August 29, 2017 at 4:44 PM
SPRING IS ON THE WAY, ITS TIME TO THINK ABOUT MAINTAINING YOUR HOME
With spring fast approaching we need to put some thought into maintenance projects around the home. During the winter months it is difficult to get outside and finish off those maintenance tasks we didn’t complete last year or areas of maintenance which are now falling due.
We need to formulate a plan, think about what can be easily achieved hopefully without too much effort or cost, in saying this some maintenance may be beyond the average homeowner and may involve contractors due to the size and nature of the work.
The trick with doing maintenance is to know your limits, stay within your level of expertise and above all don’t undertake work which may have height issues which can put you at risk.
The other thing is there is little point in putting effort and money into repairing things like rot damaged weatherboards or windows and not doing the job right. The problem will eventually resurface and may become an even bigger issue. You need good advice and know-how.
So where does one begin?
We recommend your start by taking a survey of your property; it will help you to have a list to work off. One of the problems here is you don’t know what you don’t know, which may sound a little ridiculous or even a bit funny, however this has been proven time and time again.
If you don’t quite understand what you’re looking at you will possibly not know what the actual issue is and how to deal with it. All too often DIY can turn into DISASTER.
We would suggest you have your house surveyed for maintenance by What’s Up House Inspections. Your Inspector can check the house exterior and interior, the roof space, roof, sub floor area and grounds and supply you with a detailed written report not only showing you areas of maintenance but also advising you on what things you should get a quote on. Further to this your Inspector will inform you about possible areas of pending maintenance or weathertightness risks because how can you manage maintenance or areas of risk if you don’t know what the maintenance and risks are?
Now that you have established what work is in front of you, you can move forward and get quotes for the big ticket items; the best way to do this is by engaging the relevant trade professionals to provide quotes and the rest you can undertake yourself.
I like to start from the top and work down: Remember if you find areas you’re not confident in working on get the relevant trade professionals to give you a quote and undertake the repairs especially when working at height, the professionals will have the relevant safety gear to complete the job.
1. So let’s start with the roof. The roof and flashings will need to be checked for loose fixings, debris, moss and lichen, rusting or damage. If you have an older concrete tile roof it may require repairs and even recoating. If the roof has internal gutters these will need to be checked and cleared.
2. Clean out the spouting and check the spouting and down pipe joints for any leaks and replace any damaged components.
3. Check the fascia boards, eaves, windows, window flashings, window putty or glazing rubbers and cladding for any evidence of splitting, cracking or damage. Wash the house down with a washing brush on an extendable pole using low water pressure and a mild detergent. Avoid using a water blaster as this can force water where it doesn’t belong and can damage surfaces. When washing the house down pay particular attention to the underside of the spouting, fascia board, underside of the eaves and areas of cladding which are not subject to regular rain wetting.
4. Remove vegetation from around the home. Trees overhanging the roof and vegetation against the cladding can cause damage and remember overhanging vegetation is a ladder for rodents to access the roof and enter the roof space.
5. Check vegetation is not covering the foundation vent grills and your gardens and the ground levels are below the foundation vents, this assists with good air flow and ventilation within the foundation area.
6. If you find you have damaged cladding it will need repair and depending on the type of cladding the repairs may need to be undertaken by a cladding specialist. If you have rot damaged weatherboards or windows these will need to be carefully prepared and repaired or replaced.
7. Concrete paths and driveways can be chemically cleaned or water blasted as they will often become slippery over the winter months.
8. Check steps are not slippery and grab handrails are secure.
9. Check the boundary fencing, cut back vegetation from the fencing and repair damaged areas.
10. Over the winter months you may have observed water run-off heading towards the home, now is the time to think about upgrading or installing drainage to ensure storm water is managed and is not causing issues.
Remember pretty much everything in and around your home will at some stage require maintenance and if you apply maintenance regularly you are helping to protect your investment.
The starting point to good maintenance is having your home professionally surveyed and by using What’s Up House Inspections you will get the maintenance report you need to move forward. Programmed and planned maintenance is the key and avoids the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff scenario.
WRITTEN BY RICHARD WYN
WHATS UP HOUSE INSPECTIONS
027 226 6630