Homeowners insurance is a legal requirement when you take out a home loan in South Africa and, as one of your most valuable assets, you’ll want to ensure that your house is well looked-after.23 October 2016
Homeowners insurance is a legal requirement when you take out a home loan in South Africa and, as one of your most valuable assets, you’ll want to ensure that your house is well looked-after.
Overfull and blocked gutters and downpipes can lead to all sorts of issues with drainage, causing buildup of rainwater and rot from fallen leaves, etc. Clean these out at least once a month to ensure proper drainage and run-off of rainwater.
You should also check all your windows and walls regularly for cracks and leaks, and repair any that you find as quickly as possible, to prevent further deterioration.
Check your monthly water bill for unusually high usage – this may indicate a burst pipe or leak – and check walls for flaking or bubbling paint as these could be a sign of dampness in the walls due to ponding water or a rise in the water table. If you have a swimming pool, backwash your filter every two weeks and check it for water leaks, too.
Each year, it is a good idea to do a thorough inspection of waste pipes and taps – make sure that they are properly sealed and watertight. Any exposed pipes should also be checked for signs of rust or wear and tear, and repaired at the first sign of either.
Keeping your pool in tip-top condition is essential to ensure that it remains an enjoyable and valuable part of your property. You’ll need to check the pool lining regularly for cracks or bubbling and filter the pool for at least four hours a day in winter and eight in summer. Your pool’s sand filter will also need replacing at least once a year.
If you have a metal roof, thermal expansion and contraction will result in loosening of screws and washers, which will need to be replaced. It’s a good idea to inspect your roof at least twice a year and ensure that the joins and laps between roof sheets are resealed for protection against rust, and rusted sheets replaced. Regular repainting of your roof will prevent extensive rust and prolong the life of your roof sheets.
If you have a tiled or slate roof, you’ll need to keep a look out for missing tiles and secure loose ones regularly, as well as ensuring that ridge tiles are secure and cracked or missing tiles and ridge cement are repaired or replaced.
Thatch roofs will need complete replacement every 10 to 20 years, depending on weather conditions and general roof wear. You should have your thatch roof combed every two years, cover it with a fire protection liquid and install a lightning conductor.
Remember that membrane flashings deteriorate and galvanised flashings loosen in time, so check those regularly and replace them as needed.
Finally, if you’re going away, remember to turn off your geyser, disconnect electrical appliances and ensure that all taps are turned off.
By keeping your property in good shape, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of having to claim against your insurance, while making home a place you’re always happy to be.
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