With the winter coming to a close and spring on its way, it’s time to pull yourself out of your annual slow-down and start getting your home ready for the wonderful warmer seasons! With shorter days, grey skies and a frosty temperature in the air, it’s difficult to motivate ourselves to keep on top of our day-to-day activities, let alone worrying about carrying out home maintenance and damp proofing. It might seem easier to shrug off your chores and assure yourself you will get to it later, but making excuses until you’ve got a mile-long to-do list isn’t practical and will just leave you overwhelmed when you do feel ‘up to it’.
To help you get started, we’ve provided a list of things to check and maintain around your home that are the most common culprits for leading to potentially expensive repairs if left without attention;
Check your Windows
Windows might not get as much use as our doors, but you are still likely to have opened and closed your windows a lot through the year and all that movement can take its toll on hinges and frames. Check around your windows carefully, making sure there is no damage or disintegration of the frames or fixtures and that in-built vents are clean and clear. If you notice any damage such as wood rot or peeling paint with seemingly no cause, you may have a problem with moisture, this can also cause issues with small puddles appearing along the windowsill.
Resealing your windows can help to prevent moisture ingress through gaps but if you find that the issues still arise and in addition, your walls feel damp or cold to the touch, this might mean you have a problem with moisture coming through your brickwork.
Maintaining the Exterior
One of the biggest contributors to moisture coming through external walls is broken, failing and blocked gutters. Gutters that cannot function efficiently cause water to spill and drip onto the external wall which gets absorbed through porous bricks leading to damp, cold walls and water appearing on your windowsills. Regularly check and maintain your guttering and your downpipes, ensuring that downpipes are carefully orientated over the drain to prevent water spilling onto walkways or hard-top surfaces where it can become a slip hazard.
You’ll also want to check that vegetation and weeds haven’t started to grow against the sides of your property or that heavy rains haven’t caused soil to pile against your exterior walls, potentially bridging your damp-proof course and causing problems internally.
After checking your windows indoors and out, maintaining your gutters and checking your walls are clear and clean, you should give your doors a good inspection. Check fixtures and inspect the door for damage that could affect your home security and make repairs or replacements where necessary.
Upkeeping the Roof
Your roof is the most exposed part of your home to the elements and should be checked a couple of times a year between seasons and after any extreme weather, whether long stretches of sunshine, heavy rain or especially frost and snow. If you don’t feel comfortable working at height, make sure to call someone who is confident and qualified and can safely check over your roof with the proper equipment without risk to health.
If you are looking at your roof by yourself, keep an eye out for lose, damaged or missing tiles that could potentially lead to leaks or pests making it into your property. Another way to check your roof for gaps or holes is to get into your loft on a bright day and reduce the amount of light by covering windows and entrances and looking out for light leaks coming through.
Homes that lack ventilation are the ones that often face the most issues including damp and condensation and while it’s key to allow air flow into your home regularly, it’s also important to declutter cupboards and rooms throughout the year. Another way to encourage good ventilation is to avoid pushing furniture up against walls and if you keep lots of items stored, move these around to allow good airflow.
While decluttering your storage, keep an eye out for potential signs of pests such as mice, roaches and woodworm. These pests can cause damage to stored belongings and create a mess, plus there’s a chance they could get into your food supplies and while not life-threatening, mice and roaches can carry disease. Insects and beetles are more of a nuisance but aren’t as likely to bring in germs and illnesses, more information is available for those asking is woodworm harmful to humans?
Your home is your castle and most commonly one of your greatest assets that is responsible for keeping you and your family and all your belongings safe. Do right by your home and take care of it throughout the year and it’ll take care of you with no major expensive repairs in the long-term!