Looking after your new home and garden

How do I look after my smoke alarm?

To continue offering protection your smoke alarms need regular maintenance:

  • Once a year replace the battery
  • Once a month check the alarm by pressing the test button
  • Once a year vacuum and wipe the smoke alarm casing to ensure dust isn't blocking the sensor chamber.

Whatever happens, never remove the battery to use for other purposes.

What happens if my smoke alarm keeps beeping?

Check the batteries and, if necessary, gently vacuum any dust that may be settling on the sensor.

What could I do if I have mould?

Mould is due to a lack of ventilation.

To eliminate it try applying a bleach-like solution and wiping away with a clean cloth.

Ensure window vents are open.

What happens if I get condensation?

Condensation is caused by steam and vapour turning into water when it touches cold surfaces such as windows, floors and walls. To minimise this, you should:

  • Keep your new home warm and ventilated, e.g. open windows and keep trickle vents open.
  • Close bathroom and kitchen doors while in use and operate trickle vents / ventilation fans. Also, open windows after baths, cooking, washing etc.
  • Put washing outdoors to dry if you can or if drying indoors, keep a window open. If you are using a tumble dryer, check that it is vented to the outside (unless you have a self-condensing type).
  • If condensation has occurred you should mop up as much as possible, heat the room, open the window a little and keep the door shut.

Will I get shrinkage in my home?

Plasterwork needs to dry out properly. While this is taking place, some small cracks may appear. These are not a major issue and can easily be filled in when you first decorate. Shrinkage cracks are not a structural problem and can be minimised by using your central heating sparingly at first and keeping your home well ventilated.

Can I use the loft for storage?

This is not a designated storage area and should not be loaded with personal property. This could cause damage and also affect ventilation, which can cause condensation.

Caring for your drains

The drainage of your property and neighbouring properties can be affected by wrongly disposing of products such as nappies or sanitary towels. The toilet system is only designed for human waste and toilet roll; any other rubbish can cause blockages and serious problems.

Checking your guttering

As the autumn leaves begin to fall they can easily build up in the gutters, which can restrict the water flow and in some cases, completely block downpipes. It is important that you check all gutters to ensure they remain free from all obstructions. This falls into the remit of household maintenance.

How to care for your garden

Once you have legally completed, caring for your garden – looking after your shrubs and trees – is your responsibility. Water your new turf thoroughly to avoid it dying off and avoid walking on the newly laid turf for approximately six weeks, to allow it time to bed in.