Your home is probably the biggest purchase you will ever make – and it needs to be carefully looked after. Homeowners should perform regular maintenance to keep their property in the best shape possible and ensure it retains its value. Many of the defects HouseCheck finds when inspecting existing properties are the result of neglect and a lack of preventative maintenance.
Here are five maintenance tips will keep your home in the best condition and prevent costly repairs down the line:
- Check the roof: One of the first places to see damage on a house is the roof. You need to check your roof regularly, as issues here can go unnoticed until they become a big problem (and you get leaks). Do a visual inspection for slipped, cracked or badly damaged tiles. Look at the pointing on the ridge capping and get someone in if this is in a bad condition. You should remove moss from tiles if it’s starting to take over.
Also check the flashing around chimneys and parapet walls. And give gutters a good clean out regularly, removing all leaves and weeds before they can block anything up. If your gutters are cracked or sagging and not draining properly then it may be time for some gutter replacement.
- Check for damp: Regularly check your walls for damp. Damp is a serious problem that you must deal with straight away if you find it. Dampness can get through defective mortar joints or hairline cracks in any rendering. In older houses the walls are usually solid which encourages damp but in many cases damp is encouraged due to poor maintenance.
The roof, walls, floors, windows and doors and pipe work in and outside the house, are all potential causes of damp. Usually a damp patch inside the house is easily identified as being linked to a problem outside the house. A damp patch at the top of a chimney breast will indicate the probable cause is a leak through the chimney stack. A wet patch at the top of a wall might be due to a leaking gutter outside which will need repairing or gutter replacement
- Check anywhere water goes: Ensure the mortar work around waste pipes and gulleys is in a good condition. Check water downpipes for splits or leaky joints. If there iare plants and creepers growing on your walls such as climbing roses or ivy, either remove it or keep a very close eye on this vegetation . These plants can damage brickwork and retain moisture in the wall.
- Keep woodwork in top condition: All wooden window and door frames should be painted at least once every three years. This will stop dampness getting in. Renew any broken sash cords in windows, and fix broken or cracked glass immediately.
- Stop leaks inside your home before they happen: Check your plumbing pipes and waste pipes for joint leaks. Now and again clean out bath and sink traps. And if the seals between baths and showers and the wall are starting to deteriorate, replace them immediately.
HouseCheck is a national company with a proven track record of providing objective reports on South African residential and commercial property – existing and new. John Graham, can be contacted on 083 3109 766 or email at email@example.com.