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Outdoors

Your home is probably the biggest investment you will make and is likely to be your most valuable asset. For less effort than it would normally take to maintain your car or garden, your home’s exterior can be kept in first-class condition, lifelong.

At least once a year, it is a good idea to clean and inspect the outside of your home. If you live close to the sea, geothermal activity or in an area with a lot of wind, doing so an extra 2 or 3 times would be wise to help your home cope with the harsher environment.

Aluminium Joinery
Powdercoated joinery will last for years, but remember: aluminium joinery is LOW maintenance, not NO maintenance. Regular washing is the key and summer is the perfect time to get out there with shorts, jandels and a hose.

Use a soft bristled brush or handwash and a diluted solution of mild liquid detergent. Rinse off the window with a gentle spray from the hose. Be careful not to force water into the building.

Cladding
Simple things like clearing leaves from blocked gutters, keeping gardens at an appropriate distance  and cleaning windows in a timely manner all contribute to the longevity of your cladding. Now is the time to remove any vegetation that might be creeping up on your home.

Most cladding manufacturers provide maintenance recommendations on their websites. Proprietry cladding systems like Resene Construction Systems usually provide a suggested schedule of maintenance for your home when it is built. However, regardless of the type of cladding you have, every 6-12 months it is recommended to wash your claddings. Refer to your paint manufacturer for the best method and never use a water blaster.

Heating and Cooling
It may seem like heating and cooling is something that goes on entirely within the house. In many cases though, the equipment that produces the air that cools you in summer or warms the water for your shower lives outside.

Heat Pumps

Clear vegetation that blocks outdoor unit airflow. Outdoor heat pump units should be washed at least once a year, or more if you live in a marine or geothermal environment (leftover car soap and a hose-down is usually sufficient). Annual maintenance by a qualified serviceman should also be carried out. In fact, this is often a requirement to ensure the warranty is not voided.

Solar Water Heaters
A good solar hot water systems that is well installed should give years of trouble-free service. Any unit, however, will require some maintenance. Now is a good time to clean solar tubes or collectors with soapy water to remove grime. Employ a professional to do this if you’re unsure about getting up on the roof to do this yourself.

With glass-lined cylinders, it may be necessary to replace the anodes from time to time. Right House uses stainless steel hot water cylinders with their solar systems to avoid this.

Water circulating pumps should be checked annually to ensure good water flow rates are being maintained. Pressure relief valves should also be checked annually to ensure there is no dripping. For a simple test, check the preheat tank temperature—it should be hot after a sunny day.

It is recommended to have a qualified plumber inspect solar water systems every year.

If you do nothing else for the exterior of your home this summer, taking care of these three things will help your home keep the elements at bay for another year.

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Find out what you can do to be Life Cycle Costing savvy in the articles linked below.

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