Common Problems With 1930s Houses : 6 Common Issues (Explained)

The year or decade in which a house was built should greatly influence your decision when purchasing a house for you and your family. In this article we are going to discuss everything you need to know about 1930 houses so that you can make informed decisions when buying.

Table of Contents

Common Problems With 1930s Houses

1. Lack Proper Insulation

One of the problems you may experience with a 1930s houses is that they lack proper insulation. This is because these houses were designed without any insulation and as a result when its summer time the house will be extremely hot and in winter it will also be extremely cold. 1930s houses also have outdated HVAC systems that are not energy efficient and this usually causes home owners to have high utility bills.

How To Resolve Insulation Problems

If you want to purchase a 1930s house you need to fix the insulation in order to leave comfortably in it. This may mean installing new HVAC systems and upgrading the insulation. You can also consider using window treatments in order to improve energy efficiency.

2. Outdated Electrical Wiring

1930s houses usually have outdated electrical wiring which is usually known as the knob and tube wiring. This kind of electrical wiring is considered unsafe and outdated since it does not cater for modern power needs. The electrical wiring found in 1930s houses lacks grounding and as a result people living in the house can get electrocuted or a fire may start out of nowhere. The electrical wiring done is 1930s houses was made using aluminum whereas modern houses use copper. Aluminum is not great for wiring a house because it easily corrodes which can result in loose connections, overheating or fire hazards.

How To Fix Outdated Electrical Wiring Problems

If you want to live in a 1930s house you need to consider fixing the outdated electrical wiring so that your house becomes safe to live in. This means you have to remove the knob and tube wiring and replace it with modern electrical wiring like Romex or armored cable.

3. Outdated Foundations

Another problem with 1930s houses is that they have outdated foundations. 1930s houses were made using masonry block foundations which tend to crack or shift overtime. As a result the walls, doors, floors and windows usually crack. It can cost you a fortune to repair these things. Therefore, you need to assess your 1930s house before purchasing it.

How To Fix Outdated Foundations

If you want to purchase a 1930s house you should consider hiring someone to inspect the foundation. This is because these houses have foundations that are problematic. When you hire a contractor to take a look at the foundation they will advise you on what can be done to fix the problem.

4. Plumbing Issues

When you purchase a 1930s house there is a chance that you will experience plumbing issues. For starters 1930s houses have pipes that are made of copper, galvanized steel or iron and these materials are prone to rust and they easily corrode. When these pipes are corroded they usually cause water discoloration or leakages in your house. Another plumbing issue you may experience is that your water pressure will be low. This usually happens when the pipes are corroded or blocked. So if you are purchasing a 1930s house you need to know that the plumbing is not on point.

How To Resolve Plumbing Issues

In order to resolve plumbing issues in your 1930s house it is very important start by replacing the pipes. This means removing the galvanized steel pipes or copper pipes and replacing them with PVC or PEX materials. You can also engage a professional plumber to take a look at the pipes in order to ensure that there are no blockages or corroded pipes.

5. Roof Problems

1930s houses usually experience problems with their roofs. This is mainly because they have flat roofs which cause drainage problems. If water stays on the roof for too long it may end up damaging your house. Therefore, the roof styling of 1930s houses is not favorable.

How To Resolve Roof Problems

If you want to fix roof problems you should engage a qualified contractor to take a look at your roof in order to ensure that there are no damages to it. If there are any problems you need to have them fixed.

6. Risk of Mold

1930s houses are susceptible to mold mainly because they are made using single skin walls which make the houses vulnerable to dampness or mold growth. If you are purchasing a 1930s home you need to inspect it to ensure that it doesn’t have any mold in it.

How To Resolve Mold Issues

The first step is to hire someone to inspect the house in order to ensure that there is no mold in the house. You should also ensure that you make renovations to the house in order to prevent mold from forming.

Did 1930s Houses Have Cavity Walls?

Yes 1930s houses had cavity walls because this is the era in which cavity walls were popular.

What Is The Common Problem In Old Houses?

Old houses have a problem of succumbing to mold, this is because they were not designed to keep moisture away. Another problem which old houses faces is that the pipes eventually start leaking.

How Deep Are 1930s Foundations?

1930s foundations were not that deep, it is estimated that they were about 3 feet deep which is one of the reasons why houses built during this time succumb to mold or cracks overtime.


When looking for a house it is important to always ask the year in which it was built. This can make it easier for you to research some of the problems you may face with the house. It is important to know that most of the 1930s houses have been renovated and it is rare to find houses that still have all of the problems listed above. However, that shouldn’t stop you from bringing an inspector to take a look at the house before you purchase it.