10 home-maintenance jobs to tackle in autumn
Ten simple home maintenance jobs to help get your home ready for autumn.
As the days shorten and a chill nips the morning air, preparing your home for the season ahead could help prevent a disaster later on.
RACV’s trade training manager Andy Anderson says every autumn RACV’s Emergency Home Assist receives a surge in callouts to help with issues that could have been avoided with a little preparation.
Last year RACV’s tradies attended a record 15,000 callouts between 1 March and 30 May to help with home emergencies, with the most common problems being blocked pipes, drains and toilets, damaged gas heaters and burst taps.
Almost one in five calls involved blocked drains, toilets and pipes, with drain and pipe blockages commonly caused by tree leaves and debris blocking gutters, downpipes and stormwater drains.
“If you clean your gutters at the start of the season you’ve got the best shot at avoiding problems when the rains come,” says Andy. He says blocked gutters can cause extensive damage if water overflow is forced into a home’s roof cavity or down the walls.
It’s also important to clear your garage or carport’s gutters, downpipes and stormwater drains, as any water overflow there can affect your house if it’s attached.
Because of the risk of working at heights, Andy suggests calling in a professional to carry out this work, and asking them to check for cracked roof tiles at the same time. He also suggests setting aside some time early in autumn to prune back any trees that might drop leaves into your gutters.
Now is also a good time to have your gas heater serviced, says Andy. Once winter approaches and the real cold sets in, a surge in demand for servicing can mean a long and chilly wait to get your heater fixed. And he says not to wait for winter to seal up any draughts that will leak warm air and drive up your power bills.
As for preventing the other most common home emergencies, Andy says regardless of the time of year, it’s best to avoid so-called ‘flushable’ wipes which can block toilets, and don’t let any minor tap problems go unchecked. “Don’t ignore the warning signs,” he says. “If a tap drips or is hard to turn off, it needs attention. It’s best to call out a professional to check the washers and rubbers and lubricate all the taps in one go, as they’re probably all the same age.”
Carpenter and TV presenter Walt Collins says clearing your gutters, getting your heating/cooling serviced and checking balconies or decks for damage are key autumn maintenance tasks.