Old house? We have easy solutions for the most common problems

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Love your old home to the fullest.  (Source: iStock)

Love your old home to the fullest. (Source: iStock)

Some of the most beautiful and comfortable houses to live in are old houses. Unfortunately, it’s hard to know how much you care about these old houses until you’ve already moved. From scratched floors to leaky window frames and water damage, problems in older homes can quickly add up.

Fortunately, some of the most common ailments with these homes actually have easy fixes as long as you have the right supplies and know how to use them. See our guide to properly maintaining an old, traditional house.

The wood finish never ends

There is a lot of debate out there about why hardwood floors are better than carpet, but these can it is difficult to maintain in the long term. In addition to flooring, many homes have wood finishes on kitchen counters, porches, porches, paneling, doors, dining tables, shelves, and other furniture. Wherever the wood finish is in your home, there’s a good chance it needs polishing — and it might even have a few scratches you don’t want to look at anymore.

Enjoy the look of smooth, polished wood.  (Source: Amazon)

Enjoy the look of smooth, polished wood. (Source: Amazon)

$5.38 on Amazon

First, start with any scratches and marks on the wood. You will need to find a scratch cover that works on sealed wood. We love how easily the Old English Scratch Cover covers up old scratches and nicks. No scratch cover works perfectly, but Old English does a good job of keeping wood marks out of sight and helps protect the wood from further scratches.

Polish your wooden surfaces with a soft protective coating to prevent damage and enhance their natural beauty.  (Source: Amazon)

Polish your wooden surfaces with a soft protective coating to prevent damage and enhance their natural beauty. (Source: Amazon)

$7.70 on Amazon

Next, coat the wood with a coat of wood polish. The right wood polish will give your wooden surfaces or furniture a natural, waxy sheen that just looks good. The polish prevents the wood from cracking from dryness and restores the finish of most wood to its original quality. We use Howard’s Feed-N-Wax wood polish because it also works as a wood conditioner. Scratch cover is great for protecting wood, but Feed-N-Wax goes above and beyond to make your wood floors look great.

Solve airflow problems

Avoid icy feet and foggy outdoor rooms with this self-adhesive power plug.  (Source: Amazon)

Avoid icy feet and foggy outdoor rooms with this self-adhesive power plug. (Source: Amazon)

$8.79 $12.99 on Amazon

One of the biggest recurring problems in older homes is liquidity. Whether it’s because homes have multiple stories or because the insulation has aged, many older homes have problems with air escaping under door cracks and through windows. In many cases, the best solution is to close these gaps.

For door frames, Suptikes door pull stopper is highly efficient. It uses two-inch corrosion strips to prevent airflow from escaping under the door. If you live somewhere that gets cold in the winter and have problems with electricity or cold inlets, this is an investment you’ll want to make to save on your heating bill. These under door seals are easy to install and also provide the added benefit of soundproofing.

Make your home energy efficient for less by giving your windows an insulation boost.  (Source: Amazon)

Make your home energy efficient for less by giving your windows an insulation boost. (Source: Amazon)

$12.90 on Amazon

Draft windows are unfortunately a bit more difficult to repair. In older homes, it’s common to have windows that struggle to effectively keep cold air in. The easiest way to get better insulation (without paying a fortune for new windows) is with shrink film. Film insulation kits allow you to cover your window with a thin coating of plastic that prevents air from escaping or entering during the colder months. Come fall, winter and spring, your family will thank you — and the heating bill won’t be so daunting.

An adjustable extra screen lets you enjoy a breeze with open windows without bugs.  (Source: Amazon)

An adjustable extra screen lets you enjoy a breeze with open windows without bugs. (Source: Amazon)

$13.68 on Amazon

Sometimes with older windows, the problem isn’t the airflow – it’s what comes with it. Bees, mosquitoes and other bugs often squeeze through small gaps in window screens to get into your home, but they never know how to get out. On hot summer days, closing all the windows is not a viable (or desirable) option.

Fortunately, there’s a way to block out these pesky critters while maximizing airflow. Adjustable window screens are usually inexpensive (these are between $5 and $15) and slide across the entire window to block out intruders. Finally, you can keep your windows open all season without replacing the window frame. Frost King adjustable window screens come in a variety of sizes to fit most windows.

Smudges and watermarks

Easily wipe away stains and rust build-up and extend the life of the metal in your home.  (Source: Amazon)

Easily wipe away stains and rust build-up and extend the life of the metal in your home. (Source: Amazon)

$16.42 $17.99 on Amazon

Last but not least, rust stains and watermarks are the unspoken issues in any older home. Fortunately, these are usually easier to fix than some of the other problems in this guide. Rust stains on metal parts often appear in kitchens, laundry rooms and especially bathrooms. For the toughest stains, we recommend Iron OUT. Simply dab this powdered rust stain remover onto a damp sponge or cloth and you’ll be able to wipe away almost any rust. Even lighter-colored toilets should return to their original appearance with just the right amount of elbow grease.

Erase water marks (old or new) with ease.  (Source: Amazon)

Erase water marks (old or new) with ease. (Source: Amazon)

$9.17 on Amazon

We may not know how they got there, but watermarks are unfortunately common in many older homes — often simply because of how long they’ve been around. To combat watermarks on wood finishes such as tables or floors, try the Guardsman Watermark Removal Cloth. This cloth removes damage from spilled water, alcohol and heat and covers minor scratches.

Whether your home was built in 1922 or 2022, we hope this guide to maintaining your home has been helpful. While completely replacing a window frame or an old floor may be the best solution to your problem, until you’re ready to oversee those big projects, these quick fixes work well at a fraction of the cost.

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