Saturday, April 20

Tip of the week: A guarantee can save a fortune

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During tough economic times when it is easier to stick to the adage of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.

Maintenance is a subject many of us forget about, especially during tough economic times when it is easier to stick to the adage of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.

This is saving us money in the short term, but will cost more in the long term when it does break. We are fortunate to have clients who return to us each year and ask us to check their roof, clean their gutters, or service their waterproofing.

It is the servicing of waterproofing I want to look at this week. Flat roofs, parapets and intersections of walls and roofs are often waterproofed with torch-on membranes or paint-on acrylic systems. These products are then overcoated with reflective paint to help protect them from the elements, especially ultra-violet rays.

This overcoating does not last long and needs to be maintained regularly, both to protect the underlying membrane and to prolong your guarantee if you were issued with one. Many of the torch-on products carry a 10-year guarantee as long as they are service-coated regularly. It is the old story about reading the fine print.

You have spent a fortune on waterproofing your home and then let the guarantee lapse. As always, I am the first not to follow my own advice. Most things we buy come with some form of guarantee, which should be filled in, posted and a copy filed.

This takes discipline (not my strong suit) and is something we all need to work on. When you are having any work done around the home, ask whether the work is covered by a guarantee.

Obviously, when you opt to have something repaired, when replacement is needed, the contractor is not going to guarantee it, but major work should be guaranteed. Contractors will usually guarantee their work, but don’t forget to ask what guarantee there is on the material.

Most suppliers are proud of their products and offer guarantees as long as they inspect the work to ensure it has been installed, laid or fixed properly in and accordance with their specifications.

Make sure you are issued with these important pieces of paper. The other upside of good maintenance is that you are going to have a much better success rate with your insurance claims as many policies are subject to necessary and proper maintenance having been carried out.

*Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlister, is our expert on household DIY issues. If you have a question for him, please send it to or SMS only to 082 446 3859. Find Don on FB:

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