Resolving to be better and do better this year is commendable. It, unfortunately, often lacks the focus and direction to really reflect what should be improved upon and what is just a reaction to societal pressure. Lose weight and exercise? Yes, those are good ideas if you are doing it to improve your health so that you can be the best version of yourself for your family. More often than not, these kinds of resolutions are more about living up to what we are taught to treasure instead of what we ought to treasure.
What CAN You Do?
There are such things as mindful new year’s resolutions and it’s all about for what purpose you make them.
Since Covid restrictions are phasing out, we are not spending as much time in the home as we have been the last two years. This does not, however, mean that we should shift our safety focus away from the place where our loved ones spend most of their time.
These home safety resolutions will ensure that you provide the most secure space for your family:
Gut Your Gutters
We know it’s a messy job, but it matters more than you think. Blocked up gutters have several downsides. If you still have metal guttering and you leave clumps of decomposing leaves in them, the added moisture can lead to corrosion of the metal and holes rusting through.
This in turn creates uneven water flow, with rainwater not travelling towards the downpipes, but rather gushing through the holes where you don’t want water gushing, like over doorways or walkways or directly into garden beds causing erosion and soil displacement.
Mould spreads faster than you would expect and is often a silent contributor to health issues like allergies, asthma, sinusitis and rashes. Moulds produce allergens, irritants and, sometimes, toxic substances.
January is often a wet month, and while you are up there on your ladder, use the time to check on your roof. If you have a tiled roof, look out for loose or cracked tiles, and check for leaks.
Also, take a moment to look out for heavy tree branches that might be a fall risk on roofs and patios. Trim them or have them professionally removed.
While you are outside, check your outdoor taps and irrigation system for drips and leaks, and inspect drains, looking for overflows indicating a blockage further down the pipeline that might pose a risk to your family.
Gas it Up (and Turn it Down)
If you have a gas stove, or gas geyser system, the connections and installations should be checked and serviced b a professional about once a year. This ensures that you have the updated certification to be covered by homeowners insurance if something should go wrong.
January is a good time to have this sorted out. If you have a conventional electric geyser, do yourself a favour and climb into the roof to check it for leaks, frayed electrical connections and ensure that the overflow valve and drip tray are on good order.
Top Tip: While you’re up there, why don’t you also turn down the thermostat? This is not simply a safety feature, especially if you have children in the home, but will also save you money spent on heating in the long run.
Most South African households don’t really focus much on fire safety. This is because we don’t have the high fire risks of houses in Europe and the US, often built from wood and drywall. All homes do still pose a fire risk, and unlike a plumbing crisis, fire is an all-consuming nightmare that can easily spread and destroy your entire home, not to mention putting your whole family in danger.
There are a couple of things you can do to minimise your risks and create a family safety plan.
One of the first, easiest and cheapest things you can do is to invest in a couple of good quality battery-operated smoke detectors as well as a household fire extinguisher.
Discuss a Family Safety Plan.
Try to stick to age-appropriate information and don’t scare your children, but explain what to do when there’s a crisis and how to get to safety, older children who might be left alone at home for certain periods of time should also be taught who to call in a crisis and how to evacuate the house safely without the guidance of a parent.
Here’s To a Safe 2022
These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the things we need to do regularly to ensure the safety of our homes. Taking a moment at the beginning of the year to tick of these basic home maintenance items will greatly improve your peace of mind, allowing you to focus on making 2022 your year!
Decorative concrete treatments for your home is now more popular than ever. With its cool and contemporary look, it is a great option for homes in South Africa to add a touch of class. Coming to the fore as a top design trend this year, concrete is a versatile and sophisticated product to use for your home’s exterior and interior. The joy of concrete’s versatility lies in the fact that it is no longer only welcome in industrial spaces. It creates a beautiful texture and acts as a neutral grounding for any style.
Royal Coat Africa
We recently checked in with Royal Coat Africa who shares the inside scoop on the latest concrete trends for your home. Royal Coat was established in 1987 and is an industry leader in a wide range of specialised, cementitious and protective coatings in the commercial and residential sectors. “Our infrastructure, management and approach allow us to tackle projects of any size – delivering the results time after time! Our status as preferred applicators among a range of major suppliers ensures that clients receive only the best quality products.
Timeless and Stylish
Concrete is timeless. Concrete treatments go well with many interior styles and tend to last for a very long time. Interior concrete trends for 2021 create interesting and unique surface finishes that are as unique as you. Concrete works particularly well when used in flooring or walls due to its sturdy and long-lasting nature. Thanks to its heat and scratch-resistant characteristics, it poses as the best option for kitchen islands and countertops.
Experts confirm that concrete is one of the most cost-effective ways to decorate the interior and exterior of a home or office. It allows you to be innovative in your design approach and perhaps create something no one else has in their residence or commercial.
Royal Coat Africa shares “Cement floors have a naturally hard-wearing nature making them a popular choice for heavy foot and vehicle traffic. The application of cement floor finishes is a popular choice and annual demand for this type of finish is growing rapidly. We apply a range of cementitious wall coatings as well which are popular contemporary choices in terms of wall finishes”.
Create the perfect contemporary space with concrete.Read More
Damp proofing is quite technical and is best left to the professionals. We share some good tips to help you beat damp in your home. It’s important to use an expert that is affiliated to the Waterproofing Federation of South Africa. It is much better to solve the root cause of the problem than to simply make a temporary decorative repair when it comes to damp. Damp proofing your home is always a good idea!
A damp proof course (DPC) is a physical barrier inserted into the fabric of a building to stop water passing from one place to another. This can be on a horizontal plane, stopping water rising up from the ground by being sucked up by the dry masonry above, or vertically to stop water passing from the outside of a building, though the masonry, to the inside. The most common material used is a waterproof plastic sheet.
When water leaks into your house not only is it unattractive and a health risk, but it weakens the structure. Leaking roofs, unsealed balconies and rising damp are common causes. Take the time to seal roof tiles and repair broken tiles. Make sure your balcony has proper drainage after storms and seal shower walls.
If you have flaking and blistering paint or white salts appearing on your walls, then you have the usual signs of lateral or rising damp.
Where’s the Damp?
A problematic vertical damp course may cause lateral damp where the ground is higher than the internal floor level or on exterior walls where the plinth of the house is soil retaining. Showers and baths can have damp due to water seepage through the grout of the tile or condensation. Split level construction where the vertical damp course was omitted is a common shortcut by builders. You will also find damp around plastered plinths and in flower boxes
Lateral damp can be treated by ‘tanking’. Tanking is when you strip the plaster off the bricks and apply a cement sealant to the bare bricks to prevent damp penetration. You will then plaster the area with damp repellent cement in combination with a silicone injection. This is to prevent rising damp.
If a proper DPC was not installed during construction then it may be necessary to dig down and apply a good waterproofing system to the wall below ground level or to strip all the plaster below the DPC and down to the foundation level and waterproof your home.
If you suspect a damp problem, contact an expert immediately. Waterproofing your home will increase the value of your property. It will also limit future inconveniences that may arise from unsightly damp problems.
No one wants to be left in the rain. Make sure that does not happen to you by choosing suitable suppliers who can help with general moisture control, waterproofing, and repairs.Read More
A good paint job will instantly transform your home from looking old and dilapidated to new and modern by adding real character and personality. Painting your home is not only for enhancement purposes, but it also acts as a defence against weather, insects and other potential threats. Regular painting is an important aspect of home maintenance to keep your property protected and to retain its market value.
When the time comes to repair and paint your home, many homeowners tend to go for the cheapest quotation which many times result in disaster and end up to be more expensive than what it should be. Painting a home is not just about attractive colours and a few paint rollers. All paint projects require knowledge, experience and skills to ensure a long-lasting finish.
It’s all in the preparation
To guarantee a long-lasting paint job, certain steps need to be taken. If these steps are not taken correctly, paint manufacturers will simply void the paint guarantee.
It is common for interior and exterior walls and ceilings to crack due to certain weather conditions. There are many types of cracks caused by various reasons and it is therefore important to investigate the source of the problem first. Once the source has been established, be it through water damage, dampness or structural fault – only then can the damage be properly fixed with the correct material and in the correct manner. Therefore intense water and damp proofing should be carried out followed by painting. If any of these steps are missed, the same or more cracks will surface not long after the completed project, leaving the project in a poorer condition, which will also be more costly.
It is also very important to use specific paints on certain textures and structures. Using the incorrect paint will shorten the length of time in which you need to renovate again. Using the correct, high- quality paint will ultimately cost you less over a period of time.
It’s been a while since we could just pick up our phones and make a quick call to our local handyman. Not just because of COVID restrictions, but also because we are afraid to let people into our homes.
You can be assured that all the 0861NUTSMAN employees are equipped with the necessary personal protective equipment. Their staff have been thoroughly trained to sanitize and wash their hands frequently on the job. Team leaders ensure that all staff are monitored for COVID-19 symptoms and make sure their staff do not use public transport. You can also rest assured that all their equipment and tools are also disinfected after every job.
Autumn can be a tough time for many people. It is the reluctant change to cooler weather with a distant memory of hot summer days by the pool. Besides that, there is also a very real situation, we as South Africans find ourselves in. With the scary COVID-19 virus hitting South Africa pretty hard, we do not have a choice but to stay at home.
That being said, autumn brings a lot of jobs to start doing around the house. We have compiled a list of preventative maintenance jobs to try this season. Now is the time to get started on and oversee projects which have long needed your attention.
Inspect The Roof
This is a good time to inspect your roof and see if there is any debris accumulating from the leaves that are falling from the trees. Inspect your roof, or get a pro to do it for you! Have general look over on your roof and check for wear and tear. Check pipes and chimneys. If you have any leaks or gaps you could be in trouble. Gutters are also important to check this time of year. Clogged gutters can cause all kinds of problems, especially when water can pool in and around it.
Check for pests and insects too. You do not want anyone else other than your family settling in for winter.
Give all your garden tools and machinery a good clean down. The usual maintenance jobs slow down in your garden and things like mowing the lawn become much less. Trim dead branches and get raking. Rake or blow the dead leaves off the lawn or, better yet, use a mulching mower to shred them into fine pieces.
Put the raked leaves in the compost pile or use as a mulch. Fallen leaves are an excellent source of nutrients.
Doors and Windows
The cold creeps in everywhere. A window or door that cannot seal properly when closed is going to result in cold air infiltration and unnecessary drafts. Check for glazing putty around window glass that may be cracked or is already crumbling. Repair this as soon as you can.
Check the condition of exterior caulk around all doors by looking for cracks that could ultimately lead to the cold creeping in, as well as critters. Mice are tiny and can easily sneak into your house given the opportunity.
Need help with your autumn preventative maintenance? Find an expert in HOMEMAKERS to help you get the job done. You can also visit our Facebook page to get inspiration for daily activities at home.Read More
There is truth in the saying that “prevention is better than cure”. Preventative home maintenance can save you thousands of Rands.Read More
Winter, particularly in the Mother City, means rainy days that can wreak havoc on your home if you aren’t ready for them. No matter where you are in the country, Autumn and Spring are generally the best times to do waterproofing but it’s always better to be prepared.
Here are 3 simple things to check before the rain starts.
Gutters and Pipes
Make sure there is a clear path for water to move away from your home. This will prevent water from building up and overflowing, causing damage.
Check your exterior pipes and gutters to make sure they are free from debris. Also check for leaks and breaks that could make gutters and pipes less effective.
Your roof is vital to protecting your home from water damage. Check for broken or moved tiles and possible weak spots. Watermarked ceilings are an indicator that your roof needs a repair.
According to SANS regulations, waterproofing systems should have a lifespan of at least 10 years. Regular roof maintenance is key to keeping your roof and home waterproof.
Simply painting over damp areas on your wall does not fix your waterproofing issue. Look out for damp spots, mould or bubbling paint on interior and exterior walls. Although most homes have waterproofing systems, older homes are most susceptible to issues such as rising damp. Damaged pipes, irrigation systems, wall placement and roof issues could be the source of your waterproofing problem.
With the right products and safety equipment, effective water and damp proofing can be a DIY project but is generally best left up to the professionals.
If you can any concerns, contact a local water and damp proofing expert who will be able to assess possible damage, advise on repairs and make sure your home makes it through many more winters to come.
Find a damp and waterproofing expert here.Read More