Do you have a checklist of home maintenance jobs to be done at particular times of the year – as winter approaches, let’s say? It’s probably a good idea.
Many jobs will feature on practically every homeowner’s checklist. However, carefully you organise that schedule, there are some maintenance tips you may have forgotten – but remain no less important for all of that.
One of the conditions of any home insurance policy is that the property is kept in a good state of repair, with all the necessary maintenance jobs done regularly. If you fail on that responsibility and subsequently need to make a claim, your insurer may consider you to be responsible for contributory negligence – and reduce the amount of any settlement accordingly. So, it’s best not to have forgotten to do several easy maintenance checks.
So, let’s consider a few of the possible culprits – and put things right by adding them to your list:
- of course, it is essential that you have smoke detectors and alarms fitted at strategic locations around your house – there are an estimated 37,000 house fire in the UK every year;
- but there is little point in having them fitted unless you can rely on them working when needed – so, make sure they do so, and that the battery has not gone flat, by testing them once a week, suggests Hometree;
- there is one area in which landlords of let property may have stolen a march on you as a mere owner-occupier – and that is on the question of electrical standards in your home;
- since the 1st of June 2020, landlords have been obliged to have the electrical systems in their let property professionally checked at least every five years, explains Electrical Safety First;
- it is worth doing the same in your own home since electrical standards are changing – and improving – all the time. For example, in a new build home that is currently 13 years’ old, you may find that the fuse box is no longer up to current safety standards;
- since they are plumbed into your central heating system, hot water cylinders or immersion heaters are often overlooked;
- flushing out the tank once a year helps to get rid of the sediment that can build up inside it, reducing the heating efficiency, cause all sorts of banging, knocking and gurgling noises, and – over time – rust out the bottom of the cylinder;
Tumble dryer vents
- the build-up of lint in tumble dryer vents is one of the causes of house fires;
- a job that is likely to be overlooked is the need to thoroughly clean out such vents and remove the dust and lint that has built up there;
You remember putting down all that insulating material in the loft – you can just forget about it now, right? No, wrong – insulating material can settle, or you might not have put down enough in the first place, so make sure to check that the recommended depth is in place across the whole of your loft space.
Leaks and weeps
- water has that uncanny habit of finding its way through the smallest of gaps and breaks in any seal;
- take a look at all the seals around your bath, basins, and sinks, detect any leaks and make sure they are blocked with the appropriate filler;
- if you see water seeping out of your window frames, though, that is a good sign and an indication that the weep holes are doing their job in keeping the water out of your home – so make sure they are not blocked;
- have you noticed those coils on the back of your fridge/freezer – they help to take the heat out of the refrigerant and in that way keep the inside of your fridge cold;
- over time, those coils get covered in dust – and the dust stops the coils from working correctly and potentially shortens the life of your fridge/freezer;
- so, clean off the dust every three months or so – and you’ll save yourself the expense of having to replace the fridge before its time;
Those easily forgotten cleaning jobs
- sometimes it’s just a question of remembering to be that little bit more thorough and particular about the cleaning jobs you do, suggested an article in the Express newspaper on the 20th of September 2020;
- these are the quickly sorted chores of cleaning behind the radiator before the central heating comes on for the winter, for example, vacuuming beneath the sofa, or lighting a fire in a grate that hasn’t been used in a long time.
Add some of these home maintenance tips to your schedule of regular checks – and you may be glad to have extended the life of many household items, along with perhaps saving yourself more than a penny or two.