Monday, July 15, 2024
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Simple home maintenance tasks that could save you money

Home maintenance is often a task that many of us will put off until it can’t wait any longer – but with the Easter holidays on the horizon, it may be time to finally make those much-needed repairs.

New research from home assistance provider, HomeServe, suggests the “to-do” list may be particularly long for some people.

It found that, over the past two years, two-fifths (40%) of us haven’t unblocked drains, while nearly a third (32%) haven’t bled radiators, and only half (50%) have checked pipes for leaks.

Only two-fifths (42%) of people surveyed have draught-proofed their home.

Putting off simple jobs around the home can unfortunately sometimes lead to bigger issues emerging.

In February, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said it had seen a surge in burst pipe claims at the start of this year, following a cold snap.

For some households, it’s not a simple matter of procrastination that’s getting in the way of tackling home maintenance jobs – three in 10 (30%) in HomeServe’s research say they don’t have the know-how.

Chris Houghton, home expert at HomeServe, says: “We understand that home maintenance might not be for everyone for a number of reasons. But if you’re able to take some proactive steps to maintain your home, it can save you significant amounts of time and money in the long run.”

The good news is that these issues are often preventable. Here are some tips from HomeServe engineers for tackling potential problems now, to help save both time and money in the longer term.

1. Hot water woes

At colder times of the year, water will enter the home colder than in the warmer months. Reducing the flow of the tap slightly by turning the tap handle will keep the water inside the boiler for longer. By doing this, you should find the water from the tap should flow slightly hotter.

2. Boiler pressure wisdom

Engineers suggest marking the pressure gauge with a pen, to give you a visual reminder to keep the pressure at optimal levels.

3. Cold weather pipe protection

Insulating pipes often prevents problems – but if there’s a sudden cold snap and you can’t get to the shops, it could be worth wrapping pipes in a towel for a quick fix. It may just prevent a costly broken pipe.

4. DIY blockage buster

HomeServe says blocked toilets are a common callout for its engineers. Armed with everyday items such as carrier bags and old mops, they advocate a simple DIY fix. By wrapping and firmly securing a plastic bag over a mop head and giving it a few gentle pushes, homeowners can often clear blockages without the need for professional intervention.

5. Efficient insulation

Seal gaps and cracks in windows, doors and walls, and ensure proper insulation in the attic and walls. This helps to reduce the load on the heating and cooling system.

While the DIY approach can save you time and money, of course, there are many home maintenance tasks that would be unwise or even dangerous for you to attempt yourself. So if you’re in any doubt, call a professional.

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