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Older Homes: They Don't Make It Like That Anymore

When we inspect older homes, we often find original or "as built" conditions that are no longer up to current building code. As a homeowner (or home buyer), you'd want to know about this because 1) the material or installation is no longer considered safe and 2) replacing it may be costly.

Here are few examples of things we've found that were considered OK when the house was built, but aren't anymore:

Knob & Tube Wiring Knob & Tube Wiring was the standard for electrical wiring in homes from about the 1880's through the 1930's when it was deemed both unsafe and more costly than cable wiring. We don't often see Knob & Tube wiring, and even less often do we see it actually in use. This was found in a historic home, and would be even more of a fire hazard considering the age of the equipment.

Cast Iron Pipes

Cast iron pipes first came into use in the US in the early 1800's, and you still see them in use in older homes. Unfortunately cast iron pipes have a life expectancy, and begin to corrode over time. Replacing them can be pretty expensive. This is a corroded and blistered cast iron pipe, seen from the crawl space in a pier & beam house. You'll see cast iron pipes in homes built before about 1980.

Grey Ductwork

Grey ductwork, or grey flex duct, is a product that was used in homes, mostly in the 1980’s, as insulation for ductwork. It fell out of use by the early 90’s because the outer grey coating was found to deteriorate when exposed to high heat or UV rays. Which means attics are generally a bad place for it to function. This one has pretty much disintegrated.

Zinsco Electrical Panels

Zinsco was a popular brand of electrical panel in the 1970's. The company is now defunct, but some homes built in the 70's still have these unsafe panels. Our Inspector Brian demonstrates the danger using his thermal imaging camera.

Thinking about purchasing on older aged, or historic home? We have service packages tailored to the age of the home, and can help answer any concerns you have.

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