End-of-Season Home Maintenance

Home may be where the heart is, and like most valuable assets, it needs regular maintenance.

Use this time before spring arrives to do a couple of odd-jobs and heavy lifting around the house, which will see you into the next season without much fuss.

Here’s where to start:

  • Take a walk around your property to check for chips, cracks and breaks in gutters and walls. Contraction and expansion during winter can make cracks worse, and, once the summer rains arrive, allow for water damage both inside and outside your home.
  • From the outside, look out for loose flashing (the material that seals the gap between your chimney and the roof) around chimneys, loose bricks and damaged masonry. Damaged mortar should be cut out and replaced and loose bricks re-bedded and secured.  Loose flashing should be resealed or replaced to avoid water or condensation slipping beneath it and causing damage. If you have skylights, examine the seals.
  • Cracked or broken roof tiles need to be replaced. Water condensing on unseen rafters can cause rot and major problems over time.  The most important tiles to check are those making up the ridge cap at the top of a roof.  Heat and cold can cause cracks in the cement used to seal these. Take remedial action on these potential ‘hotspots’ as soon as possible.
  • If you have a thatched roof, look out for areas where the thatch has rotted, come loose or been damaged by birds. Tin roofs should be clear of rust spots, and the flashing around mounting screws can allow moisture to gather and also cause rust. Commercially available remedies include waterproof membranes and waterproofing paint. Blocked gutters can be significant problem areas. Water overflowing from gutters can intrude under the roof and cause ceiling damage. Clean gutters and downpipes from winter debris to avoid this problem.
  • Steel window frames should be clear of rust, and wooden frames should not be dry or cracked. Sandpapering and application of varnish or a sealer on wood will solve these problems.  In the event of wood cracks, use a suitable wood filler, sanded and covered with varnish or paint. Replace cracked putty on metal or wooden windows with new material.

An essential part of home maintenance, often overlooked, is making sure your home insurance is up-to-date. Make sure you are familiar with what is covered and what isn’t and what excesses apply.  Do not hesitate to contact your insurer and clarify queries that you may have and adjust your coverage if necessary.

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