Give your home a Spring health check!

18 March 2019

Spring is finally here! It’s a great time for homeowners to give their home a ‘health check’ after the harsh winter weather, according to NHBC, the UK’s leading insurance and warranty provider for new build homes.

Most homeowners only think about the health of their property when selling, however regular checks inside and outside the home can avoid potential problems. People living in houses built in the last ten years will typically have to deal with less maintenance, as the build quality and energy efficiency of new homes today is far more advanced to that of older properties. NHBC has worked consistently over the years to raise the construction standards of new homes whilst providing its leading Buildmark policy to new homebuyers.

In its latest guidance to homeowners, NHBC advises carrying out at least a yearly review of their property to help keep everything in order and protect their investment. Areas worth checking are:

Inside

  • Heating system: As the weather gets warmer, adjust central heating to a summer setting to save energy. This is a good time to bleed radiators too, to get rid of air pockets. It is recommended that boilers should be serviced each year, to ensure that it is working with maximum performance and safety. Contact a Gas Safe certified installer to carry out an annual check now when engineers are less busy.
  • Smoke detectors: If detectors run on batteries, these should be checked and replaced if necessary. All detectors should be replaced after ten years.
  • Renew bathroom seals: It’s important to keep the silicon around the bathtub in good condition to prevent mould and stop water getting below and causing damage. Restoring seals is an easy weekend job. All you need to do is remove all the old sealant using a Stanley knife, clean the area, then apply masking tape to the area above and below where you want the silicone to go. Remember to apply the new sealant with the bath full of cold water — the weight will ensure that the sealant doesn’t crack.
  • Home security: Check the locks on all doors and windows, to see if they are in working order.
  • Taps: Dripping taps waste vast amounts of water. They may need the old washer changing for a new one.
  • Locate and inspect your stopcock: In the event of a burst pipe, knowing where your stopcock is located could save you hundreds of pounds! They are usually located where your water supply pipe enters your house, commonly under the kitchen sink. Make sure it’s working properly and you can turn it on and off easily. It’s good to do this every 6 months.

Outside

  • Roofing: Your roof is the most exposed part of your house, and it takes a hammering from the winter weather. Look at your roof from the outside, to see if any tiles are cracked or have slipped; these will need replacing by a professional roofer.
  • Guttering: Check for damage and clear away blockages that may have accumulated over the winter months. Blockages can be bad news and lead to water damage, so make sure guttering is cleared at least once a year. For safety reasons, this should be carried out by a professional.
  • Woodwork: This needs preserving against weather conditions. Timber windows and doors need repainting every three to five years; make a painting plan to action in the drier summer months.
  • Garden fencing: This provides homes with security, therefore it is important to check garden fencing for any damage and maintain its good condition.

 A quick home health check will identify areas that need attention and catch problems at an early stage. Carrying out regular maintenance ensures a home is kept in good condition, making it more pleasant to live in, more energy efficient and cheaper to run, and increasing its residual value.

Further advice for homeowners on property maintenance and other issues can be found at www.nhbcnewhomes.co.uk.