5 DIY Hints for Maintaining Your Domestic Property

Domestic property ownership is one of the great British dreams – until it turns into a nightmare. The problem with owning a property, rather than renting it, is that you have to do everything yourself: and that means keeping on top of your maintenance. Follow these five handy hints to keep your house the dream castle you always wanted!

Don’t paper over the cracks

When a crack appears in the plasterboard of a room, it’s probably not serious – unless it traverses a full line from floor to ceiling, or across the whole of the ceiling. Covering cracks up without investigating them, though, is an unwise idea. Get the professionals in to have a proper look before you do anything. Cracks in masonry and the outside of your home should be investigated fully as soon as possible. If cracks traverse more than one room or floor, you may have a problem with subsidence.

Clean the corners of your window sills

The window frame is one of the weakest parts of your whole house. Keep those corners clean to give yourself the best chance of noticing if any moisture or gunge is getting in from outside. An open crack in a window frame will significantly retard your property’s ability to retain heat, or keep out heat – and will also cause slow damp problems.

Regularly inspect your bathroom tiles and ceiling

The tiles and ceiling in your bathroom are two of the most likely breeding grounds for mould n your whole home. A regular inspection will give you advance warning of breeding mould – small quantities can easily be cleaned, while larger quantities may point to a problem that needs to be investigated and sorted out. In the first instance, clean all the mould off and wait for it to return. If it comes back in exactly the same place, in the same pattern, you may have damp behind the plasterboard.

Move furniture when you can

Moving furniture allows you to inspect the surfaces you don’t normally see – which can be early warning signs of damp problems. Damp tends to collect behind furniture when the furniture itself is close to a wall – it condenses there and breeds algae and mould. If you see damp patches when you move furniture, don’t be too alarmed – a serious problem would give you patches everywhere. But routine inspection allows you to keep an eye out for problems you don’t want to make any worse.

Use dehumidifiers if you need to

Older properties are particularly susceptible to slow damp problems, which can often be maintained and sorted by using a dehumidifier. The problem is that old properties were originally designed to have draughts running through them – these draughts cleared the moisture from the air. Modern glazing, which seals a house, keeps the damp in. Using a dehumidifier takes it away from walls and furnishings, and turns it back into water, which you can safely pour down the sink.

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