When it comes to protecting the value of your property and the comfort of your home, regular home maintenance is key. “From the moment that you take ownership of your new home and signed off on the confirmation of satisfaction with the developer, home maintenance and repairs become your responsibility and are not the responsibility of the developer, the bond/mortgage provider or the insurer anymore,” explains Mbuso Mhlanga, marketing executive at Cosmopolitan Projects.
In the same way that you need to service your car regularly to keep it in good running order, your house needs the same care and attention. All property is subject to what is known as ‘wear and tear’. This is the gradual deterioration of items caused by normal usage, aging, exposure to weather, insects, and so on.
Fixing small maintenance problems at the first sight of deterioration will prevent a small problem from becoming a larger and much costlier one to fix in future. Not only will regular maintenance ensure the comfort and look of your home, but it will mean that you get the maximum value for your property should you decide to sell one day.
“There is also the insurance aspect to think about. It’s important to remember that insurance is there to protect you against the impact of sudden, unforeseen and accidental events, and not for gradual wear and tear. Claims resulting from a lack of maintenance are likely to be rejected by the insurer,” adds Mbuso.
Cosmopolitan Projects, a developer of affordable housing, provides some handy home maintenance tips:
• Paint the walls – both inside and out. Fill any small surface cracks and paint over it.
• Clean out gutters and remove leaves and debris regularly. It can save you money on replacing gutters and even on repairing roof damage as a result of water overflowing into the roof and ceilings during a heavy downpour.
• Check your roof. Ensure tiles are still securely in place and that flashings are properly sealed. Paint and seal your roof to avoid water leaks.
• Attend to water leaks immediately to avoid bigger problems with damp and other water damage. This includes checking toilets and cisterns, basins and the connections for signs of wear and tear or leakage.
• Check your windows, doors and handles for any required adjustments and tighten screws and bolts that may have come loose. Check that lock mechanisms are in good working order and spray with lubricating oil if necessary.
• Check your drains for any blockages and buildup of grime or fat. Never flush plaster, cement, paint or any other building debris down a drain as it will harden and block your pipes. Use a drain cover to keep debris out of your drains.
• Don’t hammer nails into the walls. This could lead to cracks in the plaster. Use a drill and a proper wall hanging fitting. Ensure that it is safe to drill and that there are no pipes or electrical cables under the surface.
• As we go into winter, consider applying window and door foam tape to ensure that windows and doors close snugly. This will keep out any cold wind and also prevent any rattling noise on windy days. It’s crucial to give your home the maintenance it needs and to attend to any required repairs as soon as they arise, to prevent a small problem from becoming a major one, and to protect the value of your property investment.