Maintaining your home

2015-10-22 06:00
PHOTO: supplied

A family takes a break from painting.

PHOTO: supplied A family takes a break from painting.

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SUMMER is just around the corner, bringing warm, dry weather for some parts of South Africa and the rainy season for others.

Clean gutters that run freely are vital in wet weather. You could also consider installing PVC or aluminium gutters if you currently have asbestos guttering which is generally found on older properties, says Visser.

This is according to Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution of PSG Insure, who says it’s a good time of year to do some summer maintenance on your property.

He says ongoing maintenance will reduce future repair costs, as well as possible insurance claims.

Visser says some of the most common insurance claims come from leaks, be they from worn roof tiles or from geysers, so homeowners should protect themselves against water damage.

Homeowners who have seen the end of the rain season would have identified any existing leaks. Those anticipating the rain season should prepare so as to avoid leaks, taking note of any leaks that do arise.

Visser gives the following tips for adequately waterproofing your home:

Check your roof, outside surfaces and walls

Replace fractured or broken roof tiles or slates and fill any cracks in concrete. Use an appropriate sealant to seal off repairs and always apply good quality waterproof paint to repaired surfaces.

Clear your gutters

Clean gutters that run freely are vital in wet weather. You could also consider installing PVC or aluminium gutters if you currently have asbestos guttering which is generally found on older properties.

Asbestos gutters are prone to recurring leaks. PVC or aluminium gutters offer better quality, and generally do not need to be replaced.

Paint and repair rusty fixtures

Use additives that neutralise rust and maintain fixtures by keeping them well lubricated. Visser says homeowners also need to consider internal water damage.

The high acidity in our water can corrode pipes, but there are some preventative measures you can take to avoid costly water damage:

Ask a plumber to check the pipes in your home

If they are corroded, consider a once-off replacement, as opposed to the ongoing costs of smaller repairs. This will also help you avoid high costs or claims for water damage.

Have your geyser checked

Does it have a drip tray? If not, have this installed as it is essential if your geyser bursts.

Maintain your geyser

Geysers tend to last for a good number of years, but you can replace certain parts annually to increase their lifespans. These include the sacrificial anode, vacuum breakers, the pressure reducing valve, the temperature and pressure safety valve, and the drip tray.

Keep an eye on your water usage

Installing an inexpensive water usage monitor can help to detect leaks early. Visser says South Africans often enjoy the summer months outside, and homeowners need to ensure there are no dangers lurking here.

He gives advice for being safe outdoors:

Be safe by making sure you have adequate security features in place when it comes to your pool or braai.

Installing a fence around your pool or using a safety net makes it safer for small children. It can also help to avoid accidents that may trigger liability claims, such as guests falling in and injuring themselves or damaging expensive accessories.

When it comes to a braai, Visser says to make sure you extinguish fires properly. An unforeseen fire can cause extensive damage to your property, particularly if your garden is drier than usual.

Summer is also a good time to cut away old branches on trees and bushes that may be fire hazards or overhang your roof.

- Property24

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