Whether you’re a homeowner or a tenant, gradual or unintentional property damage can be an unwelcome surprise. And while not everything is under your control, some things can be prevented by keeping them in check.

Here are some steps you can take to avoid costly damage.

Clean up the gutters on a regular basis

Just because you don’t see them very often, doesn’t mean your gutters don’t need a clean-up. If your gutters are clogged with debris and leaves, water may overflow, causing external flooding or (even worse) internal water damage.

So better not to wait. Based on a quick desktop search, experts and insurance providers recommend cleaning up the gutters at least once a year, or even twice a year if necessary – once in late spring and once in the autumn.

Don’t let moisture build up

Do you have excess dampness in your house? Gradually, this can lead to toxic mould and dust mites, so make sure you investigate the underlying causes – like cracks, water leaks or blocked vents. Depending on the issue, a quick and easy fix may help prevent costly repairs down the line.

Check out these practical tips on how to control humidity and reduce condensation.

Use a small amount of water to clean your floors

If you have laminate or hardwood floors, it’s a good idea to use the minimum amount of water possible, to avoid warping or staining. Here’s a three-minute video showing the best way to clean and maintain your hardwood flooring, and make it last longer.

Keep your washing machine drain clog-free

When was the last time you checked your washing main drain hose, or the utility sink? Over time, dust, hair and other debris can build up in the sink, impeding the water flow. Or the drain hose may have been accidentally moved.

In all these cases, water may overflow onto the floors and carpets – potentially causing long-term damage or, in the best-case scenario, a frantic call to the carpet cleaners. Click here for some tips on how to identify washing machine drain issues before they escalate.

Dispose of cooking oil in the rubbish – not down the drain

Many of us are guilty of this, but oil and fats can really damage your septic and sewer system if poured down the drain. This is because cooking grease solidifies once it cools down, forming blockages.

Watercare recommends letting the oil cool completely, collecting it in a covered container and putting it in a rubbish bin. Also, make sure you scrape greasy pots and pans in the rubbish bin before rinsing and washing.

Don’t keep your curtains open all-day

If you’d like to keep your flooring looking like new, don’t forget to close your blinds or curtains when you’re out for the day. New Zealand’s high UV levels can fade your timber flooring, carpets, furnishings and wall art. Here are some solutions to ensure your décor is sun-safe.

Use a stud finder before nailing or drilling

Drywall is unlikely to be strong enough by itself to support cabinets, flat-screen TVs or large mirrors, for example. So before you start nailing or drilling into a wall, it’s a good idea to invest in a stud finder. This hand-held tool will help you locate studs – the unseen vertical beams that support your house.

Trim the trees

Plants sure add a splash of colour, framing your property. But if left to grow unpruned, they can cause serious damage to a property. Tree branches may grow too close to your home, damaging your roof or siding.

Not sure where to start? Online magazine thisNZlife has a great guide on DIY tree pruning, but unless you feel confident enough, getting professional help is recommended.

 

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.

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