6 home maintenance solutions
Every home needs maintaining to keep it in good repair, but often we don’t notice small problems until they turn into big ones.
If a fault is overlooked, it may lead to major structural damage that costs thousands to fix, with huge disruptions while the work is carried out.
Inspect your home once a year as though you were a potential buyer, using our guide to identify telltale signs.
The majority of homes are made primarily of timber and brick.
TIMBER can be damaged by sunlight, which causes it to dry and shrink, or water, which causes it to rot. Untreated timber shouldn’t be installed in contact with the ground or left in direct sun.
BRICK is more weather-resistant, but it’s permeable and can leach water from the ground if not properly dampcoursed. This will cause damp inside the home.
Soft brickwork and mortar, bubbling paint, and damp and mouldy internal walls are signs of rising damp.
A musty, dank odour may also be present.
CAUSE Rising damp occurs if there is a damaged or inadequate dampcourse. This is the impermeable layer of metal or plastic that is installed below the floor level of an external brick wall.
Renovated concrete patios are often built above the dampcourse line and can contribute to rising damp. It is quite difficult to fix andthe dampcourse will need replacing.
SOLUTION Use an anti-fungal spray on visible mould and increase ventilation to the affected rooms until the work’s done. Boost subfloor ventilation to reduce the chance of a recurrence.
If left unchecked, toxic black mould will bloom, and interior lime render can crumble and fall off.
In the long term, it may damage the wall’s structure. In concrete walls, steel reinforcing within may rust and expand, causing cracks.