Home maintenance can prevent problems before they begin -- learn what you should regularly check for signs of potenial issues.
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Ensure that both structural and decorative woodwork is in sound condition. Walls and ceilings must be sound, with no cracks or holes. Drywall should be smooth for decorative purposes.
Safety is a priority. Creaking treads or risers should be attended to. Banisters must also be secure.
Check these areas for signs of damp. Preventing damp is straightforward; treating it is more difficult. Concrete floors should be dry. If wet, you may need to waterproof. Moisture can be the result of a flood or lack of ventilation, and can lead to mold. Treat it immediately
The circuit breaker box and appliances should be up to date and serviced as required. Cables and cords should be in good condition, with no signs of fraying or damaged sheathing.
Corroded pipes should be replaced. Check that pipes in roof spaces are insulated. Radiators should heat up correctly and have no cool spots, leaking valves, or broken thermostats.
The shower should operate efficiently, and not drip or leak at joints. Toilets should flush easily. If not, replace the relevant valves. Faucets should operate efficiently and not leak at joints or drip.
Check these for general condition and insect infestation. Roof space insulation should be checked for general condition and depth.
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009
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