The outside of your home is important: it protects you and your property from the elements. As such, it has to withstand a host of assaults: wind, rain, sun and frost; often in the same day! We look at ten external checks that you can make this autumn to help ensure that your home stays in tip-top condition.
- Guttering and downpipes. Check that they are in good condition – keep an eye out for erosion, cracks and missing screws. Clear the gutters of leaves and other debris that have accumulated over the summer and autumn.
- Tiles – while you are checking your guttering, cast your eye over your tiles. Keep a look out for missing or cracked tiles, or damaged mortar.
- Hoppers. Check for leaves and other debris; these must be cleared, or water collected by the gutters will pour down the walls and could cause serious damp problems. To avoid problems in the future, consider protecting your hopper with a wire mesh.
- Fascias should be in good condition. Check for decay; wooden fascias can be kept in good condition with a protective layer of paint when needed.
- Boiler Flues allow fumes from your boiler to leave safely. If they are obstructed by weeds, trees or enthusiastic climbers, the consequences could be fatal.
- Flashing. Check your abutments to see if flashing is properly fitted. Water can get through even the smallest of gaps.
- Air bricks help to ventilate your home and prevent condensation. Check that they are not obstructed; if foliage has grown up or around air bricks, get rid of it.
- Windows – wooden windows need to be sanded and painted with a layer or two of good quality exterior paint. uPVC windows will benefit from being kept clean.
- In the garden make sure that overhanging branches are cut back to prevent blocked guttering. If a tree is too near to the house, it could cause subsidence – check with a arboriculture specialist.
- Drives, patios and pathways need to be well drained and cleared of weeds and holes. Standing water on your driveway can wash away the sand and cement, causing the slabs to sink over time.
Many damp issues can be prevented by keeping on top of your external maintenance. If you are not confident in doing this yourself, why not employ a local handyman? An annual exterior check could help you to prevent potentially costly problems.