External Property Maintenance Tips


You should check the external condition of your property at least once a year and after major storms. External painting and decorating of the property will also give you an opportunity to closely examine the building.


Problems in the property structure may develop slowly over time. If you are concerned contact a qualified surveyor for further advice.


Chimney Stacks

Check these occasionally for signs of cracked cement, split or broken pots, or loose and gaping joints in the brickwork or render. Storms may loosen aerials or other fixings, including the materials used to form the joints with the roof coverings.


Roof

Check these occasionally for slipped, broken and missing tiles or slates, particularly after storms. Flat roofing has a limited life, and is at risk of cracking and blistering. You should not walk on a flat roof. Where possible keep it free from debris. If it is covered with spar chippings, make sure the coverage is even, and replace chippings where necessary.


Rainwater Gutters and Downpipes

Clear any debris at least once a year, and check for leaks when it is raining. You should also check for any loose downpipe connectors and broken fixings.


Structural / Load Bearing Walls

Check main walls for cracks and any uneven bulging. Maintain the joints in brickwork and repair loose or broken rendering. Re-paint decorated walls regularly. Cut back or remove any plants that are harmful to mortar and render.


External Doors and Windows

Once a year check all frames for signs of rot in wood frames, for any splits in plastic or metal frames and for rusting to latches and hinges in metal frames. Maintain all decorated frames by repairing or redecorating at the first sign of any deterioration. In autumn check double glazing for condensation between the glazing, as this is a sign of a faulty unit. Have broken or cracked glass replaced by a qualified specialist. Check for broken sash cords on sliding sash windows, and sills and window boards for any damage.


Conservatories and Porches

Keep all glass surfaces clean, and clear all rainwater gutters and downpipes. Look for broken glazing and for any leaks when it is raining. Arrange for repairs by a qualified specialist.


Drainage

Monitor plumbing regularly during use and when you are cleaning. Look out for leakage and breakages, and check insulation is adequate particularly as winter approaches. Lift drain covers annually to check for blockages and clean these as necessary or seek advice from a Certified Drainage Contractor. Check any private drainage systems annually, and arrange for a qualified contractor to clear these as necessary.


Gas / Heating and Electrical Services

Ensure all meters and control valves are easy to access and not hidden or covered over.

Arrange for an appropriately qualified Gas Safe Engineer or Registered Heating Engineer to check and test all gas and oil services, boilers, heating systems and connected devices once a year.


Electrical installations should only be replaced or modified by a suitably qualified electrician and that a periodic inspection and testing is carried out at least every 10 years for an owner occupied home.