10 things every homeowner should tend to in order to keep their place in top shape
Have you ever seen those fixer-upper houses on TV where a young couple flips it for minimal cost? We always wonder how that house got like that in the first place. We can tell you, that unless it was a natural disaster, it probably didn’t happen all at once. Over time, small problems build up and amount to massive damage that homeowners don’t even realise.
Over time we have seen how small changes can make a big difference and some other things we often see happening in properties all over the country. Here are 10 things every homeowner should tend to in order to keep their place in top shape.
1. Ignoring leaks
Due to the current crisis we have in South Africa and the general cost of water, we should all keep an eye out for leaks. However, they also pose a problem to your home which can be an even costlier problem later on. What might be a small dark spot under your sink today could lead to major damage. For example, water can get into all kinds of places, imagine your bathroom tap slowly drips on the first floor. Over time that water may find its way to the timber beams below. Before you know it you need structural repair entirely! Try sort your home out before Winter using these tips.
2. Using the wrong tools
We get it, you’re in a rush and there is a shelf falling off the wall. The books are too heavy and it’s about to come down! You grab your drill with the wrong head to screw it in. The screw has been stripped so that you can’t screw it again. In a few weeks, the shelf is falling because you didn’t fill in the gap where the wall had been damaged before. Now you really need to call in a professional to help you! If you don’t know what you’re doing or something doesn’t seem right, stop what you are doing and call a professional. If you aren’t able to, there are some amazing DIY videos online.
3. Using the wrong paint
Choosing the right paint isn’t only about picking the right colour. The wrong paint can cause costly damage to your home later on – like a clear sealant with UV blocking technology for your deck outside – in a few seasons the sun and rain can cause major havoc to your very expensive deck. Call us for your painting needs.
4. Ignoring flaky paint
Paint shouldn’t be flaking. Either the wrong paint was used, there is moisture, there are cracks forming or the paint it too old. All of these problems mean the first line of defense to your structure has been compromised. A little bit of water can get in and boy do you not want that. You’d be in for a whole host of trouble so close up those gaps as soon as you can!
5. Letting tree limbs grow past the limits
Trees are much loved in South Africa and we cringe when we see one being chopped down. However, maintaining your trees is important too. By letting trees bridge over your boundary walls and homes you’re inviting 3 potential problems: Animals, criminals, and large falling branches! Squirrels, rats, and snakes can easily enter your home (need we say more!). Criminals can use these branches to get into our homes much more easily. We also experience intense weather here and we have seen far too many disasters involving large branches falling down unexpectedly.
6. Putting a brick in your toilet
We are all trying to save water and good on you for taking action. The problem is that, over time, bricks crumble when exposed to water for too long. Sending grains down the system can cause problems. Instead, opt for a water-saving toilet or just fill a 1-liter milk jug with sand.
7. Forgetting to unblock your home’s “arteries”
Your gutters and downpipes are essentially your home’s circulatory system. It keeps your home dry in times of heavy rainfall. If there is nowhere for the water to run off to, it can cause flooding which (as we’ve said it before) is a major problem. It could get inside to your floors, window and door frames and we’ve seen far too many doors that can’t open any more due to swelling. If it goes on for long enough, your walls and foundations are at risk too. Make sure your gutters and pipes are ready for action once the leaves have fallen and before the rainy season hits us.
8. Storing firewood near your house
With the cost of electricity now, many homeowners are using fireplaces for warmth in Winter. It makes total sense! However, storing the firewood near your house poses 2 problems. Remember those rats and snakes we spoke about earlier? All kinds of little creatures will use the wood stack for warmth and safety too. You might be in for a nice big Parktown prawn or a flying cockroach running into your home when it has had enough of your woodpile. The other issue is that fires are more and more frequent in the summer – It’s difficult to contain a giant bonfire right outside your front door.
9. Forgetting you flue
This brings us to the flue which makes up part of your indoor fireplace. Over time the flue gathers buildup of flammable materials. Many people lose their homes to large fires that originated in the fireplace. Call a chimney sweep to have them clean and inspect your fireplace before it’s too late.
10. Slamming doors
Besides the terrible noise that comes with slamming a door, it can damage the structure as well. This sudden force can pull the frame away from the wall which means a large crack which is unsightly and also problematic. You run the risk of water penetrating the gap and air can infiltrate as well. Have you ever opened a window on a windy day only to find something suddenly slams/ shatters due to pressure? Close those gaps or prevent further damage by not slamming your doors.