Top 5 suggested areas that people should maintain

house maintenanceAt the HABiT we have recently completed a round of interviews on some of our wonderful franchisees.
We asked them all sorts of questions to get a better understanding of them and also of the home inspection business in their regions.

One of the questions was the top five areas around a house that they thought were the most important to maintain and include in a regular maintenance programme.

They all agreed that maintenance on a house was extremely important and was necessary to look after a big investment.

One of the franchisees said with regards to the exterior “If you can maintain the roof and guttering and the cladding then you are a long way to keeping your home safe and free from water getting into it and leaks occurring”

This is what our interviewed franchisees had to say-

1. The Roof

  • "So keep the roof checked, get up there or get someone else up there and have a look at it - is it rusty? Has it got holes in it? Are the fixings in the roof good? A lot of flat roofs and those with butynol the glue can come unstuck and people don’t know that. If you don’t know about it you can’t fix it."
  • "The roof as well, there are the concrete tiles, the cracking in the mortar, flashings, there is the metal ridge capping, they can move and the rivets can pop."
  • "I would be having a look at the roof and making sure it has a good coat of paint on it with a good pitch so that the water is falling away easily."
  • "Firstly the roof because that is open to the elements all year round."
  • "The roof and gutters are important and need to be cleaned out and well looked after. It is the umbrella over your house, it will protect your investment in the long term.

2. The Gutters

  • "Keep the gutters clear of debris, there a lot of problems that come from the gutters. Once they are cleaned out and the downpipes are running and everything is good then a lot of the water problems do disappear."
  • "The roof and gutters, the gutters are a big one. Autumn is a big one, the number of tennis balls I have found that are blocking the down pipe, they fit perfectly in a down pipe."
  • Check the spouting to make sure its not blocked and not running over into the soffits or eves.
  • "The spouting, be sure that that is clear and there are no leaks in it."

3. The Cladding

  • "Thinking about the cladding of your house, is it in good condition? Are all the sides of the windows sealed up so water can’t enter? Is there a crack in the plaster cladding of your house or in some brick work and do I need to do something about that? If there is a crack get someone to look at it because they are areas where moisture can get in."
  • "The cladding of course especially if it is monolithic, any cracks in that, that should be checked regularly. Gardening’s growing up next to cladding and against cladding."
  • "Making sure your cladding and fascias have been cleaned at least once a year, this is very important and will make your paint last a lot longer. Not only will it look good but it will extend the warranty on your paint."
  • "If the house is cladded with timber I would be looking for rot around the windowsill areas and all corners on weather board houses. Plaster houses check for remedial cracking as it is quite common around the window areas above and below the window areas. If you’ve got one wall with crazy cracking on it there might be more going on so get that checked."
  • "Clearing trees away from the house to get air and sunlight in and around the area. If you just leave it to overgrow it will rot out in quite a short period of time."
  • "Make sure all the ground water is away from the home especially some of the older homes and away from your foundations."

4. The Moisture

  • "Moisture seems to be the biggest problem down the track and that comes down to plumbing. So if you have a leak underneath the laundry tub and its been dripping down there for ages what you will find is that if you haven’t fix it after a time then you are going to have a reasonable problem with the floor rotting out, replacing vinyl and the cabinets etc. Where as if you had just fixed it in the first place you would have saved a lot of money."
  • "In the showers and wet areas keep a constant visual eye as showers are one of the areas that can let you down in the long or short term. Look out for any moisture that could be coming out of the shower doors, making sure that any water is draining away. It could just be the easy clear waste that is blocked so its just making sure that you have those wastes clear. Occasionally look under the shelf in your vanity to check for leaks. Make sure you wash tiles down and check for cracks."
  • "Then your plumbing from both inside and out, make sure there is nothing leaking, first sign of a leak, call a plumber."

5. The Joinery

  • "Window joinery inside and out, making sure it closes properly and if its timber joinery the paint needs to be looked after. Condensation, what are you going to do to sort that out?"
  • "Just checking all doors and windows inside and out to make sure that they don’t need easing and are all working freely and there has been no movement or subsidence."
  • "Checking windows and making sure that all the drain holes are unblocked,there is nothing worse than the water building up and leaking over your sills."

Other tips that came from our interviewed franchisees on maintenance ...

"To keep a healthy home you need to open it all up and keep it nice and clean. Those new homes are so well sealed that it’s nice to open the doors and windows and let the house breath a little bit."

"Then we go to insulation I think that is quite important and where the houses have got wooden floors I recommend underfloor insulation."

"Let the bathroom breathe. We always suggest putting a fan in to get rid of any moisture as you shower or take baths."

"You just take for granted that the gas and the fireplaces are always going to be good but they do need maintenance and your hot water cylinder. Not regular as such but they do need checking."

"Keeping on top of electrical. Broken fittings for example, you don’t want a fire inside your house and try not to overload stuff. Just keep an eye on it as if something is broken it can cause a fire. If the wiring is not looking good call in an electrician."


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