Little Exterior Home Improvements

19 Oct 2018

Builder making repairs to the outside of a house

Home Repair and Exterior Improvements

If you’ve just moved into a new house or you’re thinking about redecorating, there are a few simple home repairs you can make to your home’s exterior to make it look brand new.

How you can inspect your house exterior

Before you even begin to think about redecorating, it’s important that you make sure that anything you do is completely safe – so make sure that your roof is still weatherproof, your gutters are clear and that any external wiring is not dangerous.

To do this, you really need to start your inspection from the top of your house, so grab your ladder and get on your roof to make sure everything is in tip-top condition.

Chimneys are the most exposed part of your house, seeing all types of weather, so you need to check them carefully for signs of damage. Any cracks in the bricks or the pots may be worth further investigation, but these often require specialist contractors so if you do find anything, don’t try and fix it yourself.

Inspect your gutters and drains

Blocked drains are more than just a bit of an annoyance, they can cause serious damage to your home. From roof damage to foundation destruction there are a range of reasons which means that at a minimum you should be using gutter guards. These inexpensive devices help prevent blockages while ensuring the unrestricted flow of water.

Inspecting your drains also gives you the opportunity to make sure none of the gutters are leaking or any of the joints damaged.Cracks can be filled easily with sealant after you’re thoroughly cleared and cleaned the plastic, while old joints are easily removed and replaced. 

Check for window rot

Most windows on houses in the UK still have some wood, particularly older Victorian and Georgian houses. The biggest enemy to all the types of wooden windows is water, and since they’re exposed to all weathers, they see quite a bit of rain. Water is particularly dangerous when it’s allowed to sit on the surface of wood for a long time. The moisture causes the wood to soften and expand, the perfect breeding ground for mould which can cause rot.

While most wood windows are moulded and shaped to ensure that the surfaces slope away from the window, helping to ensure that water runs off the window sills and prevent soaking.

You can detect rot with the point of a screwdriver or knife. If the wood is firm the window is fine, but if the wood is spongy or flakes, it is in danger of deteriorating. If you find any rot or mould, the window should be treated immediately to prevent further damage to the timber.

In order to treat any rot you find, there are a few simple steps to follow:

  • Remove the decay by cutting out any rotting parts from the window.
  • Once you have removed the affected wood, you need to stabilise the surface and prime with an epoxy solution. This helps to prevent further moisture from getting at the remaining timber.
  • If there are any large holes from rot, you will need to use some mouldable epoxy that fills the hole and bonds to the wood.
  • Once the solutions have dried and cured to the wood, you can treat the wood with various pastes easily available in your local DIY stores.

While we all like doing our own bits and pieces of home repair, it’s important that you don’t go beyond your ability! If while inspecting your home exterior you find cracks on the house larger than a hairline or a very large amount of rotten or infested wood, we recommend that you put away the toolbox and call a professional! It will most likely be more cost effective in the long run, saving you money and time.

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