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Simple Home Maintenance Checks to Avoid Big Bills

For most people, owning a home is a huge financial investment so it is important that you look after and maintain what will probably be your largest asset.

We have put together a list of essential annual maintenance tasks/checks that should be carried out to ensure that everything is kept in optimal working order to prevent damage from occurring (often out of sight in walls and floor spaces).

Silicone: Often found where surfaces meet at right angles to provide a water-resistant seal (e.g., showers, baths, floor edges, splashbacks, benchtops). Over time silicone can become dry and brittle or mould begins to form reducing the effectiveness of the seal and allowing moisture or dirt to penetrate behind causing damage out of sight that can lead to much larger more expensive repairs.

We recommend that silicone is replaced annually, especially in wet areas where higher levels of dirt and bacteria are typically present.

Shower Glass: Wherever water droplets are allowed to sit they leave behind a “shelf” of microscopic mineral deposits as the water evaporates. Then every time water is run across the glass the new water drops cling to this mineral ledge evaporating and adding another layer of deposits then before you know it your glass has gone from crystal clear to opaque and frosted with visible watermarks. Over time the mineral deposits etch the surface of the glass doing irreversible damage.

We recommend drying your shower glass daily or alternatively get the specialists in annually to polish off water spots and apply a protective membrane that repels the water and prevents mineral deposits from forming.

Grout Sealing: Sand-based grout is commonly used in tiled areas as it is cheap and easy to install. The disadvantage of this though is that it is not waterproof allowing moisture and dirt to penetrate resulting in mould, discolouration, and deterioration of the grout.

There are several solutions for sealing grout from short-term liquid penetrating sealants that need to be regularly topped up to more long-lasting durable resin sealants. Whichever option you go for, sealing your grout is a must especially in a wet area like your shower.

Drain Cleaning & Deodorising: Think of all the gunk that washes down your plug holes (hair, soaps, body fats, food fats and scraps), yuk! As this gunk passes down your drainpipes it can leave a residue coating on the inside of the pipe where bacteria build up creating all kinds of funky smells that waft back up through the plug hole.

We recommend an annual clean of your drains, popping out any waste covers, grates or plugs where possible, using a drain unblocker/deodoriser and giving the sides of the pipe a bit of a scrub with something like a bottle brush to remove the smelly build-up.

A plumber will have access to stronger chemicals than is available in retail shops so enlist their services if you need or want more of a thorough deep clean.

Dripping Taps & Running Toilets: Hundreds of litres of water are wasted every year where dripping taps or toilet cisterns run on without being fixed. Regularly check and replace washers and tighten up valves to prevent this and save yourself some money on your water bill!

Some taps and mixers may have a cartridge rather than a washer and these are best replaced by a qualified plumber.

Water Filters: Attaching a water filter can prolong the life of your tapware by removing hard mineral deposits from the water that create limescale build-up that can deteriorate the mechanisms of tapware.

Making sure you regularly replace the filter cartridge will ensure continued protection and smooth operation of your tapware.

Gutter Cleaning: Keeping your gutters clean and free of debris is important to protect your home against water damage, pests and foundation issues. Gutters help move water away from the house lining and roof and stop it from seeping into the exterior timbers. Leaves and other debris are an attractive home for wasps, rodents and birds so keeping these areas clear stops them from taking up residence. Pooling water caused by a clogged gutter can also damage the house foundations.

How often you clear your gutters depends on how many trees are around your property but often it’s recommended to be done twice a year in spring and autumn. It is also an opportunity to check all the gutter attachments and joiners that might need replacing.



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