Maintaining your property

by Andy Bryenton

With winter breathing down our necks it is time to remember that all those jobs that have been put off until tomorrow need to be attended to.

Whether it is purchasing new thermal curtains or carpets, fixing windows and doors against drafts, upgrading the fireplace or getting your long-awaited spa pool — don’t forget the outside also needs care. Before the wet weather, consider washing the outside of your house, sheds, footpaths and driveways as sometimes required maintenance can be concealed by the slightest amount of moss, debris and clumps of deteriorating leaves.

It takes just a small hole from a displaced nail in your roof, or sealer missing from joinery to create a magnitude of water issues including wet ceilings, rotten joists and dampness in your house. One broken tile or small nail hole is often the cause of a massive amount of water getting into your building without you realising. An old roof can have gaps, which allow the wind to blow rain through. Missing nails also create an environment for roofing iron to be ripped from the building. That in itself is a dangerous position to be in. One gust of wind can remove an entire roof, and the iron can end up across the farm including on the road. It also has the ability to slice off a head or cut an animal in two.

Good downpipes and gutters catch valuable rainwater as well as ensure that your building is not quietly being destroyed by water retention. It is often not seen until the damage is done as it can spill back under the eaves into the internal walls. Now is the time to ensure they are up to scratch and clear of breaks and debris such as leaves and possibly dead rodents. That needs to be done not only on houses but buildings of all types, including cow sheds, pig sties, machinery and shearing sheds.

Check your water tanks and rain harvesting systems are not quietly leaking and consider upgrading them or purchasing another if your water requirements have grown. With wet weather on its way, it is a good time to take advantage of keeping your water supply topped up naturally and preparing for the future dry spells, so you have a good supply for your home, garden and animals.

Winter is a time when we want as little as possible to go wrong, so preparing in advance, and calling the experts beforehand is a wise move.

Having a plan and ensuring all that can be fixed or upgraded is done early will help eliminate unnecessary stress. Contractors are often busy and booked well in advance. Having your valuable buildings maintained pre-winter both protects your assets and will save on unexpected emergency call-outs, which often happen in the middle of a dark winter’s night.