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23 Nov 2023 < Back

Maintaining your outside walls and renders - #MaintenanceWeek tips

When it comes to the walls and render of our homes and buildings, they are typically very resilient. Winter weather has a habit of turning small issues into significant problems which can lead to water penetrating the external fabric of our buildings. 

For today's #MaintenanceWeek post, we focus on small maintenance steps/tips that you can do to help protect your external walls and prevent issues from escalating, while hopefully saving you money on larger scale repairs

Tips to help maintain your external walls and finishes

Pointing and rendering:  
If damaged, loose or eroded, this can provide a route for water to enter a building, particularly when we have driving rain. Take time to look at the pointing/rendering and pay particular attention to the weather-prevailing side of a property. For smaller issues, you can find solutions to fix these in your local DIY store.

Cracks in brickwork: 
There can be multiple reasons for seeing cracks in your building walls. It may come from impact damage, subsidence or water ingress. If you do see cracks, it is something you should have investigated and fixed.

Wall coatings: 
Like brickwork, over time these can degrade and fail. Look for cracks in the coatings which could potentially allow water to penetrate. Minor cracks/faults can be repaired using available products within DIY stores.

Check for staining which might indicate there is a leak? 
When checking the pointing and assessing for cracks, look out for any dark patches on the brickwork, wall coatings or renderings too. If you see anything noticeable, go to the corresponding area(s) inside your home and check for any potential issues.  

Check your drains near the walls: 
Blockages caused by leaves and other debris can prevent drains from letting water flow quickly. If it cannot escape, flooding can occur in the area, particularly during heavy downpours leading to saturation of brickwork and potential internal damp issues. Take the time to check & clean your drains.

Protect exposed woodwork: 
If water causes external timber to rot or degrade, it can mean specialist repairs or a replacement is needed. Where appropriate, ensure wood is coated with a protective finish to protect against water and frost to keep timber intact.

Check your downpipes for cracks and potential blockages, as even a small blockage can cause problems. Also check to ensure the downpipes are properly connected with no faulty joints.

Insulate outdoor pipes: 
Burst pipes are a common issue during extremely cold weather. If you have any pipes running outside your home, make sure they are adequately insulated throughout winter to prevent them from freezing over and bursting.

Storage water containers: 
These tend to be forgotten during the autumn/winter. They often overfill, become blocked up with debris, and excess water soaks the surrounding ground and adjoining house walls of the building causing local internal dampness problems. Either organise the overflow drainage or store them away.

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Where you can find help if you need it

Similar to everything we are sharing this #MaintenanceWeek, if you are concerned and want a professional opinion, there are organisations which can help you find local and qualified professionals.

If you are looking for a professional to help repair your external walls, you can find a list of experienced and qualified individuals throught the ‘Federation of Master Builders’ (FMB) or the ‘National Association of Building Contractors’ (NABC)

If you are concerned about dampness or rot issues however, local members within the Property Care Association can certainly help with that. Simply go to our local search tool using the button below and search using your postcode or town.

Find local damp specialists >

More tips and advice during the week

Look out for more maintenance tips, guidance and information coming out as part of our support for maintenance week. Keep an eye on our social channels for more posts to come…

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