From the moment our homes are built they are in a state of degeneration. Periodically each of the homes components will require some repair or maintenance to keep them performing for the maximum possible time. Understanding what needs to be done and when is the key to smart, cost effective maintenance.
If you consider what keeps the home warm and dry, then logically it is the exterior. This is the envelope of the home and is a priority place to start.
As a general rule of thumb, here are the key areas to consider when creating a maintenance plan:
Starting at the ground, keeping enclosed foundation spaces dry, free of leaking plumbing or wastes, well insulated, ventilated, and any timber structures and fixings in order is important.
The roof wants to be kept free of moss, lichen, pooling water, dents, and rust. Be sure to check for loose or missing nails to help keep it weathertight. Exterior wall claddings want to be kept well sealed or painted, free of cracks, rot, lichen and moss. Most claddings should be kept clear of the ground and gardens.
Another area to check is the wet rooms, such as bathrooms, laundry, and kitchen for signs of internal leaking from plumbing fixtures and fittings. Showers in particular are an area to keep a regular eye on, being one of the most common areas causing internal moisture problems.
With winter fast approaching, now is the time to check the roof for loose fixings or flashings. Clean the gutters and downpipes, trim any trees or shrubbery from the house and check that the cladding is free of obvious defects.
While regular maintenance will prolong the components that make up your home and help keep it warm and dry, it is important to remember that all components have a life expectancy. Consider the age of your key components, as they will require replacement over time. For example, the life expectancy of a maintained roof may be up to 50 years, so if your 1970’s home still has its original roof, consider that you may need a roof replacement within the next few years. Understanding this will allow you to build replacement costs into your long-term maintenance plan, minimising the risk of an unexpected $15,000 to $20,000 bill for a roof replacement.
To ensure you are keeping on top of the true condition of your home and undertaking maintenance as required, we recommend you have a HouseProud maintenance survey undertaken every three years. This will help to ensure you stay on track, and deal with any new matters that may arise or become evident in a timely manner while they remain maintenance matters. It is when deferred maintenance occurs that you can find the components of your home can exponentially deteriorate at a rapidly increased cost, which can mostly be prevented.