To-Do List: Historic Home Maintenance

To-Do List: Historic Home Maintenance


Home maintenance for historic homes can seem daunting, but the results may be worth it when it comes to resale value. The key is to maintain original charm while improving efficiency over time. Start today with this task list.

Boost Temperature Control

Historic homes are often inefficient at maintaining a consistent temperature in the winter and summer. Consider these tips to improve temperature regulation:

  • Windows made of wood can warp and crack over time, creating gaps where hot and cold air can flow freely. Maintain your house's original look by having your windows restored rather than replaced.
  • Older homes often have insufficient insulation. Luckily, there are quite a few upgrade options. Some are minimally invasive, such as expanding foam, which allows you to keep plaster walls intact. Others, such as fiberglass batting, are less expensive but require you to remove and replace walls.
  • A well-maintained fireplace can be a good supplemental source of heat. Have your chimney cleaned and inspected annually.

Maintain the Exterior

An original exterior provides plenty of charm and curb appeal for your historic home. Tackle these tasks to keep it looking its best:

  • Maintain your home's wood siding by regularly sealing it with paint or stain. Inspect it periodically for damaged pieces.
  • Check your masonry and foundation for large cracks. To track whether a crack is growing, draw a chalk line at the end of the crack. Check periodically to see if the crack grows past the chalk line. Such cracks may require professional intervention.
  • Examine your roof for signs of damage to the shingles, joints or base of your chimney. Historic homes might feature wood or slate shingles, which should be replaced if cracked.
  • Keep plants and trees, which will naturally carry water toward your home, trimmed and away from the walls and roof.


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