Sustainable Property Maintenance Jobs Agents Shouldn’t Ignore
Property maintenance doesn’t just improve the aesthetic quality of a home, it also helps to retain value, or even significantly increase it. Regular maintenance could increase a home’s value by at least 1% per year while neglecting it can cause properties to depreciate.
Any home is a valuable asset and when it comes to selling, those in better condition understandably tend to fetch a higher price. That’s why it’s essential to carry out regular maintenance on a property or asset, yet some remedial projects are easier to work on than others.
Running the vacuum cleaner around and trimming the hedges is one thing, but grabbing a ladder or some heavy-duty equipment isn’t something most people can do on a whim. Here are our essential green property maintenance tasks that agents shouldn’t ignore when talking to their clients.
Insulation is essential all year, not just in the winter. Effective insulation can help to regulate temperature during the summer months and retain heat when the chill hits. Insulation materials come in many forms and if you are looking for sustainable materials we recommend natural wool, cork, hemp or cellulose.
Using natural materials to insulate a property rather than synthetic or man-made ones does mean that they have a relatively limited lifespan, however. For example, cellulose insulation is typically good for 20 to 30 years but can begin to degrade by the 15-year mark.
Upgrading a property's insulation provides an energy efficiency boost and makes it more sustainable as fewer resources are required to maintain a comfortable temperature. From cavity walls to the roof and floors, there are plenty of opportunities to upgrade the insulation in a home to improve energy efficiency. And, with the cost of living crisis pinching wallets, being energy efficient is more important than ever.
Perhaps one of the most common household maintenance tasks that gets forgotten or neglected is cleaning out the guttering. They can get clogged with leaves and debris that blows in throughout the year and this causes a blockage.
It is a relatively simple fix but often requires the assistance of a long ladder or a high-level platform to give you the access you require. Without the gutters diverting any rainwater away from the home you are putting your property at risk of water damage.
That water can pool in places which causes leaks that seep into the roof as well as the frames and fascia of a property. If left unattended this water can lead to mould, rot and mildew which risks your tenants' health and can cost thousands to repair.
General roof surveys and maintenance jobs
The roof is often a property's first level of protection against the elements, be that the wind, rain or even the sun. But, unlike other areas of a property, it’s difficult to check on the status of the roof due to how high it is.
You just can’t see the roof well enough from the ground so it’s important to gain a better perspective, particularly following a heavy downpour or strong storm. High-access equipment hire allows you to inspect any roof damage from a better vantage point.
Having the right high-level equipment allows for other maintenance tasks to be completed, such as:
- replacing any broken or missing roof tiles
- cleaning the outside of windows
- repointing the chimney breast
- repairing the roof and gutterings
- painting elevations and chimney pots, and
- inspecting solar panels (if the property benefits from having them installed).
Having a safe platform in place to make these comprehensive maintenance checks can also help you to oversee whether a property's renewable energy sources are running effectively.
Creative and sustainable landscaping
Landscaping and gardening is a job that many people put off but once completed can transform how a home looks and feels. Not only will the outdoor space be easier on the eye, but it can also be more welcoming to residents' guests and encourage local wildlife to flourish if you take an eco approach.
Many people are opting to include a wild zone in their outdoor space to promote any wildlife to move in, and potential tenants looking for outdoor space may wish for an eco-friendly environment outside their rental home. Ideas include ponds, allowing a patch of grass to grow wild and uncut and composting facilities. It’s important to reclaim as many materials as possible for any landscaping project to help make it as environmentally friendly as possible.
Also try to consider using plants that are native to your area. For example, bell heather is prominent in Kent and adding some to your wild garden will help boost the numbers of bees, moths and butterflies that thrive on it.
Install rainwater collectors
Countries like the UK experience plenty of rainfall throughout the year, even when it’s summer and the sun is meant to be shining. Rainwater harvesting allows homes to conserve water by collecting it throughout the year and using it for common household chores. For instance, harvested rainwater is ideal for flushing toilets, washing cars or watering flowers during hot and dry spells.
This allows residents to cut down on their water consumption, which is not only good for the planet but also helps reduce water bills. Modern toilets use as much as five litres per flush, while older models made before 2001 use up to 10 litres per flush. Depending on how much space you are working with, rainwater collection barrels can collect as much as 210 litres.
Electric car charging point
Perhaps one of the most important upgrades property management companies can make to a modern home concerns transport. Electric cars are very much the future of the automotive industry and with the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to end by 2030, that future is rapidly approaching.
Requiring a qualified electrician, electric car chargers are an important upgrade due to the prominence of electric vehicles on our roads. Zero emissions cars continue to grow in popularity and an electric car charger at home is beginning to be a must-have.
With homes that have an electric car charging point installed selling for 30% more than those that don’t, it is a significant consideration to make. Electric car chargers can cost up to £1,000 to install but considering the value they add to a home, and the convenience they provide, they are a worthwhile and sustainable home upgrade.