Here comes the rain again. Is your house ready?
Here we are again at the start of another rainy season that will probably culminate in the usual torrential monsoons and gale-force winds of September and October. So, as we brace ourselves for the flooding of roads and the loss of power or cable services (especially for those of us on the “dark side” of Pattaya), what can we do to protect ourselves and our homes from the coming onslaught?
Well bearing in mind that the rainy season will soon show exactly how leak-proof your roofs and windows are, it is essential to put in place as many preventative measures as possible before having to go to the expense and inconvenience of calling in the professionals. Instead, you can prepare your home for the coming monsoons with some quick do-it-yourself fixes to help minimize the damage and potential cost of putting things right.
Nobody likes to clean or repair rain gutters. It can be a messy and unpleasant job. Yet if neglected, there will be far more mess and more considerable expense to deal with in the long run. So you might want to try these tips to make the job easier. First of all, for clogged downspouts, you can try using barbecue tongs to reach in and pull the leaves out. It doesn’t always work, but it’s worth a try. Failing this you can use a hose to flush the clogged matter out from your gutter.
Once you have achieved clear, clean guttering, you should then check your gutter nails and if you find any that are loose, replace them ideally with extra-long “lag screws”. Lag screws tend to be healthier, hold better, and can be installed easily with a cordless drill equipped with a nut driver bit.
Once you have overhauled your guttering, the next preventative measure is to check all the nearby trees to ensure that there are no dead or broken branches that might fall into your gutters during the heavy rains.
With the aid of a ladder for close inspection, you can look for cracks along the ridge of your roof. Then inspect the area of your roof that has a downward slope to make sure that there are no holes or rust spots.
If you do find that you have missing shingles or tiles that are loose, damaged, or curled, you should look to having them replaced immediately. You want to avoid moisture leaks inside your home that can weaken your walls and ceilings.
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Cracks in the concrete
Concrete is a building material that can be prone to cracking. For cracks less than a centimetre wide, applying concrete caulk is an excellent way to make repairs. Just clean the break with a high-pressure hose, let it dry thoroughly, then squeeze the caulk into the crack. For larger cracks, you may wish to get professional help to make good the repair because water that finds its way into these cracks will soften the ground underneath and cause even more cracking in time.
Windows and doors that stick
With all the wet weather due over the next few months, wooden windows and doors can tend to swell and stick. To put them right, first, scrutinize the frame to see exactly where it is touching the door or window when opening or closing. Mark that area and then remove the door or window and prop it up securely. A hand plane is used to remove any excess wood carefully. Power planes will also work, but you need to be careful because if you shave off too much wood, it will result in the gap becoming too full when the wood shrinks back during the dry season.
For sliding windows, the culprit is often the trim. That has to be removed and then reinstalled to allow for more movement. You can carefully remove the trim with a flat bar, then grasp the nail point with pliers and pull. The trim should is fitted with finishing nails, and you should be able to do this without damaging the wood.
When reinstalling, keep the fit snug but not as tight as it was. If you reinstall the trim too loosely, the windows will rattle when the wood shrinks again.
To keep windows, you should make sure that they are sealed with a good coat of paint and doors from sticking in the first place, including the tops and bottoms. However, take care not to paint inside the channels where the windows need to slide and use a light coat of linseed oil as a sealer.
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If left untreated, rust will eventually cause your fixtures to lock up, and you can prevent this by keeping them well lubricated. However be careful what you use to do this, a common mistake is lubricating outdoor fixtures with light oil or silicon from spray cans. These oils are too bright and can evaporate or dilute the existing lubrication, thereby making the problem worse. Far better to use a heavy-duty grease on hinges and latches as It will not disappear and its heavy viscosity is the best thing for treating fixtures outside.
Finally, make sure to treat and repair all moisture damage promptly. Areas, where mould is present, should be scraped clean and washed with bleach. Wood that is damaged should, in most cases, be removed because rot can continue even after the source of water has gone. Don’t delay making repairs because spores from mould and other fungi can be released into the air and lead to health problems such as respiratory illnesses.
To check for damp or ensure that your repairs have solved your moisture problems, you might wish to invest in a moisture meter. It will then allow you to test areas around the home to check if you have a question or that the repairs you have put into place have been successful.
The team at Prestige Properties has a wealth of real estate experience in and around the Pattaya region. We can advise on potential problems that could affect the property you might be considering before you make your purchase. Also, we can recommend a host of professionals such as local builders, plumbers, and craftsmen who might help you if the thought of doing all the repairs and improvements yourself is too much to bear!