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Pointers to help keep north homes tip top this spring


By Alan Beresford

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A NATIONAL trade body has issued a series of pointers to help keep north-east homes tip top in spring – and to nip in the bud issues that could lead to full scale remedial works.

Keeping woodwork protected is just one of the tips from PCA for keeping your home in prime condition.
Keeping woodwork protected is just one of the tips from PCA for keeping your home in prime condition.

The Property Care Association (PCA) has drawn up 10 tips highlighting some of the most common property problems.

According to the trade association, if householders take prompt action to address them now, it can pay dividends later.

Ten tips from the PCA to protect homes this spring include:

Think about ventilation

Good air quality makes for a pleasant living environment. While winter is a time when air becomes more laden with water, meaning that issues such as condensation, and even damp and mould can take hold, spring is the perfect time to take action. Ventilation fans and air management systems are key to tackling problems, so make sure service and repairs are up-to-date and the correct equipment specified for your property’s needs.

Ventilation is also important in the roof and under wooden floors. Check and where necessary clear external airbricks and vent points and help keep voids below floors and in roofs, dry and safe.

Keep woodwork protected

If external timber rots it can mean specialist repairs or even a replacement, is needed. Ensure vulnerable wood is treated with a protective finish now to prevent expensive repairs later.

Watch chimney flashings

A common property problem is water entering a building at the point where lead flashings meet at the joint with the chimney stack if they are not properly sealed. It can stream into a building, damage wallpaper and plaster and result in timber decay.

Keep roofs tip top

Any cracked or slipped tiles should be dealt with. If left alone, water has an easy route into the property. If there is no secondary underfelt, then the resulting problems can be severe and costly to repair

Make a getaway

Gutters and downpipes need to be properly maintained to ensure they give water a quick escape route from a building. Even a small blockage can cause problems, and we’ve seen in the changing climate that summer can be a time of significant downpours in the UK, so it’s important to take action now. Drains should be free from moss, leaves and debris. Take the time during a maintenance inspection to check the entire system is properly connected with no faulty joints.

Pointing and rendering

If damaged, loose or eroded, this can provide a way for water to enter a building. Pay particular attention to the side the building that 'gets the weather'.

Window and doorway openings

Check-out the sealing between the frames and masonry as it can deteriorate, providing an area where rain can enter.

Keep gardens in check

Check plants and trees now, to prevent growth into areas such as weak pointing. Small tree saplings can soon take hold near a property and, as the roots grow, problems can emerge – even potentially impacting on the structure of a building.

Drains

As mentioned, summer can be a time of downpours, so use the time now to clear gulleys and drains, so they can let water flow on the fast-track. Leaves and other leftover debris from autumn and winter can stop water escaping, leading to localised flooding, particularly during heavy rain.

Drives and paths – Again, surface water must drain away from a building quickly, so check and clear away any build-up of dirt and debris on drives and paths.

More details about the Property Care Association can be found at www.property-care.org



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