3 tips to keep your home standing and protect your bank balance.
These are not the sexiest jobs to do around the house, but they are important ones. With our extra time at home, we have challenged ourselves to complete these 3 tasks in 2 weeks. Are you up for the challenge?
TASK 1 - gutters!
Over time, leaves, moss, debris and even birds’ nests can make their way into your gutters and prevent rainwater draining away properly. Water can then track up and into your ceiling space and down your walls, and typically it’s gradual and goes undetected, so that by the time you realise there’s a problem, a lot of damage has already been done. We have pulled together some handy tips on how to get those gutters cleaned!
What you need;
Grab that PPE – This is a messy job, so consider gloves, eye protection and old clothes.
A sturdy ladder and a helper to stabilise it. Always be careful with ladder placement, don’t over extend, ensure the ground is flat and stable and use a ratio of 1:4 (for every 4m up, the base of your ladder should be 1m out).
A hard bristled broom and hand brush - For clearing the roof of loose debris and to empty the bulk of debris from the gutters. A hose can also be handy if easily accessible.
A small hand trowel - to scrape out gutter gunk.
Green waste bags- to collect the leaves, moss and other debris that you clear from the roof and guttering.
Tidy up – We don’t need to tell you that leaf litter makes for slippy driveways, and double check to make sure you didn’t leave any tools on the roof or in the gutters.
Once you are all setup, make your way around your roof clearing anything you find in and around your gutters.
Take this time to have a good look at your roof and gutters whilst you’re there, check for damage and rust, loose sheets, missing screws, and have a chat with your builder if you think there may be issues. Also, if you have consistent problems with your gutters filling, consider investing in ‘gutter guard’ to keep the leaves out.
TASK 2 - Clean and paint exterior walls of your home.
Paint is the sunscreen on your house! It’s not just for aesthetics. And while a new coat of paint can really brighten the look of your home, it is actually so much more important than that. Paint is the last line of defence against water ingress, so keeping it in good condition is very important. As paint gets old it gets powdery, this causes it to flake and also makes re-painting far more difficult as the surface has to be prepped and blasted rather than just painting over. Cleaning your exterior walls may sound like a massive task but doing it once a year is enough to keep your home looking spick and span and protected.
It’s also a great way to keep on top of any damage around your house.
Before you start
• Trim away any excess branches, vines, moss or anything else that has attached itself to your home. • Clean your gutters (refer to previous post) • Check windows are all shut (yes, I’ve made that mistake before). • Check the condition of the silicone seal around your windows, and on the corners of timber homes. If sections have degraded or are missing get some professional advice.
A high pressure water cleaner is the best tool for cleaning the exterior of your home. Not only will using this equipment save you a lot of effort by removing accumulated grime, you will also save water and cut down on the dangerous chemicals you might otherwise use. If you don't have a high pressure cleaner, you could even consider renting one.If you can’t get your hands on a high pressure water cleaner, you will need to go back to old school and use a garden hoses and brooms. This way is sure to give the muscles an extra work out.
Take your time and wash your home as if you are washing your car, section by section, make your way around your home washing the walls from the top down, so that you're not letting dirt run down over bits you've already cleaned. If you're using detergent, you should wash the walls a second time with plain water to rinse off any residual soap.
TASK 3 - check for pooling water around your property.
Pooling or standing water is water that is gathering around your home. It could be as a result of poorly designed water management (gutters draining off into a bad spot, inadequate spoon drains), it could be a result of the earth around your house shifting, or debris build up, but either way, it is something that should be addressed.
Why is it bad?
Pooling water, if left unattended can cause major structural problems. A build-up of water around and underneath a concrete slab can compromise the stability of the soil foundation by compacting it or washing it away, this can lead to cracking in the slab and through your walls if there is a lot of ground movement. Wet ground accelerates the rotting of timber posts and rusts steel and it can slowly seep into your building, so creating a drainage path is key.
What do I do if I find pooling water?
Call your local builder and arrange a building inspection, they will be able to assess the impact, and give advice on how to re-direct it and what repairs, if any, are needed. Water can have drastic ramifications to your home, but typically there are relatively easy solutions and maintenance regimes that can keep your home standing for years to come.