HomeProperty InsuranceMarch Home Upkeep - Cover4LetProperty

March Home Upkeep – Cover4LetProperty


Maintenance is something to think about throughout the year for any property owner. Only by keeping your home in a good state of repair can you get optimum enjoyment from it and maximise its capital value. Regular home maintenance also allows you to spot or get on top of any problems before they potentially become something major.

Keeping your property in a good state of repair, too, is typically a condition of your property insurance.

With the month of March now upon us, here is a checklist of some of the home care tasks to which you might want to turn your attention. They fall neatly into three broad categories – essential safety checks, scheduled maintenance, and those spring cleaning jobs that help to usher your home into a bright new season.

Safety first

Safety is a priority, of course, so the following simple tasks can be considered essential first steps:

Smoke alarms and CO detectors

  • smoke alarms and carbon dioxide detectors are only as good as their last test – so make sure to carry one out right now. In fact, many sources recommend you check your alarms weekly or once a month at the very least;
  • do it by pressing the button on the casing and holding it down until you hear the loud siren emitted by the device – and also remember to replace the battery annually;
  • safety equipment manufacturers Kidde recommend that you replace these essential safety devices at least once every five to ten years – along with any carbon monoxide (CO) detectors every seven to ten years;

Safe electrics

  • during the winter months, your electrical outlets probably came in for more than their usual fair share of use – as those appliances that are no longer needed can be unplugged, check that none of the outlets or circuits was overloaded or poses a risk of shorting or other disruption of supply;
  • if you have young children in the house, make a modest investment in some safety covers for electrical outlets to discourage curiously prying little fingers;
  • check when you last had your electrics tested – it is recommended that homeowners have them professionally checked every ten years, while landlords should have them checked every five years advises the Skills Training Group;
  • landlords are legally bound to carry out such inspections at least once every five years and a copy handed to the respective tenants.

Scheduled maintenance

Remember that effective maintenance relies on a steady schedule and that it doesn’t all need to be done all at once. Even so, March is an ideal month in which to start the ball rolling as your home transitions from the gruelling punishment of winter’s elements to the quieter, balmier days of spring.

Your maintenance schedule for the month might therefore include the following tasks:

The roof over your head

  • if there’s one part of your home that needs the utmost attention in your maintenance schedule it’s the roof – it’s what provides the only shelter for the whole building, after all – so, check for any loose, slipped, or missing tiles;

Rainwater goods

  • an equally essential maintenance task is the clearance of all the gutters and downpipes – the rainwater goods – of the debris that is almost certain to have accumulated during the winter storms;

Damp and condensation

  • keeping the rainwater goods clear of debris plays a key role in discouraging the penetration of water and damp – through the roof, gutters, or even the brickwork of your home;
  • damp and condensation can quickly escalate so that you have problems with mould on the interior walls – the heavy showers that are often experienced in springtime will only exacerbate the problem;
  • these problems can prove very stubborn to remedy, so prompt action is essential – not only to protect the structural integrity of your house but also to safeguard the health and wellbeing of your family;

Windows and doors

  • the winter weather might also have found its way through gaps in your windows and doors – letting in the wind and rain;
  • now is the time to tackle those gaps with the appropriate fillers – and touch up any repairs with a protective coat or two of paint;

Central heating

  • your boiler – and the entire central heating system – is likely to have been pressed into more or less continuous service during the winter months;
  • now that the weather is warming a little and you have the chance to shut it down for a while, it is time to commission a full-scale service so that you can safely leave the system until you next need it the most come the autumn and winter;
  • annual boiler inspections are typically a condition of your home and landlord insurance.

Spring cleaning

It’s no accident that the Great British Spring Clean – organised by Keep Britain Tidy – runs from the 15th until the 31st of March 2024.

The month comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, they say. In the meantime, therefore, you have the time to start the spring cleaning that will spruce up the whole home and make it especially welcoming to family and friends:

The front lobby

  • start your spring cleaning at the entrance to your home – it’s in the hallway at the front door where winter coats, macs, wellington boots and the like are all likely to have been left;
  • put them away until next year and you’ve immediately signalled the start to sunnier, drier, and altogether warmer days ahead;

Lighten-up

  • you might take a similar approach to the heavier-duty deep-pile rugs that kept you warm throughout the winter months and replace them with lighter flat-weave coverings in natural fibres;
  • in the bedroom, that is likely to mean switching the winter-togged duvet for a lightweight summer one;

Dusting

  • as the lively beams of Spring sunlight are welcomed into your home, there’s a risk they’ll highlight the dust and cobwebs left over from the dismal Winter;
  • take your duster and a vacuum cleaner, therefore, to those inaccessible ceiling corners and skirting boards;

Open to the outside

  • March marks a transition from a Winter spent indoors to the promise of a Summer outside;
  • so, you might want to take this opportunity to get things ready for that move to more activities outside – blow the cobwebs off the lawnmower and oil those shears, therefore, and begin to get the garden into shape;

A view from the patio

  • you’ll want to sit back and admire all that hard work, of course, so scrub the winter’s grime and detritus from the garden furniture, hose down the patio, and launder the soft furnishings.

Home maintenance in March is one of those times when the chores are the most welcome – getting ready for that reawakening of the coming months is bound to put a spring into the stride of your maintenance efforts.

Further reading:  UK property maintenance tipsand Spring property maintenance tips.

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