publication date: Nov 26, 2009
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
Location, location, location is the mantra when it comes to buying property, but in the current economic climate, when many people are choosing to stay put, the importance of looking after the place where you live has never been more vital. This year The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB’s) annual National Maintenance Week spotlights the most important location in your life - your home. The week, supported by Jewsons, runs from 20th to 27th November.
With over half our property stock being built before the Second World War and home owners often preferring to have a brand new kitchen than fix a roof, it’s essential to check that your property is in good condition. And indeed, what many people don’t realise is that it is also part of your responsibility to maintain your home in case anything happens and you need to claim on your insurance.
Now in its seventh year, National Maintenance Week (20th-27th Nov) aims to provide homeowners (and people who care for public buildings such as churches, village halls and local authority venues), throughout the UK, with practical tips and advice on how to prepare their building to face the worst that winter can bring. You can visit the SPAB website for more information.
What maintenance should you be carrying out?
Water damage is one of the worst causes of problems in your home, especially with all the wet and stormy weather we’ve had recently. Things that tend to get overlooked are not just leaking gutters which can cause damp walls, but you also need to make sure your gutters and drains are free of any debris which might make them overflow and cause more water damage. Apart from damp walls, leaking gutters can also cause dry rot in any roof timbers.
To help highlight this, the SPAB has launched a 'National Gutters Day' this Friday 27th November and apparently you just have to spend “10 minutes outside on a rainy day checking for leaks” – not sure how they are going to make sure it rains though!
Other problems to look out for are missing tiles on the roof, drains or pipes that might have cracked and ensuring that all water is taken away from the property effectively, rather than disappearing into the house foundations.
Ideally, if you haven’t done it already, make sure that you get your loft insulated. To do this for just £99, contact the Energy Saving Team on 0800 988 5932 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, legally we have to have properties gas and electrically safety checked for tenants who rent, but bizarrely this isn’t a legal requirement for homeowners who have children living in the home!
So if you want your family to be safe and warm this winter, then make sure you visit the SPAB website and don’t forget we’ll be happy to help with any property projects you carry out to maintain your home. Contact us or tel 0845 838 1763.
For free information on carrying out repairs and renovation projects to properties, take a look at some of our articles:-
Make sure you know how to Plan and Organise Property Renovation and Home Improvements
Costing your Property Renovation and Home Improvements
The Essential Guide to Finding a Good Builder or Tradesman!