Regular household maintenance helps prevent expensive repairs | Alberton Record

Regular household maintenance helps prevent expensive repairs | Alberton Record

The ban on social get-togethers, family events, cancelled holiday plans, and being stuck at home due to Covid-19 has forced many to spend a lot of time indoors.

Homeowners are constantly noticing things that need fixing or repairing. During this period one can pick-up a DIY skill to repair some of the damages.

With the widespread retrenchments, salary sacrifices, bonuses or commissions not being paid, and businesses closed or just ticking over have understandably made people wary about spending money.

Shawn Hogan, a carpenter and project manager says although money may be tight, ignoring small but essential home maintenance tasks can lead to much bigger expenses later.

“It’s important to distinguish between maintenance and improvements.

“By regularly maintaining woodwork, roofs, gutters and paintwork you can avoid bigger, more expensive problems later, such as rotten wooden doors and windows needing replaced or ceilings collapsing because of a leaking roof.

“Improvements, such as adding an office or renovating a kitchen or bathroom can wait until you’re able to afford these,” he said.

Shafeeqah Isaacs, head of consumer education at financial services provider DirectAxis said it’s wise to try and keep up basic home maintenance.

“Spending a bit to deal with small issues before they become big problems is sensible.”

Here are some of the expert tips for staying on top of home maintenance without breaking the budget are:

• Differentiate between necessary and nice to have.

If money is tight, limit your to-do list to things that will cost you more if not attended to.

“Sometimes simple, relatively affordable tasks can save you a lot in the long run. Other jobs such as re-carpeting a bedroom can wait until you’ve got the money.”

• Some tasks are more urgent than others.

While sanding down and repainting woodwork will prevent it rotting and save you from having to pay more later to repair or replace it, it’s not potentially as urgent as finding the source of a drip or reason for a damp spot on the ceiling.

Leaks, whether from a hole in the roof or a plumbing problem, don’t go away and can get worse fast. Besides having to pay for water spurting from a pipe, leaks can cause a lot of damage to paint, carpets, woodwork and even the structure of your house.

• Prioritise your tasks, beginning with the most urgent and ending with those that can wait until you have more time and money to deal with them.

• Find out if you’re covered before committing.

You may have insurance cover for some household repairs, but not have realised it. If you have a mortgage bond the banks require that you have insurance to cover potential damage to the house.

• Do your homework and build a budget.

If you dabble in DIY but aren’t an expert, do some research before you get started. There are plenty of how-to videos online. Speak to the experts in hardware shops and get their advice.

It’s an effort worth making before you buy a whole load of expensive supplies that you later find you don’t need or aren’t appropriate for the job.

• Stick to your skillset.

Nobody can be good at everything and even competent DIYers should be cautious about venturing outside of their areas of expertise.

This is doubly true for people who don’t have much experience.

If you’re not sure that you have the ability, know-how, confidence or the right tools to do the job properly and safely, rather call an expert. It could save you lots of frustration, money and more importantly, risk of injury or worse.

Published at Tue, 22 Dec 2020 05:00:00 +0000

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Written by Riel Roussopoulos


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