Home owners – don’t ignore winter maintenance!

Winter is underway – along with the prospect of storms, high winds and heavy rainfall. Although you may be tempted to curl up and hibernate in front of the fire, now is a good time to attend to winter maintenance tasks if you want to avoid problems on the home front.

Failure to undertake basic home maintenance can potentially result in costly repair bills when those winter storms hit. If structural damage occurs – resulting in cracking and water damage – costs can easily run into many thousands of dollars.

Drainage problems can be a leading cause of both exterior and interior problems. Roofs, guttering, downpipes and stormwater drains in poor condition may allow water inside or create pooled water and damp under the house.

The roof often escapes the scrutiny of home owners. Out of sight, out of mind! Unfortunately, water pouring down the walls or a section of plaster collapsing is often the first indication there is even a problem.

People who put off fixing leaks could be placing both themselves and their families at risk especially if water is likely to enter electrical wiring or appliances.

But STOP! Before you get up on that roof it goes without saying you need to be extremely careful climbing on roofs when wet and slippery – or anytime for that matter. If you lack experience this task may best be left to professionals.

So if you’re all fired up to get out and do a few things around the house in preparation for the season ahead here are our top winter maintenance tips:

Guttering - should be clear of debris to stop water backing up and flowing back into roof spaces or under the house. Perhaps consider installing a gutter protection barrier?

Downpipes - make sure they flow into the stormwater drain or rain water tank – NOT under the house.

Roof - check for and repair any broken tiles, slates, damaged pointing, loose iron and flashing to avoid internal leaks.

Low lying area? Consider installing surface drainage systems around potential water entry points.

Dampness - check for sub floor dampness as it can attract termites. Look for leaks from unsealed pipes under bathrooms, kitchens and laundries or any water pooling outside or under the house.

Mould – identify any spots on interior walls. It could be a sign of dampness, particularly in bathrooms and laundries. Find the source now before it gets worse.

Heaters and central heating systems - check all, clean filters and vacuum dust from heaters. This should happen EVERY year.

Electric blankets – always test before using each year. Look for scorch marks, creases, hot spots or cord damage. You can have it checked by the manufacturer OR if in doubt, throw it away.

Open fires – if you have one! Make sure you use a heavy duty fire screen in front of the fire to prevent sparks or burning logs rolling onto the floor and igniting floor/ carpet. Ensure screen can’t be tipped over if a log rolls out.

Flashing – inspect around flue penetrations and ensure flues and chimneys are clear of soot and debris that may cause a fire.

Windows - check seals around windows and doors for heat loss.

Taps – check all taps and repair any leaks.

Power points– inspect all. If you find any with scorch marks get them checked by a licensed electrician.

Clothes dryer – check thoroughly before more regular use. Ensure the lint filter is cleaned after each use.

Smoke detectors – test all and replace batteries if required. Make sure everyone knows the location of fire extinguishers, fire blankets etc.

Garden – look for slippery, mossy, damp steps, pathways or driveway areas likely to cause slip and trip hazards.

Outside lighting – ensure lighting is working properly in preparation for darkness at a much earlier hour.

So what are you waiting for? A bit of TLC now could save you a lot of headaches down the track. With an estimated four out of five Australian households underinsured1 we suggest it’s also a very good time to review your home insurance.

Comments are closed.

Contact Us


Australian Office
Level 29, 221 St Georges Tce
Perth WA 6000
Phone: (61) 8 9214 3894
Fax: (61) 8 9480 3705
Email: info@quantuminvestor.com.au

Singapore Office
8 Temasek Boulevard Penthouse Level,
Suntec Tower Three,
Singapore 038988
Phone: (65) 6829 2266
Fax: (65) 68292121
Email: info@quantuminvestor.com.au