Hints & Tips

The following hints and tips were all originally published in our mail-out newsletter. If you wish to receive this newsletter please contact us at the numbers above or via the online contact form to be included in the Homecheck Services mailing list.

* General Maintainance

Tip By simply installing a roof ventilator, roof space temperatures can be reduced from 60 degrees C to 45 degrees C, in turn reducing the amount of heat radiating into the home.

Tip When was the last time you cleaned out your gutters and downpipe outlets? Full gutters mean rusty gutters!

Tip Poor drainage can contribute to major problems for Adelaide properties, as the typically reactive clay soils of the metropolitan area swell once waterlogged. Once the summer heat arrives, the cycle of soil expansion and contraction can lead to cracking in footings and walls. There is an excellent range of stormwater disposal pipes and drainage systems available to ensure water from downpipes is directed well away from the home.

Tip What you plant in your garden may have a long term telling affect on your home. Trees can provide valuable shade but understanding and managing the root system is vital. A single tree will extract moisture from a circular area equal to the height of the tree and an Australian tree or shrub can extract in excess of 100 litres of moisture from the soil in a day.

* Prevent Dampness

Tip Don't over-water or under-water your garden. Try to maintain constant minimum level of moisture in the soil near the home.

Tip Regularly check the junction of the wall tiles and the floor tiles in the shower alcove . . . Replace with mould resistant flexible sealant such as "Ardex SE" every 2-3 years.

Tip Keep your wall vents clean and free of debris - good sub-floor ventilation is vital in controlling sub-floor dampness.

Tip When building or renovating a home, one very important factor that is often overlooked is the thorough waterproofing of wet areas - as opposed to making them water resistant. Second-rate waterproofing leads to water damage, customer complaints and costly call-backs. After more than 10 years servicing the building industry, "Wet Seal Australia" have developed a system that is now used extensively throughout Australia. The System fulfills the requirements of the Building Code of Australia and holds a: Certificate of Conformity No. 97/002. For more information, please call: 8270 5555

Tip Up to 12 litres of moisture per day is drawn into the roof space from shower and kitchen fans. This can cause mould and mildew.

* Pest Control

Tip When was your home last treated for white ants? If it's more 5 years, it needs to be re-treated.

Tip There is a new treated timber-framing product now available that provides effective protection against termites. If you are building a new home or planning an addition where timber-framing is to be used, this product may be worth considering. Boral 'Pinegard Red' is treated to H2 level in accordance with Australian Standard 104 to give new homeowners peace of mind. The cost-effective frame needs no other protection and procedures such as spraying the grounds for termites may not be required.

* Hazards

Warning If you own a slow combustion heater, do yourself a favour and check the top of the flue, ie, the section that goes through the ceiling. The flue should have an additional "casing" or "sleeve" around the top of the flue, this is to protect the timber ceiling and roof framing from heat and possible fire. This "casing" or "sleeve" is referred to in the building industry as a "Flue Pipe Casing". If your heater does not have a Flue Pipe Casing fitted and you are unfortunate enough to have a fire, your home insurance company may be reluctant to approve you insurance claim.

Warning Paints containing high concentrations of lead were used extensively on the interior and exterior surfaces of houses built before 1950. Until the late 1960s, paint with more than 1 per cent lead was still being used. Paint containing lead is most likely to be found on window frames, doors, skirting boards, kitchen and bathroom cupboards, exterior walls, gutters, metal surfaces and fascias and may also be found on interior walls, ceilings and areas with enamel paint. Today, domestic paints have a maximum permissible lead content of 0.25 percent. FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL THE ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AGENCY ON (008) 803 772

Warning Part of any regular home maintenance is to check and re-check for any potential fire hazard. One of the first steps is to ensure you have a good fire evacuation plan: eg. plan where and how you will exit the home, should a fire occur.

Homecheck Services over 40 years experience ensures that you will be completely satisfied with the quality of both the home inspection and the final written report. Prompt and courteous service and attention to detail are our philosophy. Please contact us at the numbers above or via the online contact form for a no obligation free consultation.