3 Proactive Maintenance Items will Save Your Money
In my experience as both a Carpenter and Property manager I have found that there are a few key maintenance items that if you are not proactive with will cost you significantly more than it would have to maintain in the first place.
This is often considered to be an aesthetics issue but could not be further from the truth. If you do not maintain the paint on the exterior of your property once it has started to crack and deteriorate it is no longer protecting the timber from the harsh Queensland elements. At this point in time the timber can quickly start to rot and then repair becomes replace.
External handrails and stairs are particularly important to maintain given the amount of timber touching timber at critical joints. Water will sit wherever timber touches timber and quickly rot the joint at which point in time even if the remainder of that timber is perfect the whole length will need replacement. This is not to mention the obvious safety hazard presented by not maintaining stairs and handrails. Hardwood timber maintained regularly can last a lifetime.
Painting tip – Whichever side of your property will face the westerly Sun should have an additional coat of paint as it will be exposed to the Sun for significantly longer over the life the paint job.
This is rarelygiven the priority that it needs given the task it is employed to do. Silicone is designed to stop water from getting into areas that cannot get wet. In the bathroom and kitchen this is critical, if the silicone around the shower and bath is not maintained it allows water to get into the timber work behind the wall and once this starts to rot you can potentially be up for pulling all of the tiles off the wall and replacing framework. The cost of cutting out silicone and having it completely replaced in a bathroom will typically not exceed $ 150 and could save you thousands.
There are certain types of trees and plants that are appropriate for the backyard and some that are not. The two that I would ensure that you do not have in your property are the Chinese Elm and Gum Tree. Chinese Elms are extremely fast growing and has a root system which is extremely invasive and has a water-seeking nature. This has been the cause of more plumbing issues then I care to remember with trees 15 meters away from sewage pipes responsible for broken pipes and blocked pipes.
They can also cause structural damage to a house and wherever found should be removed as a priority. The Chinese Celtis (aka Chinese Elm) is a declared Class 3 pest plant under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002. There is no local Government protection of Chinese Elms as a rule, and there is no need for a landowner to check if a Chinese Elm can be removed.
The Gum Tree (aka The Widow Maker) is a beautiful looking tree but again entirely not appropriate for being in the yard or close to the house. This tree has earnt its reputation in Australia following countless deaths as a result of the tree coming down over a house during storm season and even through branches falling unexpectedly. If this tree is found within falling distance of your house it should be removed as a priority as it is typically only a matter of time before it will fall given the nature of its small root system.
The other item to be proactive about in the yard is cutting trees away from the house and not allowing them to fill gutters with leaves. If the gutters are full of leaves during a heavy downpour which we get plenty of in Queensland then it can lead to the water backing back up and pouring into the property damaging the ceiling, walls and flooring. When cutting trees back using a tree Arborist is an effective way of stopping the tree from growing in that direction again. They can cut limbs of the tree in order to not allow for regrowth and the additional spend upfront will often lead to long term savings.