What regular maintenance do your local Coromandel Builders in Whangamata and Whitianga suggest you should expect to complete on your new coastal home? Here are the top 10 tips you need to make sure your new home stays beautiful.
Wash and Inspect Your Roof
At least once every year you should wash your roof and inspect for:
- Moss/lichen growth
- Flashings or iron lifting
- Fixings coming loose
- Any dents or damage to materials
- Gaps or cracks rain get where it shouldn’t
- Cracked, missing or dislodged roof tiles or shingles
- Breaks or blockages in gutters and downpipes
While you’re up there, inspect your TV Aerial or satellite dish, and any solar panels.
Wash and Inspect the Cladding on your Walls
In a similar way, make sure you check your cladding at least once every year. Some people find it is best to do these checks prior to winter, and with enough time to solve any problems that emerge from your inspection.
Go through the following list to ensure your cladding stays in excellent condition for many years.
- Check the paint work for cracked, flaking or fading
- Make sure none of your claddings touch the ground
- Look for moss/lichen
- Inspect all flashings and fixings for corrosions
- Inspect weatherboards to make sure they are still straight and that none are rotting.
- Are there any blocked vents at the base of brick walls
- Check the condition of any sealant
Home builders in Coromandel will tell you that If your home is within 5km of the coast, it would be best to check more than once per year.
Wash and Inspect Balconies and Decks
Decks and balconies can get slippery and dangerous if not looked after.
Here are the things you should look for:
- Corrosion in your fixing and fittings
- Slippery moss or mould building up on the surface
- pooling on your balcony, or beginning to seep into the building itself
- Timber that is rotting or splintering
- Balustrades coming loose
You should also inspect and clear any water outlets.
Get your Chimney Swept
BRANZ recommend that you should have your chimney professionally cleaned every year, usually during March or April.
Ask your sweep to also look for the following while they are up there:
- Mortar that is breaking down and no longer effective
- Soot that is building up and reducing the effectiveness of your fire
- Any flashings or fittings that are corroding or coming loose
Check Your House Foundations
This area might not be one that you feel confident checking yourself. It might help to form a relationship with experienced builders in Whitianga or Whangamata who can help you.
They will have their own list, but in general they need to look for the following:
- Ventilation openings that are breaking or becoming blocked
- Damp ground that has not been covered, or where the plastic covering is coming loose
- Plants that are blocking ventilation, or adhering to the wall in a way that could cause cracking
- Piles that are deteriorating
Examine Doors and Windows
Windows are potentially a problem in any new home, because insulation standards are so high, that some houses find it difficult to breathe. This is why ventilation systems have become so popular. If in doubt, call your favorite builders in Coromandel and check this out with them.
Check windows for:
- Condensation build up, or evidence of condensation damaging paint or materials.
- Mould or mildew
- Damaged seals
- Paint flaking
- Gaps appearing around window seals or sashes
- Glass cracking
Doors have their own problems, in addition to the above:
- Hinges or handles becoming stiff
- Noisy hinges or hardware
- Screws or fixings coming loose
- Door binding on the frame or floor
- Weather or sound stripping breaking down or coming loose
- Problems with locks
Check internal moisture levels
New homes often seem dry and it is easy to assume they will stay that way. But if there are many people breathing and showering, washing dishes and clothes, moisture is introduced over time. This is ok if the doors and windows are opened frequently to let the house breathe.
You might think that this is not an issue for builders in coastal areas like Whangamata or Whitianga, but it can make it worse. A large percentage of homes in these areas are holiday homes that remain shut up for months at a time. This will make a small problem into a big problem if left unchecked.
Indications of moisture or damp problems to check for include:
- Visible condensation or evidence of frequent condensation
- Rooms that feel cold or damp
- Mould or mildew
- Musty smells
Every new home should at least have appropriate ventilation installed in cooking areas and bathrooms, to ensure that moisture is removed as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Service Heat Pumps
You can do a lot yourself to keep your heat pumps operating efficiently:
- Clean the filters of dust regularly
- Clean the inside unit for dirt build-up. use a soft damp cloth on the unit and gently move your vacuum over the vanes and fins
- Keep plants away from the external unit so that there is good airflow
- Clear the air grills of any dirt or debris
Consumer.org recommend getting a professional to check the heat pump every couple of years. Professionals can measure the delivered air temperature and check the unit is operating properly. Probably the best professional to use is the person who installed the unit.
Check Bathroom and Kitchen
Every rental agency in New Zealand will tell you that kitchens and bathrooms are the key areas that reveal tell-tale signs of neglect in your home.
These are two areas where water, moisture and mould can cause significant damage. It soon becomes clear which homes are cleaned and maintained regularly, and which are slowly being destroyed.
Signs to pay attention to:
- Cracked sealing around fittings
- Mould or mildew
- Flaking paint
- Damage to fixtures, fittings or joinery
- Leaks underneath refrigeration or freezing units
- Musty smells inside cupboards
Check Heating and Ventilation Systems
Nobody notices heating and ventilation systems until they stop working. So regular inspections are vital, especially prior to winter and summer:
- Check for build up of dirt and dust
- Remove and clean filters
- Make sure pumps are working efficiently
- Examine pipework for damage
So there you have it: 10 great tips from our Whangamata builders. If you live in Whitianga, or anywhere in Coromandel in fact, these tips will keep your home looking great for decades to come.
If you follow these tips every year, you will likely discover problems before they get out of control, and prevent significant damage from occurring.
Your home is the most significant investment many people make. Looked after, it will be a great investment rather than a money pit.