Home maintenance

Maintaining your home

Keeping on top of maintenance in your home will ensure that the small problems don't become big ones. Making sure you do things as you notice them, like fixing a leaky external tap, could prevent major damage in the future. 

Apart from the obvious cost-saving advantages, a well maintained house will always increase the value of your property and will be advantageous when it comes time to sell.

Some other points to bear in mind; insurance generally doesn’t cover damage caused by lack of maintenance and your contractor is not responsible for fixing damage caused by lack of maintenance.

Good maintenance is about maximising the comfort and functionality of your home.

Maintenance checklist

Foundations, footings and slab

Minor cracking and movement are normal for most buildings. Depending on the soil type and location, building footings move with changes in the moisture content of the soil.

To do:

  • Repair minor cracking as part of normal building maintenance
  • Maintain stable moisture conditions around the footings of your home
  • Generally, trees should be planted at least 1-1½ times their mature height away from a building so their roots don’t interfere with the footings.

Roofs

We often receive complaints about roof leaks. In some cases, this is due to defective building work, but often leaks are caused by lack of maintenance and cleaning.

To do:

  • Don’t let leaves and debris build up in gutters and downpipes
  • Repair cracked or broken tiles, guttering or flashing.

Landscaping and gardens

Landscaping can make a huge difference to the appearance and functionality of your home; however, it’s important to consider drainage and soil movement when planning your garden.

If in doubt, check the building plans to ensure it will not affect site drainage or risk structural damage to your home.

To do:

  • Keep trees with high water demand well away from your home
  • Locate ponds and water features away from the building
  • Don’t over water the garden and avoid unregulated sprinkler systems
  • Ensure that ‘weep holes’ (the small vertical hole between two bricks, near the ground) do not end up below soil level.

Hot water systems

A leaky hot water system presents a real risk of foundation movement, building damage and termite attack.

To do:

  • Get a copy of your hot water system manufacturer’s instructions and follow the recommended maintenance procedures
  • Occasionally check the operation of the pressure relief valve
  • Ensure discharged water does not go onto the ground near the footings.

Rainwater tanks

Many Queenslanders are now installing rainwater tanks on new and existing homes, and these must be considered as part of your home maintenance.

To do:

  • Regularly clean debris and insect screens on tanks and rainwater heads
  • Check for leaking pipe work.

Read the How to maintain your home (PDF) fact sheet for more information.