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Guide to Home Maintenance: Resolving 10 Common Issues

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Taking pride in the ownership and design of your home can be a source of great satisfaction. While the initial excitement lies in creating a space that reflects your style and preferences, the ongoing commitment to proper maintenance ensures the longevity and functionality of your home. Regular upkeep not only preserves the aesthetic appeal but also safeguards the structural integrity, creating a comfortable and secure living environment for you and your family.

Even though not everyone enjoys home maintenance, it’s crucial for keeping your home in good shape. Regular upkeep helps prevent potential issues from getting worse and becoming expensive to fix. Curious about common problems? Keep reading to find out 10 of them and get tips on preventing or fixing these issues!

#1 Leaking ceilings

Regularly inspecting the condition of the floor coating is crucial to prevent potential leaks. In case you notice any signs of wear or damage, taking prompt action, such as reapplying a waterproof sealant, can help maintain the integrity of the protective layer and safeguard against water infiltration. By staying proactive in floor maintenance, you contribute to the overall well-being of your living space and avoid the inconvenience and potential damage associated with ceiling leaks.

Regrettably, you can’t control the natural wear and tear of your neighbor’s waterproof coating. To manage a leak, clear the area and position a bucket underneath. According to HDB guidelines, both upper and lower floor homeowners share responsibility for fixing the ceiling leak. The recommended approach involves open communication with your neighbors, re-screeding the floor and ceiling slabs, and sharing the repair costs between both parties.

Initiating a cooperative and transparent discussion with your neighbors about the issue can lead to a mutually agreeable solution. It’s important to document the damages and repairs to ensure fair distribution of the costs and adherence to HDB guidelines. Additionally, consider seeking advice from a qualified professional to assess the extent of the damage and provide guidance on the most effective and lasting repairs for the ceiling leak.

#2 Concrete spalling

With time, ceilings can experience wear, leading to concrete spalling. This happens when embedded steel rods corrode, resulting in cracks, bulges, and, in severe cases, the risk of collapse. Regular inspections and timely maintenance can help identify early signs of concrete spalling, allowing for proactive measures to address the issue before it worsens. If you notice any cracks or bulges in your ceiling, consulting a structural engineer or a qualified professional is advisable to assess the extent of the damage and recommend appropriate repairs or reinforcements.

  • Keep your bathroom and kitchen well-ventilated by opening doors and windows to avoid quick deterioration due to moisture.
  • Repaint your ceiling every 3-5 years to create a protective barrier against moisture and safeguard the inner layers.
  • Seal all cracks and holes, even unused drilled ones, to prevent moisture and carbon dioxide from reaching the steel rods.
  • Regularly inspect your ceiling for any signs of concrete spalling, such as cracks, bulges, or disintegration. Early detection allows for timely intervention to address potential issues before they escalate.
  • Consider using moisture-absorbing materials or dehumidifiers in high-moisture areas to control humidity levels, complementing the efforts of ventilation to prevent moisture-related problems.
  • Consult with a professional structural engineer if you observe any concerning issues with your ceiling. Their expertise can help assess the severity of the damage and provide guidance on appropriate repairs or reinforcements.

#3 Loose of Popped Tiles

Unlike vinyl, tiles can expand or contract with temperature changes or water absorption. This movement weakens their bond with the screed surface, eventually causing them to come loose.

Things like the temperature or humidity level are beyond anyone’s control, but what you can do is to reapply tile grouts or additional adhesives, as they each help to keep the tile in place.  If you encounter challenges or uncertainties in the repair process, seeking guidance from a professional contractor or HDB can provide valuable assistance in ensuring effective and lasting solutions for your flooring concerns. Repair procedures depend on your flat’s age:

• Under 1 year: Contact HDB during the defect liability period.

• 1-15 years: HDB may provide goodwill repairs if they supplied the tiles.

• Over 15 years: Hire your own contractors for repairs.

#4 Wall cracks

Like many things, your walls naturally expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity, causing cracks to form over time and giving a concerning look.To minimize the impact of these cracks, it’s advisable to inspect your walls regularly and address any emerging issues promptly. Utilizing flexible fillers for minor cracks and seeking professional assistance for larger ones can help maintain the structural integrity of your walls. Additionally, implementing proper ventilation and humidity control measures in your living space can contribute to reducing the likelihood of extensive cracking over time.

For tiny cracks, use a flexible sealant or elastomeric paint. For larger cracks, hire a contractor for professional repairs. In cases where cracks persist or reappear after initial repairs, it’s crucial to investigate the underlying causes such as foundation issues or structural problems. Consulting with a structural engineer can provide insights into the root of the problem and guide you toward effective and lasting solutions. Moreover, incorporating preventive measures, such as proper ventilation and moisture control, can contribute to minimizing the occurrence of cracks in the first place, reducing the need for frequent repairs.

#5 Clogged pipes

Debris buildup in pipes can cause problems like reduced water flow, leaks, or flooding. Look out for signs of a potential leak, such as a sudden spike in your water bill, damaged kitchen cabinets (especially those hiding pipes), unexplained stains, or random pools of water.

  • Use a sink strainer or drain tap grating to catch solid particles before they go down the drain.
  • Clean the lint filter in your washing machine regularly.
  • Avoid pouring grease or cooking oil down the sink to prevent build-up.
  • Refrain from flushing dense or bulky items down the toilet.
  • For existing build-up, pour vinegar or a mix of hot water and dishwashing liquid/baking soda down your sink and bathroom drain every month or so.

#6  Paint peeling or bubbling.

Paint bubbles on walls are something homeowners don’t want, especially after a makeover! They can appear right after painting or even months later, usually due to moisture, dirt, debris, or insects affecting the surface and hindering proper paint adhesion.

Despite thorough preparations before painting, impurities may still cause bubbles on the surface. For the best solution, have your interior designer or contractor inspect the affected area. If you decide to handle it yourself, scrape or sand the damaged paint and impurities from the affected area.

#7 Squeaky windows

The irritating, high-pitched squeaks that accompany closing a window are often the result of hindrances like dust, rust, or impurities, disrupting the hinges’ smooth operation.

Sliding windows:

  • Ensure the tracks are clean for smooth movement.
  • Hire a certified window contractor to replace any worn-out windows.
  • Verify that the angle strips and safety stoppers are still properly positioned.
  • Periodically check the condition of the window glazing to ensure a secure and watertight seal.
  • Inspect the sliding window frame for any signs of warping or damage that could affect its alignment.
  • Lubricate the sliding window track with a silicone-based lubricant to enhance ease of movement.
  • Examine the window locks and handles to ensure they engage properly and provide adequate security.
  • Clean and check the condition of the window screens, repairing or replacing them as needed to keep pests out.

Casement windows:

  • Hire a certified window contractor to switch the rivets from aluminum to stainless steel.
  • Make sure the fasteners are neither loose nor rusty.
  • Clean and lubricate joints and moving parts.
  • Inspect the weatherstripping around the casement windows to ensure it is intact and effective in sealing out drafts.
  • Check the condition of the window crank mechanism and handle, ensuring they operate smoothly without any resistance.
  • Examine the window frame for any signs of water damage or wood rot, particularly at the bottom, and address any issues promptly.
  • Verify that the window locking mechanism functions correctly and provides a secure closure.
  • Consider installing window screens to prevent insects and debris from entering while allowing for proper ventilation.

Maintaining your windows depends on whether you have casement or sliding windows. It’s advisable to do checks every six months. In severe cases, hiring a contractor from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA)’s list of Approved Window Contractors is a good idea. Remember, neglecting maintenance can lead to serious consequences if your windows fail.

#8 Steel fittings that exhibit rust.

While stainless steel fittings are advertised as rust-resistant, they may still rust, particularly in coastal residences. The moisture and salt particles present in the sea breeze are responsible for damaging the chromium layer in stainless steel, leading to rust.

To prevent rust, regularly clean stainless steel fittings in coastal areas. Apply a rust-resistant spray or wax for added protection against sea breeze corrosion. Quickly address any rust signs and use suitable inhibitors to prolong the fittings’ lifespan in these environments.

#9 Faulty Air Conditioner Units

Admit it – in Singapore, air conditioning is a must. If you want to avoid your air conditioner breaking down during a 36ºC heatwave, give it some tender loving care to keep it in good shape.

Keep your air conditioner in good shape by cleaning the filters and coil fins monthly. Also, consider having a professional service your air conditioner every 6 months (or annually for infrequent use) to ensure thorough cleaning and address any faulty parts.

#10 Pest invasions

Sure, every home has pests, but if you don’t clean and ventilate properly, you might end up with hundreds or thousands of extra housemates. Signs of a possible pest issue include:

– Unusual sounds like rattling or scratching

– Stains on walls or ceilings

– Droppings around the home

– Strange, strong odors.

To prevent pest invasions, consider the following measures:

1. Regular Cleaning: Keep your living spaces clean, eliminating food crumbs and spills promptly.

2. Proper Storage: Store food in airtight containers to prevent attracting pests.

3. Seal Entry Points: Seal cracks and gaps in walls, windows, and doors to block potential entry points.

4. Dispose of Garbage Properly: Dispose of garbage regularly and use sealed bins to prevent pests from being attracted to the smell.

5. Maintain Outdoor Areas: Trim vegetation, clear debris, and maintain a tidy yard to reduce hiding spots for pests.

6. Fix Leaks: Repair any leaks promptly, as pests are attracted to moisture.

7. Regular Inspections: Conduct regular inspections for signs of pests, such as droppings or unusual sounds.

8. Proper Ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation to reduce moisture buildup, which can attract pests.

9. Professional Pest Control: Consider professional pest control services for preventive measures and timely intervention.

10. Educate Yourself: Learn about common pests in your area and their habits to take targeted preventive actions. By incorporating these practices, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of pest invasions in your home.

————————————UNCLE DEFECT SG—————————————-

Uncle Defect SG specializes in thorough inspections for houses, HDBs, condos, and landed properties. With our professional surveys, checks, and scans, we leave no area unchecked. From tiling to electricals, we ensure a comprehensive evaluation.

Trust us to provide you with a detailed report, empowering you to make informed decisions and address any issues before settling in.

Schedule your inspection with Uncle Defect SG today and move in with confidence!

WhatsApp: +65 9323 3338/

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