This is my ‘taking stock’ time. I always choose the period which lies between late summer and the festivities of the Christmas season. And, in as much as it is also in the heart of hurricane season, once I am complete, it will also be the time for a Timeout.
Back to my ‘taking stock’. I search our house from top to bottom for flaws, cracks, rust, accumulated dirt, things that need scrubbing and of course, clean drains all the way back to source, the guttering.
I am a staunch advocate for keeping water where it should be, in the pipes or in the drain, therefore, anywhere it gathers and settles, becomes a ‘crisis’ zone. I say ‘crisis’, because in true home maintenance terms ‘a problem waiting to happen’ is still a problem, not something you should address ‘mañana’. Be proactive. Your largest investment is never maintenance free or self healing!
PVC guttering is pretty reliable, but exposed to the sun over years, eventually can become brittle and prone to warping, cracking and unexpected damage.
Good aluminium guttering is truly a great investment and a God send, when it comes to weathering.
You can purchase a customized set of gutters, down pipes, connectors and fittings from ECMIL in the K-style. The system is elegant and simple and will compliment almost any roof or home style. If you have existing PVC or metal guttering, you probably have round down pipes and fittings. If you only want new guttering, then K-Style can accommodate the connection with the majority of standard down pipe sizes. Make sure you mention this to your ECMIL sales representative when discussing your requirements.
On with my quest. If you are able, and I say this because there is a limit to what you as a homeowner should be doing after many years of hard work to get there, check your roof, look for loose screws, ridge caps, flashing, joins that need sealing tape or bat proofing. You get the picture. A little indulgent micro management of your favorite structure might just save you a bundle, going forward, so be fastidious.
If you can’t manage, don’t despair. Get a more mobile local handyman to do this for you, using the camera of a mobile phone if necessary. You will see the problems and be able to assess the work to be done. Even give the job to the handyman! How convenient. Try not to use a contractor for this, unless you know the person very well. I say no more!
Now we have checked the roof, guttering, down pipes and run offs, check your drains and where they carry the water. If it is a culvert, make sure the way is completely clear and the flow is active. If not, it is time to call Public Works. If it affects you, it affect those around you, so get together and speak to the relevant authority.
The PWD then has a good reason to deploy a backhoe to clear potential mosquito breading grounds and havens for garbage and vermin.
Finally, just before you take that well earned Timeout, ‘take stock’ of your fencing, walls and security. If you need to replace, add or amend, call ECMIL, consolidate an order and put your home in tip top condition.
Now, having addressed those pressing problems, you can take that Timeout with peace of mind.