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Building and Construction teacher Andrew Faulks takes David's advice and clears gutters (and the mind)
David Coyle, a head teacher of Carpentry and Building at TAFE NSW, reckons there are small jobs around the house that will give you maximum value for minimum upkeep effort.
“Some of these tasks should be part of the regular maintenance you do around your property,” says David, “others are specific to the way your building is constructed and its reaction to the weather conditions."
It’s time for that micro-break! Whip around and look for termite activity.
“If your house was constructed on a concrete slab, look around the perimeter for any tell-tale mud tunnels at the top of the slab and the bottom of the brickwork.
“If you spot any signs of termites, call a qualified pest controller to manage the problem before it gets out of hand. If your house has a suspended timber floor, you may have to have a look under the house for similar activity. Keep in mind garden beds directly against the house are an invitation for termites.”
That’s not a dance craze, it’s actually ‘a thing’.
“Drought may have impacted the movement of the doors and windows and caused the ground under your house to shrink. That means unusual movement in the structure which can cause doors to stick and bind.”
David says you should look at the gaps around your door from the inside – if they are uneven, there has been ground movement. If the gap is uneven and the door still operates, don’t worry too much: everything will probably return to normal when moisture (also known as rain) returns.
“If the door is binding or not locking, adjustment may be needed. If you’re a handy person you’ll know what to do here, if not, contact a licensed handyperson.”
… but some of us are looking at the stars.” That’s an Oscar Wilde quote, but this blog is about house maintenance (we have courses related to literature too!). Anyway, the sound of rain on the roof should be a comfort, not a worry!
“It’s always wise to keep your gutters clean for fire-safety but now, heading into winter, storm overflow is a real risk. The use of a step ladder with a working platform is always advisable for this task.”
Oh, while you’re out there with dirt under your fingernails, check any grated drains around your property and make sure they are cleared of leaves and mud.
The Building Advisory Service of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects estimates six per cent of Australian homes have a timber deck and about two per cent of those are at risk of collapse.
“A deck in poor repair,” says David, “will rot and become dangerous. Check for wood rot and rusted fixtures. Always be up to date with painting or oiling the deck to protect it from weather. Check that the handrail is strong enough.”
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