are prone to water damage but aren’t visible without discovery demo.

Layers of Old Flooring

Many older homes have layers upon layers of linoleum, vinyl and other flooring material covering the subfloor. Any layers installed before 1980 are very likely to contain asbestos and should only be removed by professionals with safety equipment. If your home was built around or before the 1960s, you likely have a wood-plank subfloor rather than plywood that is more common in newer homes. Removing the layers of old flooring and adhesives is a messy and time-consuming project best left to professionals with the tools and skills to get the job done safely. Refinished wood-plank subfloors can add a beautiful vintage look and tons of character to your home, if you are open to the imperfections and irregularities found in old-growth wood.

If you’re considering renovating your older home, you can reach out via our Contact Us page. To see recent photos of some of our current projects in the San Antonio area, check out our Facebook page at https://facebook.com/PrecisionContractingSA.