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Home maintenance tips

Routine maintenance is important for every home. Checking your exterior, heating, plumbing, security and electrical systems helps keep wear and tear under control.

  • One in three of us worry about the amount of maintenance work we need to do on our home and many put off work as a result
  • More than three quarters of homeowners have experienced maintenance issues
  • People spend an average of £1,860 a year on upkeep
House icon with a green door representing home maintenance
  • Based on 3,021 online interviews, (of which 1,857 are homeowners, 806 are period homeowners, 920 are renters and 262 are landlords) survey completed by Opinium Research, September 2016.

Simple, regular checks around the home can prevent issues from getting so bad that you end up with a big bill to repair them. More importantly, staying up to date with your home maintenance means you're properly protected by your home insurance.

You may feel uneasy about the amount of work needed in your home. To make things simple, we've produced a handy home maintenance guide, highlighting what to look out for to help prevent problems, save money and keep your home dry, safe and comfortable.

Tips to help stay on top of your home maintenance


Roofs

One in 10 (11%) say their pitched roof has leaked at some point, or had broken or missing tiles. The wear and tear on older houses makes issues more likely, with 18% of period home owners facing problems with their roof. Keep an eye out for loose tiles or slates, which could be an early sign of problems. Remember, if it's not safe to do this yourself, you should hire a professional.

Illustration of a house roof

Illustration of a gutter and drainpipe

Drains and gutters

One in five (19%) homeowners say broken or blocked drains have been an issue in their current home, but this increases to nearly a quarter (23%) of those living in period homes. Prevent issues by checking drains and clearing out gutters once the autumn leaves have fallen, leaving them clear for the winter months.


Insulation

4% of people say their current home insulation is not up to scratch, but it's considerably more likely to be a problem in period homes. Check that the loft is properly insulated and that roof leaks or pests haven't damaged the insulating material. Many homes in the UK are eligible for insulation grants from the government, so it's worth taking advantage if you can.

Illustration of a loft ladder

Illustration of an open window

Windows

Nearly one in five (19%) homeowners have had issues with their double-glazing at some point. If you notice water droplets between the two panes of glass it's likely that the seals have failed. Contact a window specialist if you see this issue as they might be able to fix it before the windows need replacing.


Boilers

One in five (18%) homeowners have had issues with an out-of-date heating system or gas fittings. It's worth having a qualified engineer to check your heating system once a year to help prevent problems, and plan ahead for any maintenance work you're likely to need in the near future.

Illustration of pipes with a valve and pressure gauge

Illustration of a picket fence

Fences

One in seven (14%) homeowners have experienced issues with either their fences or boundary walls and usually weather causes the problems. Wooden fence posts are likely to rot at ground level, and walls may show signs of age. It's a good idea to check which boundaries you're responsible for - this will be included in your house deeds - and make sure you're maintaining them regularly.


Fires

If you have an open fire or wood burner, make sure that your chimney hasn't become blocked over the spring and summer. Ideally, have it swept at least once a year to prevent smoke damage, chimney fires, and health issues. Also, make sure you have a working carbon monoxide alarm nearby, and check the batteries regularly.

Illustration of a lit fireplace


Home maintenance documents

LV=, County Gates, Bournemouth, BH1 2NF, UK