Spring has sprung and with the new season signalling an end to winter, residents need to turn their attention to spring cleaning and home maintenance, according to Archicentre Australia.
The national architect’s advisory service says this is important for all homes as a well-maintained property makes for a healthy, happy and comfortable lifestyle, and enhances property value.
“This annual process is a must for all residents, including renters, owing to the health, safety and lifestyle benefits,” says Archicentre Australia director Peter Georgiev, “and is vital for those considering selling their property during the spring selling season.
“While many simple maintenance and spring cleaning tasks can and should be carried out by occupants, assistance should be sought from building professionals, such as architects, for assessment of constructional matters.
“Archicentre Australia has a residential Property Assessment service or an Architect’s Advice service that involves architects assessing properties for issues relating to footings/foundations and building conditions – that can better inform customers of their priorities relating to maintenance.
This can extend to elements and finishes (floors, walls, ceilings, roofs), balconies, decks, stairs, fire protection measures, insulation, poor ventilation and dampness.
“There is also a Timber Pest Inspection service carried out by independent licensed timber pest inspectors, and it must be remembered that termites can occur in any area,” Peter Georgiev says.
Many regular maintenance issues encountered in homes can be tackled by residents but if left untended can lead to more serious problems. For instance, smoke alarm batteries should be tested and batteries changed.
Surfaces inside and out should be cleaned and painted if necessary. Most plaster walls will crack in time but provided the footings and foundations are sound, often all that is required is to patch cracks when re-painting to improve appearances.
Brick homes should be checked for rising damp, which is caused by a breakdown of the damp-proof course brought on by old age or neglect of site levels, appropriate site drainage and subfloor ventilation. Be careful not to create external garden conditions that give rise to horizontal damp by covering sub-floor vents, or laying beds hard up against walls above the damp-proof course.
Reasonable air circulation must be maintained to prevent stale air, excessive humidity and condensation, all of which can affect health and cause materials to deteriorate.
Long periods of stagnant, moist conditions will encourage mould. Any mould should be removed and items such as evaporative coolers, stoves, range hoods, clothes dryers and showers should be well vented to the outside, not just into roof spaces.
Windows should be cleaned inside and out while insect screens need to be checked and replaced if damaged. Doors and windows should be checked to ensure they open and close properly as any jams can be caused by structural issues. Floor coverings should be cleaned and slip or trip hazards identified and remedied.
Check the colour of your stove top’s gas flame for signs of contamination as natural gas should burn blue. Fuses that blow with increasing regularity indicate a wiring problem and should be attended to by an electrician.
If you have drips from internal or external taps have a plumber attend to change the washers. Any leaks in cisterns also need to be attended to while hot water units should be checked for any issues, such as constant leaks from the overflow pipe.
Outdoor decks and balconies should be checked for visible signs of deterioration and wooden surfaces should be cleaned and if necessary re-sealed. Gardens should be kept neat and tidy, and any untidy bushes, shrubs or trees trimmed, particularly if they hang over the gutters or roof.
For more information go to www.archicentreaustralia.com.au
This media release has been written and distributed by:
Peter Georgiev, Director
Level 1, 9 Strathalbyn Street,
Kew East, VICTORIA, 3102
Phone: 1300 13 45 13 | 03 9859 9950