Looking after the outside of your home is just as important as taking care of the inside. If you do not have the benefit of a managing agent then you should take personal responsibility for general upkeep. Here are a few points we think are useful.
To prevent rot and deterioration of external timber work, make sure that the exterior of your property is regularly re-painted or re-varnished. The first time you should re-paint/varnish outside is after 2 years and thereafter probably every 3-4 years.
Check your gutters and have them cleared regularly – especially if your property is in close proximity to trees. Blocked gutters and downpipes can be the cause of internal damp.
It is advisable that you check all flat roofs annually to ensure they are kept in good condition. Make certain rain water outlets remain clear and are not blocked.
DAMP PROOF COURSE
Make sure that the level of soil around the outside of your property is kept at least 2 courses of bricks below the damp proof course. Keep air bricks and vents clear from soil and garden debris.
Do not cover drains, inspection chambers or rodding eyes with soil, paving or other material.
You may notice a white deposit appear on external brick-work. This is called efflorescence and is caused by the salts coming out of the brick clay and can be removed with a soft brush and is harmless.
Inclement weather (heavy rain, high winds and snow/ice) can cause problems (dislodged roof tiles, fence panels, dropped gutters, frozen outside taps). These are not defects and can be best dealt with through your insurance policy.