Have you given your home a spring home health check?

Published:  15 March, 2013

As the weather starts to improve, now is the time to review the state of our homes and properties ahead of the spring and summer months.

A badly maintained home will not work up to its full design specification or be energy-efficient and by investing a little money on property maintenance, you can potentially save many hundreds – and possibly thousands – of pounds in the long run.

To aid you, David Murphy, general manager at The National Self Build & Renovation Centre (NSBRC), has compiled a list of his 15 top home health check tips:

1. Do you understand how much your house costs to run – how much gas, electricity and water you use? If you don’t understand how your building works, it is difficult to make it work more cost effectively.

2. Get your insulation right. Look to insulate lofts and under floor voids, but remember not to block or impede ventilation in those areas, as this can also lead to problems.

3. Install efficient heating system and controls – Design your heating system around how you use your home and make the controls as user-friendly as possible.

4. Control airflow. Look at the internal decoration. Could you hang thick curtains, install window draught-proofing, secondary glazing or wooden shutters?

5. Replace old or rusting fixing to roof slates and guttering – Spring showers can cause huge damage if the water is not draining properly. A dry house is a warmer house.

6. Remove lime scale from taps, shower heads etc.

7. Check and clean your fans – You need to remove moisture from bathrooms and kitchens before it circulates and condenses.

8. As the weather warms, bleed your radiators (not when they are on) – this will help the effective and efficient running of your heating system for next year.

9. Make sure your stop clock is working correctly. When there is a case of burst or damaged pipes, it is too late!

10. Maintain any external painting to bargeboards – the decorative features attached to the gables of a house that follow the pitch of the roof.

11. Check damp proof courses (DPC) - the horizontal barrier in a wall designed to resist rising damp. If there is any bridging from patios, water may penetrate.

12. If they are not in place, fit bird/leaf guards to guttering and the top of soil pipes, to prevent debris blocking them and again avoid damp problems.

13. Clean out gullies and check for possible obstructions in drains. Broken or damaged drains can easily lead to structural problems.

14. Remove potentially damaging vegetation from external walls. Unfortunately whilst this can look pretty, it can also have consequences regarding damp and damage to the superstructure.

15. Repair and re-paint (if timber) windows/doors. This will extend the life span.

To find out more about how you can improve your home, visit the National Self Build & Renovation Show (12-14 April 2013) at the National Self Build & Renovation Centre in Swindon.

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