Our homes are certainly taking a battering from the extreme weather this winter and many people are hoping that no major damage will be done before the spring arrives, and we are able to get outside to tackle it.
If you are one of these people the good news is that you don’t have long to wait. We have learned a lesson this year on the importance of keeping our homes in tip top condition in case the unexpected happens.
You may grow your own food or generate your own power, but do you know the basics of home maintenance and problems to look for so they can be cured before serious damage is done? Sometimes we don’t notice what is right under our nose.
Here are our ultimate tips from top to bottom.
Check the Roof
The high winds we have experienced have caused havoc to roofs all over the country. If you are confident, climb a ladder and get onto the roof for a close inspection of the tiles. There are roof ladders specifically designed for access. They simply hook over the ridge so you can safely perform your inspection. Check for loose or missing tiles and replace them as necessary. Pay particular attention to the ridge tiles as they are often the first to suffer damage. You will need to fix any loose ridge tiles with mortar. Make sure any solar panels are still firmly fixed and give them a wipe over while you are up there.
While you are on the roof, inspect the chimney. Any pots should be firmly mounted, and look for cracks in the mortar courses. Any problems here will need to be rectified quickly because of safety issues. In the worst case scenario, the chimney may have to be dismantled and rebuilt. Hopefully, repointing the brickwork every 20 years will be all you need.
Clean out all of your guttering and check for any loose mountings or leaks. Guttering does a vital job in protecting the fabric of your house below from water damage.
Walk around your property looking for signs of damage. Check all of the external walls on the inside too. If you find the wallpaper coming away from the wall or paint flaking, it could be a sign of damp.
Use a damp meter to identify any problem areas. If you find some look for obvious problems such as earth piled against the outside wall or a bush that has overgrown and is lying against the brickwork. There could be a tree that is causing damage with its root system. Rising damp can be a symptom of a faulty damp proof membrane in the wall. You should take advice about this whether you are looking for damp proofing solutions in Essex or any other county for that matter.
Pay close attention to window and door frames. If the paint is flaking or bubbling, you are well advised to set to work on it quickly before it gets worse. Rub the paintwork down with coarse sandpaper until you have a smooth finish. If any of the wood is rotten it should be removed, and the hole filled with exterior wood filler. Apply a coat of wood primer and finish off with a coat of exterior gloss paint.
Hopefully, with annual inspection and maintenance, you will keep on top of any problems that arise before they become a major issue. There will be times when you have no option but to spend money by calling in professionals. This is perfectly normal, and sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and get on with it. Do what you can, however, every little helps.