No-one would dream of not having the car serviced annually, or every 10,000 miles, or checking the oil and tyres before a big journey. Yet despite a home costing significantly more than their car, people forget to do the simplest of things.
And if you aren’t in a forever home, you still need to make sure your home is in good nick for when it comes time to sell – you don’t want to miss a sale because you neglected to maintain something and the surveyor marks it on their report for your potential buyer.
Make no mistake, spending a little often on maintenance could save you thousands on remedial work a few years down the road, and will make all the difference in the price you get when you sell.
Jobs for the Autumn: Get your house Winter-ready
There are some key areas you should keep an eye on in your home and they often fall into a seasonal pattern. Here is Collier Stevens’ first blog on how to maintain your home – starting with what needs to be done in the autumn (yep, we’ll follow it up in December with what to do in the winter – then in the spring, then, you’ve guessed it, a last one in the summer).
Get your boiler serviced
This is pretty obvious. When the weather gets cold you want the heating to work. So before it gets to the point you need it on regularly, it’s best to get is checked. Switch it all on and make sure it’s running well at the very least. It is recommended that you should have a boiler serviced annually. If you don’t, now is a good time to start. Check your radiators aren’t leaking and ask your plumber to bleed any air out of them if you can’t do it yourself.
Check the flashings on your windows and roofs
Are all the flashings around your bay windows, flat roofs and doors securely in place? As the autumn winds begin to come in you don’t want the lead to lift and cause leaks. It’s always best to get this done before the winter, otherwise, come the spring, you’ll have greater expense on remedial work to stained walls and ceilings inside. While you’re about it, check that the junction between the window and the wall is properly sealed as this can be a point of water ingress.
Is your roof in good condition?
Take a quick look at your roof to make sure there are no slipped tiles or slates – the last thing you want in the winter is to try and get a roof leak fixed.
Are your gutters clear?
Whilst you’re checking the roof, make sure your gutters are clear – as autumn leaves begin to fall they will just add to any muck that’s already in the gutter and can cause blockages and excess weight in the gutter. Either way you’ll have water pouring over it, with potential for future damp problems, or a broken gutter to fix when the weight gets too much. And don’t forget the down pipes – these can be blocked, but you won’t see it – or the gullies which can often be blocked by leaves.
Rendering and pointing
As the autumn brings more driving rain, it can creep into little crevices you might not have noticed were there causing an internal damp problem. Make sure all your pointing is good and that there are no cracks in the rendering. If not, try to make it good before the harsher months are upon you.
Check that all the overflows aren’t dripping. If they are, then they need to be repaired. Left running they will cause dampness and may freeze.
Got an open fire, or wood burner?
Make sure your chimneys and flues are swept once a year, ideally before the heating season, and get a certificate of chimney sweeping. Your insurance company may want to see this if you have a chimney fire. And if you have a gas fire that exhausts through the chimney flue, this should be checked too as these can become blocked – albeit infrequently.
Thinking of building an extension?
And finally, Autumn is a great time to start planning an extension, because very little building work happens over the colder winter months you can use the time to properly plan and design your extension, get planning permission, arrange any neighbourly agreements, get quotes and appoint a builder ready to go in the spring. The best builders usually have a long lead in time.
Do you think we missed anything? Have you learnt a lesson from not properly maintain you property? Let us know