Churchill magazine

Quick home maintenance tips

Updated on: 11 September 2020

A toolbox with its contents spilling out.

Taking care of your home means that your DIY to-do list will be easier to manage, giving you the chance to spread the cost and avoid the need for expensive emergency call-outs. It could also help keep your home insurance premiums at a reasonable price in the future. 

Make a list of jobs to do

Doing regular checks can help you spot potential problems before they get out of hand. Make a list of quick fixes and take a basic toolkit with you, and if you see anything that needs extra work, you can decide if you need to call in the experts.

How to check outside

  • Look at external walls to see if there are any cracks or crumbling bricks. Are the airbricks blocked by earth or leaves? 

  • Ask a neighbour if you can see your roof from their window to check for any missing or damaged tiles. 

  • Look out for torn coverings to flat roofs, broken chimney pots or missing pointing.

  • Clear guttering of leaves and other debris and don't ignore dripping overflow pipes. 

  • Look closely for splits and cracks in guttering and pipes.

  • Check windows and doors and make a note of missing mastic, putty, cement, rotting seals or flaking paint.

  • Don't forget to take photos or videos.

Stay one step ahead of winter

Summer is the best time to make sure your boiler is working as it reduces the need for any emergency call-outs when the weather turns cold. 

Here's what you can do to do to keep your central heating in tip-top condition:

  • Let out air from the radiators if needed and clean out any grilles. 

  • Do a top-to-toe inspection of the floors and roof space and don't forget to look for signs of leaks in your loft. 

  • Make sure that any timbers are free from damp and woodworm. 

  • Check that pipes and tanks are fully-lagged. For costs and environmental purposes, it's good to have at least four inches of loft insulation.

Look out for damp

Patches of damp on walls or ceilings could mean there's a leak in the roof or radiators, and if left untreated may cause you long-term problems. Keep an eye on stains above skirting boards and use your nose – sometimes you can smell damp even if you can't actually see it.

If you have a condensation problem in your bathroom or kitchen, now's a good time to improve ventilation. Signs include steamed-up windows, damp patches, puddles on the window sill, peeling wallpaper, black spotty mildew and water running down walls.

Ready to do your home care checks?

Before you start, make sure your home and contents insurance cover you for any mishaps.

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