Householders in Doncaster urged to take action now with property maintenance tips

A national trade body is urging householders in Doncaster to take action and prepare their homes for the challenges of winter in the run-up to Maintenance Week.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 3:52 pm
Steve Hodgson, PCA Chief executive

According to the Property Care Association, steps taken now to prevent and protect against damp, care for timber and consider ventilation will make homes healthier and stop small concerns escalating into bigger issues in harsher weather conditions.

In line with Maintenance Week, a campaign run by SPAB (The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) from the 19-26 November to put building maintenance in the spotlight, the PCA has identified ten areas for action.

Ten tips from the PCA to protect homes this winter include;

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Air quality – Good air quality makes for a pleasant living environment, and with Covid-19, effective ventilation is more important than ever. Winter is a time when air becomes more laden with water, meaning that issues such as condensation, and even damp and mould, can take hold. Ventilation fans and air management systems are an important method in tackling this, so make sure service and repairs are up-to-date and the correct equipment specified for your property’s needs.

Ductworks – An often overlooked area of ventilation is the servicing and cleaning of ducts. This is vital work for systems to work effectively.

Target trickle vents – Tucked out of sight, trickle vents above windows provide a vital means of maintaining air flow. Check they are free of debris and the holes lined up to the grid bar for maximum efficiency.

Keep woodwork protected – If external timber rots or degrades it can mean specialist repairs or even a replacement is needed. Ensure wood is coated with a protective finish, to protect against water and frost to keep timber intact.

Watch chimney flashings – A common damp problem is water entering a building at the point where lead flashings meet at the joint with the chimney stack if they are not properly sealed. It can stream into a building, damage wallpaper and other coatings and be generally unpleasant.

Keep roofs tiptop – Keep on top of roofs by ensuring that any cracked or slipped tiles are dealt with. If the situation is not addressed, then water has an easy route into the property. If there is no secondary underfelt, then the problem can be particularly damaging.

Make a getaway – Gutters and downpipes need to be properly maintained to ensure they give water a quick escape route from a building. Even a small blockage can cause problems. Make sure drains are free from moss, leaves and debris and check the entire system is properly connected with no faulty joints.

Pointing and rendering – If damaged, loose or eroded, this can provide a way for water to enter a building, particularly in driving rain. Pay particular attention to the weather-prevailing side of a property.

Window and doorway openings – Check-out sealing between the frames and masonry as it can deteriorate, providing an area where rain can enter.

Drains – Gulleys and drains need to be able to let water flow on the fast-track. If it cannot escape, due to leaves and other debris, then localised flooding can occur, particularly during heavy downpours.

More details about the Property Care Association can be found at Property Care