Thursday, 11 February 2016

Top tips for maintaining your home | Art of Clean

Going away on holiday?  Make sure you follow these top tips for keeping your house in order.  It might seem a lot of effort but spending time before you go but will reduce the risk of returning and receiving any big nasty surprises.

Heating should be your main priority.  First of all, keep the heating ticking over.  Leave it on, but turned right down.  Many modern thermostats have a frost symbol.  By leaving the heating on this will help prevent the pipes from freezing.  Alternatively you can set the timer to come on briefly for a couple of times a day.  Or have you thought about remotely turning on your heating with a smart controller, such as the Green Energy Options Cosy.  This is an internet-connected programmable controller, capable of controlling both your heating and your hot water (please note: you have to have a hot water tank).  Cosy is quick and easy to fit and via the app you can set up schedules to turn on your heating and hot water - see

Nobody likes getting the big, heavy ladder out of the garage to clear the gutters (it just makes me exhausted thinking about it).  But it is essential to keep gutters cleared.  Any small amount of silty build up will reduce water flow and the water will escape in other ways, usually over the top and down the side of your walls and into your house, causing damp.  One way to notice if your gutter is blocked, is water falling sharply.  An easy solution to stop gutters getting blocked is to fit gutter guards.

Beautifully maintained drain-pipes

And in other local news.  It was reported that a drain in Cambridge had become blocked.  Of course on the surface, it doesn't sound too serious but further investigation revealed the culprit was in fact a large congealed fat deposit or otherwise known as a fat-berg! Any amount of fat or oil which is poured down the drain, will over time will build up into a much more serious problem and can possibly freeze or harden pipes in winter.  One way to depose of oils and fats, is to use kitchen towels to soak them up in or use a jar and put them in the bin.

We would all love to have perfectly maintained external wooden doors and window sills, but unless you live in a new property, which is more than likely to have UPVC windows, then you're okay and you don't have to worry but if you do have wooden windows and they are old, they are more than likely to be in some need of repair. Leaving water to enter through small cracks or flaking paint will eventually lead to wet rot, but with the wide range of products in DIY shops, keeping water out of cracks paint is perfectly possible today with products, such as Polycell Polyfilla for Wood Large Repairs (from £9.99, Homebase)

Exterior walls which are damaged or have missing pointing can lead to casing damp inside.  If you've had constant leaking drains, moss or algae will be a tell-tale sign.  Take action and scrub off the growth.  You can buy a good masonry paint for exterior walls which will provide long-lasting protection.

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