5 Common Issues to Watch Out for In Old Buildings

Old buildings have an inexplicable charm especially to those who appreciate elegant architecture. Buying old buildings and renovating them to open a café or a boutique has become a common practice especially in India. The old yet enigmatic building façade offers a certain charm to passersby making them want to enter the building.

Old buildings, if structurally sound and well renovated can be a good workplace especially if you need to attract customers. But at the same time, old buildings have many problems that need to be assessed and worked on such as old plumbing, outdated electrical connections, molds, unstable structure, etc. In this article, we are going to discuss the five most common issues of old buildings.

Old Buildings

Structural Issues

Often, though the building itself was made with great precision, after decades or centuries gone, the walls, pillars, columns, and staircases may not be in the same condition as before. Hence, the first thing to do when looking for an old building is to hire structural audit services to thoroughly analyze the structure.

Depending on the results, you may need to renovate certain areas within the building to mitigate the risk factor. Structures of buildings should be sound enough to survive an earthquake for safety issues.


The climatic condition in India is not good for long-term natural conservation and preservation as the weather is tropical in the majority of states. As old buildings experience rain and humidity for a long duration, water seepage through walls and ceilings end up leaving damp patches on both – exterior and interior of the building.

Electrical Wiring

There are certain issues you can easily identify and rectify as needed, while there are some that can’t be easily noticed. Electrical wiring in old buildings is different but that is not an issue. According to experts, electrical wiring older than 50 years can be a risk as the insulation surrounding the wires may have deteriorated.

Old wirings need to be replaced after a thorough inspection especially if the building is damp. The combination of internal wiring and dampness can be the cause of a fatal electrical incident. Installing a safety switch which is now mandatory in all new buildings is also recommended for safety purposes.

Old Plumbing & Moulds

The majority of old buildings’ plumbing needs to be replaced as they don’t match with the new taps and outlets. But apart from that, the pipelines, drainage system, and sewage system may be clogged if the building hasn’t been used in the past few months or years. A faulty drainage system can be the cause of molds which is considered to be a major health risk by WHO (World Health Organization).

Lead-Based Paint

According to the research, old paints had a high quantity of lead in them and as it is harmful to both – health and the environment, it is essential to remove the paint. Although there are no regulations pertaining to the lead content in paint in India, it would be wise to have lead sans paint for better health. Apart from that, peeling is also a common issue especially in damp buildings which can be solved by conducting a damp assessment and applying a damp-proof paint.

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