Maintaining your home

🕑 5 minute read

Checking your home for potential problems while you’re dusting away the cobwebs could save you money in the long run. Here’s what to look out for…

Taking good care of your home will help maintain its value, as well as avoid potentially expensive problems in the future.

That’s why a big clean should be so much more than just vacuuming under the sofa. There are some extra checks and jobs to do that might have cropped up over time - we’ve rounded up some of the most essential ones to give you a helping hand.

1. Check for mould and damp

When you’re cleaning the nooks and crannies, keep an eye out for spots of mould or damp patches that might have appeared, particularly in the bathroom, around ceiling edges, and windows.

If you find a bit of mould, it can often be removed with a household cleaner designed to get rid of fungus. It’s probably caused by excess moisture in your home. Using extractor fans or opening windows can help prevent it – particularly when you’re cooking or using the shower.

However, if the problem is over a larger area and it feels damp constantly, or keeps coming back, it might be worth checking if you have got a leak. Check your home insurance as it may cover any repairs.

2. Clean and check your grout and sealants

Cleaning tile grout and around sealants is a simple way to keep your home looking fresh, bright and clean. Especially if you’ve got a mould issue around your shower or bath.

Plus, while cleaning you can check for any cracks, to keep on top of any potential leaks, mould and damp, or further damage.

3. Clean your windows

Not only do fingerprint-free windows look better, but cleaning them can help prevent rot if you have wooden window frames.

Once a year, give timber frames a lick of paint, too, as this helps build their water resistance, and so prevents rot setting in.

4. Look for signs of life

You think you know who you share your home with, but pests in various shapes and sizes can set up camp, without you even knowing it – especially when seeking warmth during the colder months.

Look inside cupboards, around pipes, behind and under furniture and kitchen appliances for signs of mice or rats – such as droppings, scratches or gnawed furniture and wiring.

If you’re wondering why your wooden floorboards are suddenly riddled with small holes, it could be a sign of woodworm. It’s worth getting an expert in to investigate if you have an infestation.

Other pests that like to cause holes are moths, but this time in natural fibres. If your favourite jumper or best sheets are being nibbled at, you might need to get some help.

Be sure to check your home and contents insurance for pest clauses. You may find it covers treatment and/or repairs.

5. Pop into the loft

The loft is often a case of “out of sight, out of mind”. But it’s a good idea to pop your head up there and see if any issues have appeared and arrange to get them sorted ahead of the colder winter months coming.

Look for signs of leaks, wasps nests or vermin, or rot and decay in any of the timbers.

You should also look for tears to the roof lining, check the pipes and water tank for cracks, and make sure your insulation is nice and thick (at least 250mm) as this could save you money on your heating bills.

6. Don't forget your garden!

Many of us are guilty of letting our gardens get a bit wild and overgrown. So now is a good time to get out there, mow the lawn and trim back overgrowth.

Not only can a well-presented garden make all the difference to the look and feel of your home, but an overgrown garden can actually cause structural issues to your property.

Big tree roots, for example, can affect the foundations if they start spreading underneath your house. Shrubs and trees can break drainage pipes and potentially cause subsidence if they’re too close to outside walls, so make sure your home has plenty of breathing space.

Remember to cut back wall creepers regularly too, as they encourage damp, insects, and can block gutters, as well as potentially damaging your brickwork.

With all the jobs done and dusted, your house will look and feel fresh as a daisy. You'll also know that nothing nasty is lurking, which might cost you money in the future. Then….relax it’s time to enjoy your outside space.


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