Winter home blues

"Year after year," says Lanice Steward, Managing Director of Anne Porter Knight Frank, "many Capetonians find that winter has caught them unawares. We seem to be somehow reluctant to prepare for it."

Every year around this time Anne Porter Knight Frank, the Cape estate agency, finds that among its clients, especially those who have moved into newly purchased homes, winter can come as a shock: leaks, droughts, rising damp and other cold weather problems suddenly become apparent and troublesome.

Throughout April and May, said Steward, all homeowners should be checking their windows for decaying putty or other sealants, inspecting their roofs for loose tiles (especially if workmen have been on the roof in recent months), cleaning out gutters (if necessary with a high pressure hose) so as to dislodge hard mud deposits and ensure that rainwater is channeled into the downpipes and does not get dammed up and run onto the fascia boards – where after a few weeks of rain it can cause serious damage to the woodwork. In fact, added Steward, all woodwork on which the paint is flaking should be sanded down and repainted prior to the wet winter periods.

The areas in which roof leaks most often occur, said Steward, are those sections of the roof which abut the chimney, skylights or parapets. The silicon sealants, many of which are marketed under big name brands, have a regrettable tendency to harden and become brittle as time goes go and they need to be replaced fairly regularly. Similarly, any section of the roof which has malthoid, pvc or other patented coverings is likely to need a retreatment every three to five years.
If homeowners do not do pre-winter checks, said Steward, they are likely to find that the damages caused by water penetration are very expensive. Ceilings once thoroughly soaked often cannot be restored and walls which have persistent rising damp can also be difficult to reinstate.

Balconies, she warned, can also prove a serious problem. If water run-off is blocked it can flood adjacent rooms or leak into the rooms below and cause serious damage. In addition, poorly graded patios and easily become small lakes, with water penetrating the joints in sliding or conventional doors.

Also particularly vulnerable, said Steward, are those outbuildings such as store houses, garages and swimming pool kiosks in which people do not actually live and where leaks, therefore, can go undetected for a long time.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 20 Apr 2018
      Whenever changes in the political ecosystem of a traditional property market create uncertainty, smart investors begin to look elsewhere for new opportunities. Property experts at IP Global have analysed the trends and crunched the numbers to find new markets to explore in Europe and the United States.
    • 20 Apr 2018
      Energy and water self-sufficiency are increasingly important factors in home buyers’ choice of property – especially in Cape Town where the extreme drought of the past few years has made municipal supply costly as well as uncertain.
    • 19 Apr 2018
      During the last decade, rampant development has progressively transformed Cape Town’s property landscape with densification being the order of the day, but there are still one or two hidden gems like Scarborough which have retained their original character, offering an inimitable lifestyle and an attractive investment opportunity.
    • 19 Apr 2018
      The rental market is a cut-throat sector of the real estate market that waits for nobody. According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, first-time renters need to be fully prepared before they even start the process of looking for a place to rent in order to avoid the disappointment of losing out on their ideal property.
    • 19 Apr 2018
      Choosing to buy your first home instead of continuing to rent is a big decision that will usually take some time to put into action, but the sooner you can save up a sizeable deposit, the closer you will be to reaching your goal.
    • 18 Apr 2018
      Selling your home is no small task and as you will quickly find out, there are a lot of misconceptions about the process. Gerhard van der Linde, Seeff's MD in Pretoria East lists the top 5 misconceptions when you are selling your home.
    • 18 Apr 2018
      The Cape Town municipality is now installing water-management devices at properties that have been non-compliant with the new level 5 water restrictions and there are talks of fines between R5,000 and R10,000 for households that use too much water.
    • 17 Apr 2018
      The recent interest rate cut has stoked the coals in the first-time buyer’s market. At least for the next two months until the next interest rate announcement, homeowners are guaranteed lower monthly instalments than in the previous quarter. But, is it wise to take out a 100% bond just to enter the property market while interest rates are low?
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us