Springs a coming, home maintenance and spring cleaning go hand in hand!
Spring is the season when Aussie homeowners love to go to town on their houses, turning them upside down to de-clutter, get rid of junk and deep clean the interiors and exteriors of their house. However…in the exuberance of cleaning the home maintenance side of things can get overlooked. Your spring clean should always go hand in hand with some spring home maintenance!
Here’s some maintenance tips to get on top of over the next couple of months!
Check the insulation, there are usually gaps between batts, fill them in. A Whirly bird does wonders to get rid of built-up heat and is natural mould inhibitor. Is there evidence of water or pests?
Clear your gutters and valleys of leaf litter also ensure there are no blockages in downpipes or the discharge line through to the street. Blocked gutters that retain water can lead to internal mould issues, especially to south facing, upper wall and ceiling perimeters.
Check your roof for damaged tiles, corroded roof sheets and fatigued flashings. Aerial eye-bolt fixings are also a classic water entry location.
Pressure clean all exterior walls and windows to remove your outdoor areas of the moss and lichen that has built up over the winter months. It’s important that you check with your local council to see if there are any water restrictions in place. Here in Newcastle, NSW level one water restrictions will start from the 16th September, 2019. Only hand held hoses with trigger nozzles is the general rule, outdoor watering before 10am and after 4pm only, no hosing hard surfaces and washing of vehicles should be done with a bucket, trigger nozzle hose or pressure cleaner. No sprinklers. Let’s all do the right thing!
While you’re at it check the fly screen doors and windows. Flyscreens are designed to let the breeze flow in and keep bugs out – but they can only do their job if they’re free from holes and tears. Good internal ventilation is key to reducing mould outbreaks.
Maintain your external timbers, peeling paint can turn to decay in a short time frame. Another expensive fix if you let it get away from you. Don’t forget hidden timbers that you can’t see on the roof, finials, timber fascias and cladding.
Termite inspection; it’s about this time of the year that termites start to become more active, careful they are very sneaky! You do not want them in your house. Expense and worry is what they will give you. You can conduct a visual inspection for termite activity under the floor space of your house. Check your ant caps are functional and remove any temptation for them by removing any old timbers and rubbish lying under the house. We recommend an inspection to be carried out by a professional pest inspector if you have any doubt.
Also consider spraying for cockroaches, but maybe go easy on the spiders, they do a great job cleaning up the summer insects!
Exposed decks love a coating of oil before the harsh summer sun hits. There are some fantastic water based products out there that are easy to use and after initial coats require less maintenance than oil. Talk to your local paint store technicians about what is going to suit your timber species and local area. Also inspect your deck for proud nail heads that can cause foot injuries and re-punch them below the decking board surface.
Inspect the deck support plate fixings into brickwork which have a habit of corroding over a fairly short time period, just add additional (stainless steel preferred) fixings at intermediate locations to the existing. A collapsed deck is the last thing anyone needs.
If you have a rainwater tank, don’t forget to clean out the strainer. Proper maintenance of your rainwater harvesting area will help you collect more rainwater and improve the quality at the same time. Also consider adding individual rainwater tanks to unused downpipes, which can be inter-connected if desired.
Get the pool sorted now and swim ready, stay on top of the chemical levels. Clean the chlorinators and ramp up the time periods. Check for leaks and corrosion to pumps.
The pool fencing and gates also deserve a look at, gate adjustments are an ongoing pain, however, the consequences of a gate that is not closing properly is unthinkable. Constant changes in soil moisture content (mainly clay soils) cause constant ground movement, hence gate adjustments! Don’t forget about gaps over 100mm between the bottom of the fencing and ground level, which are usually a fairly easy fix.
If you’re unsure if your pool is compliment we recommend getting a pool inspection carried out by a professional pool certifier, you can also check Fair Trading which is a great source of info on the subject.
Now is the time to spray your lawn for Bindi (Soliva sessilis) and weeds. You’re also going to want to throw some fertiliser down to promote good early growth. If you’re up to it why not aerate your lawn and apply a light top dress towards mid spring.
As the hot dry summer approaches get rid of all the water leaching weeds and mulch the garden to deter them from returning, mulch will improve your soil structure as well as prevent moisture evaporation. It’s also a good idea to clear any weeds away from the base of the house, they can build up and create a problem with dampness.
To prevent mosquitoes ensure there is no areas where water can pool and stand (old pots, clogged gutters, kids toys etc). Fix it or tip it out!