The British weather. Traditionally a topic of everyday conversation with us Brits, and a dominant player when it comes to planning how best to maintain and protect our homes. Unpredictability in the weather can cause unexpected damage, as we’ve seen with recent flooding in the South West, for example. Whilst the forces of nature are beyond our control, it’s important to do as much as we can to protect our homes against the elements, which can sometimes take us by surprise, particularly during the winter months. So, whether you plan to stay in your home over the long term, or you want to do it up to sell, protecting your home has to be a priority. Self storage experts Britannia Harrison and Rowley share some tips on how to protect your home against the elements, which they’ve found to be important to some of their customers who are moving house.
Essential Home Maintenance
Whether you live in a new build or a period property, there’s no escape from those essential home maintenance tasks. It can be overwhelming to know where to start, so it’s a good idea to sit down and make a list of what needs to be fixed or re-painted, for example. Take a long hard look at your property both inside and out, in good light conditions if possible. This will help you to prioritise the most urgent tasks. Make sure you also take into consideration the best time of year to get the jobs done. Take into account which home maintenance tasks you can easily tackle yourself, whilst planning for those which may require the services of a property maintenance professional.
Spring Clean Your Home Inside and Out
Traditionally spring is the season for homeowners to tackle a deep clean in the home. Spring cleaning is important for the basic maintenance of both the interior and exterior of your home. So whether you are ridding your carpet of woolly bears (the larvae of carpet beetles which can cause hundreds of pounds worth of damage to natural fibres such as household wool carpets), or clearing out and cleaning your wardrobes to fend off a potential moth infestation, you need to set aside some time to pay attention to your home interior and exterior. It’s all too easy to drift into the summer months without having got around to those essential home maintenance tasks.
Doing a thorough home clean can help you spot those things that need fixing early on. You might discover where that leak was coming from during the winter months or notice areas of flaking paintwork. If you own a large or particularly maintenance-hungry home, you may need to consider clearing out your belongings and putting them into temporary storage with a reputable firm such as Cambridgeshire-based Harrison and Rowley, whilst you tackle these essential repairs. It can be impractical to try and work around piles of boxes and heavy furniture. If a room needs to be emptied to allow effective treatment of a carpet infestation or the walls require re-plastering following a leak, then it’s more efficient to simply empty it and place your belongings into self storage.
Exterior Property Maintenance
Exterior home maintenance is unavoidable if you want to steer clear of storing up a long list of expensive repairs. Making sure you stay on top of property maintenance tasks, however large or small, will help you keep up with basic exterior repairs, ideally within your budget. It’s important to get things repaired or fixed to as high a standard as possible, as you will only have to revisit the same task when things go wrong. That’s when property maintenance can become a costly exercise.
Clear the Guttering and Drains
When did you last check your guttering or drains? These checks should be carried out routinely, particularly as we head into the autumn and winter months. These are the seasons when leaves are likely to be falling near your home and there’s more debris being blown about by wind and gales into guttering. If you’re not keen on climbing a ladder yourself, then contact a professional to do this for you. Whilst they’re there, ask them to take a look at your roof, particularly if you have concerns about any leaks.
It’s advisable to check your drains more often, as these take the brunt of everyday life from inside the home, as well as falling foul of blockages from leaves, litter, or fat residue from cooking. To avoid blockages and bad smells, it helps to remove debris on a regular basis, then pour some neat bleach down your drains.
Pouring cooking fat into the kitchen sink is not always easy to avoid, but there are some simple things you can do to help steer clear of a full blown pipe blockage. If you’ve accidentally poured oil or fat into the sink, then quickly follow with hot boiling water and washing up liquid. This should work effectively by breaking down the fat, helping to prevent a drain blockage.
Fix that Leaky Roof
A leak in a roof can be difficult to track down. Roofers refer to ‘chasing the leak’ when it’s not apparently visible how water is seeping into a loft space, perhaps in a roof valley, for example. This can be frustrating as several attempts to repair the problem can sometimes be necessary before hitting the jackpot. Swift attention to roof repairs is essential, after all, your roof provides protection over you and your belongings. Leaving a roof in disrepair could rapidly lead to costly damage inside the home, so it’s advisable to make this a top priority on your list of jobs in the spring. If you need help finding a trustworthy company, a useful resource is The National Federation of Roofing Contractors Ltd, the UK’s largest roofing trade association.
Give it a Lick of Paint!
Applying a few coats of paint to freshen up your home interior and exterior walls and woodwork gives an instant impression of cleanliness and care. If you are planning to move home, this offers a quick cosmetic fix before marketing your property for sale. It’s worth remembering that a surveyor will look beyond surface appearances, so it’s still important to address any major home repair work.
Decorating is something that is fairly simple to do yourself, with perhaps some professional help when it comes to painting high outside walls. If you’ve had problems with damp, it would be sensible to sort these out at the same time if you can. There are a variety of sealant and filler products available in DIY shops if it’s a job that looks easy to tackle yourself. If you live by the coast or you have an exterior wall that is prone to damp, then it’s advisable to get this assessed and sealed by a professional before doing any interior or exterior painting and redecorating. It’s important to seal the wall with a durable exterior wall coating to the outside only, so that you don’t seal in any damp and the wall can breathe. Investing in a tough exterior coating wall treatment will save you money in the long run, because it will eliminate the need for frequent repainting.
Tips to Protect and Prepare your Home for the Winter
– Preparing to protect your home for the winter months can help shorten your to-do list of property maintenance tasks in the spring.
– You can avoid freezing or burst pipes by simply leaving your heating on a low setting. This is also a more efficient way to heat your home.
– Continue with your regular drain and guttering checks to avoid blocked guttering collapsing under the extra weight of frozen water which has filled up on top of any build-up of debris.
– If you have a working chimney, make sure this is swept once a year to avoid chimney fires.
– Sweeping up fallen leaves in the autumn can help avoid drain blockages.
– Safely stow light garden furniture away to avoid damage flying items may cause your property in stormy conditions.
– If you lack storage space, you may choose to contact your local self storage company in St Neots, Britannia Harrison and Rowley, who will offer you the perfect winter storage solution.