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
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      The EAAB (the Estate Agency Affairs Board) recently claimed that around 50,000 illegal estate agents could currently be operating illegally.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Penthouses are synonymous with New York – characterised by high-rise living that is decidedly luxurious and spacious. While exclusivity comes at a price, you can still create a “penthouse” look and feel in your existing apartment or even the upstairs bedroom of a double storey house with some clever design changes and styling touches.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      The area has long been popular with kite surfers and, with escalating property prices in Cape Town itself, is increasingly in demand with home owners who work in town, but are looking to invest in more affordable properties.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Cape Town’s popularity as a world-class tourist destination has resulted in a spike in the number of homes available for holiday lets and fuelled investor demand for sectional title units with short term rental potential.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      Sappi, one of South Africa’s oldest global companies and a leading global supplier of sustainable woodfibre products, has moved its global and regional headquarters to a new site on the corner of Oxford and 14th Avenue in Rosebank.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      There’s an old saying in real estate that you should seek to make a profit when you buy, not only when you sell – and a large part of succeeding at that endeavour is buying a home in an area with desirable features that will enhance the resale value of your property.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us