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So what basic maintenance is needed for a small Edwardian end of terrace house

(12 Posts)
Belleende Sun 03-Jan-16 19:44:08

First time owning a house and it has just occurred to me I have no clue about maintenance. In flat I just waited until stuff broke/leaked/went mouldy before tackling. Am thinking prevention would be better than cure. So what maintenance tasks should I be tackling.
Interally in pretty good nick
So far I have noticed
Possible issue with gutter at front of house
Found piece of lead flashing in front garden no idea where from
Brick work on side of house seems soft, some red bricks look like they are eroding
Seems to be some water getting in beneath window in nursery.
Which of these need tackling pronto and how do I prevent getting fleeced by tradespeople? Am i missing owt?

LittleCandle Sun 03-Jan-16 19:53:40

Either get a surveyor in to have a look, or ask friends for the name of a trustworthy builder and let them have a look.

caroldecker Sun 03-Jan-16 20:06:49

leaks /water damage need sorting quickly - leaking guttering can lead to big problems.
Treat the cause, not the issue otherwise will reoccur
Regular update and painting of windows to prevent rot

AwkwardSquad Sun 03-Jan-16 20:48:41

Re tradespeople - ask for recommendations and also try the trusted trader scheme if your local council runs one. Get quotes, plus use money saving expert forum, there's a section where you check to see if a quote is fair.

I have a small Edwardian mid-terrace; I've found a good roofer to be invaluable! The lead flashing may have come from your chimney, a roofer can check for you. Also check your bay window if you have one.

Keep an eye on pointing as well as on gutters. And ventilation is essential. Do not dry laundry indoors on racks etc without a dehumidifier.

wonkylegs Sun 03-Jan-16 21:16:22

Regularly get gutters cleaned out at least once a year. Check for leaks or blockages.
Woodwork needs painting every 5-10 years check how shabby it looks, if it's peeling or discoloured it probably needs attention.
Check air bricks are clear and not blocked.
Boiler - annual service
Check for slipped / cracked slates - they aren't expensive to fix but leaving them could lead to water damage which is.
If you have water getting in to the bay window see if you can identify where it's getting in. Check it isn't condensation due to poor airflow.
Get more than one opinion from tradesmen - 3 quotes are a good idea. Try to pick people who are accredited by a trades body or have been recommended to you.

Belleende Sun 03-Jan-16 22:27:39

Cheers all. Windows are new and good quality double glazed sash, boiler insured and already serviced. will sort guttering first, get an opinion on the brickwork and roof.

Sunnyshores Tue 05-Jan-16 15:54:26

Great list from wonkylegs - plus
you could get an electrical safety report (about £100) just to check everythings up to standard
check your brickwork make sure no pointing is falling out
check damp proof course is clear from growth/soil buildup (as air bricks)
check garden walls, fences. any trees after storms
are chimneys capped and cowled

Moving15 Tue 05-Jan-16 16:33:14

Check soakaways and keep them clear. Check drainage and make sure it looks clean. Any build up may indicate a problem.

Belleende Wed 06-Jan-16 06:13:56

These may be daft q's but here goes. How does one recognise ones damp proof course if theoretically one has gotten to the ripe old age of 41 without knowing what one is. (And a soakaway, not the foggiest about thst either)

wonkylegs Wed 06-Jan-16 07:56:08

You may not have a damp proof course on an Edwardian house as not all have them.
2 type if you do have one both located at the bottom of your wall - one is a line in the brickwork usually grey (although sometimes other colours) a few bricks from the ground level - it's usually embedded in the mortar joint and is plastic (modern), lead, slate or tiles. This should be clear from the ground and not covered up / built over in any way.
The other type is an injected dpc and is characterised by small holes in the brickwork drilled in a line all around the area that are then filled in. This is a chemical protection that is retrofitted in many houses often unnecessarily.

Moving15 Wed 06-Jan-16 08:03:21

Soakaways are where the guttering feeds into a hole in the ground that is not necessarily connected to the drainage system. If the water can soak away easily it isn't a problem, but if the water cant drain away due to a pile if leaves, moss or crisp packets from the street you end up with a damp wall. So just check that all the drains around the property are clean and covered so they don't get clogged up.

wonkylegs Wed 06-Jan-16 08:31:08

Just thought of another one which may be obvious but sooooo many people do it. Be very careful about what you flush down your loo - pee, poo, paper only, no flushable wipes, no sanitary products etc
You shouldn't flush extrainous stuff down any drain but in older drains you might find you have to deal with the outcome more imminently as they are narrower drains. When we moved into our old Edwardian house it became very apparent that the builders and their cleaning crew had flushed all sorts down the loo meaning within weeks we had a yard floating in rubbish and poo. It was not the new house experience I wanted!

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