Review your roof
A simple system for home maintenance is to work from the top of your property down. Your roof is the most exposed part of your house, and it takes a beating from the winter weather year after year. You should look for cracked or loose tiles, slates or flashings, and instruct a builder to fix any faults to prevent water damage to your roof – and ultimately your home.
Next, check the gutters are clear of any leaf and twig debris. This is one area where a little time and maintenance could save you a substantial sum in the long term. Clogged gutters can quickly result in water damage to your home, with rainwater running directly down your walls if the main guttering system is blocked-up. The resulting water damage can be expensive to correct. Yet clearing your gutters is quick and cheap – meaning it’s a ‘no-brainer’.
It’s also prudent to check your chimneys are standing sturdy and pay for them to be swept – reducing any fire risk with future use. Finally, get up into your loft space and inspect the area underneath the roof, looking for any damp patches, light coming through holes, adding insulation if needed, and assessing for any problems with the interior roof structure.
Repair your woodwork
Moving down the face of your house, you should take care of your windows and doors – particularly if you have wooden fixtures. Now is the time to address peeling paint, woodworm and rot. If necessary, treat, repaint or stain outside windows and doors to extend their lifespan and brighten up your exterior facades. If you have a wooden conservatory, you should check the condition of the frame and assess whether it needs retreating. These individual elements tend to need replacing en masse, which can be costly. However, with regular maintenance, wooden frames can last upwards of 30 years.
Sort out your plumbing
Next, you should move inside. With winter behind us, you can sort out any plumbing issues before the autumn rush, when finding a free plumber becomes extremely tiresome. Bleed radiators, insulate pipes, and service your boiler. Clear any drains, and address more cosmetic concerns like dripping taps.
Do some garden maintenance
Don’t forget your garden. If you have fences, do they need staining, painting or fixing? Do you need to repair any walls? If your house is surrounded by creeping plants like ivy then you should consider trimming these back to minimise any damage to your brickwork.
Thinking of selling?
If you’re doing home maintenance with the idea of selling your home, you could aim to get it on the market by Easter – considered by many to be a peak in the property year and the time when many buyers are looking for properties. Even if you’re not looking to move, a spring MOT for your home will help you address any problems head-on while the weather is good, and before the busiest time for hiring builders, plumbers and other contractors.
Richard Sexton is business development director of e.surv chartered surveyors.