Look after your home, and it will look after you. This simple mantra holds true for property owners across the country.
Property maintenance should be treated as an ongoing responsibility, rather than a one-time task. By having a planned maintenance program in place, homeowners and commercial property owners identify and address issues early, preventing them from becoming bigger issues and even more costly down the line. It’s an investment in the longevity and value of your property because neglect brings about hazardous and unnecessary expenses.
According to a study conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), for every £1 spent on maintenance, an average of £4 is saved on future repair costs. This highlights the economic benefits of being proactive with your property maintenance. It demonstrates how a small investment today results in substantial savings tomorrow.
Conversely, a well-maintained property not only safeguards your investment, it also increases its value when the time comes to sell. It is the key to preserving the value of your investment. Neglecting maintenance leads to excessive repairs and a decreased value instantly. By being proactive, you are protecting our financial investments.
In this post, let’s explore the significance of planned property maintenance by sharing with you our expert advice, and discover how a little attention goes a long way.
Imagine a leaking rainwater gutter. It may seem like a minor inconvenience, but if left unattended, it can swiftly lead to wet rot decay in eaves and cause dampness to seep into the very fabric of your home resulting in damaged wall plaster, paint, and décor. It can ruin your place of business or home. The remedy? A small investment of a few pounds to fix the issue promptly. By addressing such seemingly inconsequential problems early on, you prevent unforeseen, unpredictable, and steep costs later down the line.
Take care of your pitched roof
Pitched roofs are no exception. They require regular monitoring too, especially after a heavy storm. It’s essential to check for slipped or missing tiles and slates. By replacing defective ones, particularly in older roofs without under-felt beneath the covering, you reduce the likelihood of leaks. This ensures the integrity of your roof and safeguards against potential water damage.
Regular property maintenance not only saves you money in the long run but also ensures the safety and comfort of your home. Small issues left unattended, like a missing tile, can quickly escalate into much bigger problems. It’s essential to invest in planned maintenance to avoid expensive and potentially hazardous consequences. And, if your home has a pitched roof, maintenance is no exception.
External joinery maintenance
When it comes to external joinery, periodic checks and redecoration every 5 years is crucial in preventing wet rot. For instance, if you notice substantial wear and flaking paintwork on your windows, it could be an indication of conditions permitting the onset of wet rot. In such cases, undertake repairs before picking up a paintbrush. For minor damage, a proprietary wood filler often does the trick. However, more extensive areas of decay may require cutting out and replacing damaged sections with sound wood, using appropriate wood hardeners and fillers. Remember, timbers suffering from substantial decay may necessitate replacement altogether.
Dampness is a common concern in properties, but it can be mitigated through proper maintenance. Ensure that the damp-proof course remains unobstructed by the earth in flower beds. Additionally, conduct regular checks that sub-floor air vents are free from blockages. Poor subfloor ventilation could lead to costly outbreaks of dry rot in floor timbers. Furthermore, consider the different types of damp problems that can arise. Rising damp happens when moisture travels up from the ground through the masonry to a height of approximately one metre. Penetrating damp is caused by a property design or construction problem.
Condensation damp happens when a property cannot handle normal levels of water vapour due to poor insulation, ventilation, heating, or a combination of all of the above. If condensation is left to its own devices, it turns into a breeding ground for mould, a recognised health risk. One way to prevent condensation is to maintain a consistent temperature and effectively ventilate your property. Also, check that washing machines and tumble dryers are plumbed in correctly and vented properly. You can also install an extractor fan in bathrooms and kitchens, and open windows on a regular basis.
External walls and windows care
For your maintenance to-do list, don’t forget to regularly check external walls for cracks, spalled bricks, and receding pointing too. While cracks may not necessarily indicate significant structural movement, they provide a pathway for water to penetrate the building. Consequently, these cracks require prompt attention to prevent potential water damage.
Don’t neglect your windows either! Misty windows compromise their thermal performance, leading to potential mould growth. In such cases, it’s advisable to replace the affected glass unit, preferably before the onset of colder winter months. However, it’s worth noting that replacing the blown glass unit doesn’t necessitate the replacement of the entire frame. An approved glazier can replace just the affected unit, preserving the integrity of the rest of the window.
Chimney stacks, being exposed to the elements, require periodic checks. A neglected chimney stack poses a risk of falling masonry. Even minor repairs prove relatively expensive due to the need for erecting scaffolding to ensure safe work at heights. Cracked, eroded, or otherwise defective pointing should be addressed promptly, while cracked render or pebbledash requires careful removal and repair of the underlying masonry. Obsolete flues should be appropriately capped to prevent water penetration and condensation. In some cases, removing chimney stacks may prove to be a viable alternative to ongoing maintenance and repair.
Lastly, allowing your roof to breathe is vital in reducing the risk of condensation, excessive dampness, and potential fungal decay in the roof timbers. Houses built since the mid-1990s, or those that have had their roofs re-covered since then, typically feature breathable or vapour permeable underlays. However, older impermeable underlays require proper ventilation to prevent condensation issues. This can be achieved through proprietary tile vents installed in the sloping roof surfaces or air bricks inserted into gable walls. Adequate ventilation at the ridge and continuously along the full length of the eaves are ideal. When insulating the roof, ensure that the insulation does not block the flow of air through existing vents.
In conclusion, planned property maintenance is of paramount importance for home and commercial property owners alike. By taking a proactive approach, you safeguard your investment, enhance the value of your property, and maintain a safe and comfortable living environment. Remember, a little effort today saves you from significant cost, time, and future stress. So, invest in the care and maintenance of your property, and it will reward you for years to come.