b'hard truthsout of sight, out of mind When youre busy and the budget is under pressure, its all too easy to put off doing maintenance around the house. WhilenotallhousemaintenanceisSubfloorsessential, some certainly is and to defer it is toAccording to BRANZ research about 40 litres of water evaporates do so at your peril. Its like going to the dentist.from the soil under the average house every day, and much of it gets Deal with it before the problem turns into a largethere by draining off driveways or parking areas. If this cannot drain and expensive hole. or evaporate harmlessly to the outside, the floors above will be damp By and large, essential maintenance is about keepingand cold, and eventually the foundation fasteners will rust, timber will water out and your home warm and dry. So whendecay and mould will grow.deciding what you can afford to leave until funds are Ensure that surface water is diverted away from the house.available versus what simply cannot be ignored, think Do not let soil or plants block subfloor ventilation grills.nofurtherthansubfloors,windows,doors,roofs and gutters; all places where damp can penetrate Any soil thats backed up against exterior cladding must be dugcausing damage to the structure and discomfort toaway and held back by a retaining wall.the inhabitants. All of these can be maintained by aWooden joineryhandyperson without complicated equipment and with common sense safety precautions.Windows and doors, and the putty that keeps the glass sealed against water creep, are one of the first things to deteriorate and yet one of the easiest to care for. Its best to stick to light colours when painting joinery so that heat build-up and therefore stress on the timber is minimised. If the putty has cracked and hardened, scrape it Reseneout and replace it. Leave it to cureputty is oily Half Soapstone so needs to form a skin and then be primed with an oil based primer/undercoat, such as Resene Enamel Undercoat, before you canpaint itand then repaint.Sandanyflakingpaintoffthetimber, fill any dents or holes and repaint with a compatible Resene paint system. Any bare woodmustbeprimed,thenundercoated before two topcoats are applied. Traditionally, solventborne paints were preferred for use on joinery but new technology means that waterborne enamels, such as Resene Enamacryl gloss andResene Lustacryl semi-gloss, now do a great job.RoofsConcrete tile and corrugated iron are the most common types of roof cladding in this country, and are prone to failure in different ways.Asthesourceofleaksisoften notoriously hard to detect it is important to eliminate all the obvious causes.Resene Stonewashed60'