Damp Walls

Damp Walls In Your Home


I posted on my blog, in November last year, about damp walls that arise as a result not having gutters on your home to control the flow of rainwater off your roof.

On Saturday I inspected a four-year-old property that had a one tile overhang on the roof, no gutters but had paving surrounding the house.

However, the external walls of the house were in a desperate state because of the three most destructive mistakes architects, developers, builders and homeowners make!

As a result, I’m going to repeat part of the issues mentioned in my blog again!

Damp walls caused by no gutters

Gutters collect the rainwater runoff from the roof, discharging it into downpipes which conveys the rainwater away from the house in a controlled manner. In addition, they also protect the timber roof structure at the eaves of the house. Furthermore, gutters protect the exterior walls, windows and doors of the house and its foundation from damp and potential damage.

damp walls

The splashing up against the walls was the most serious cause of the penetrating damp on the walls of the house. Moreover, the crazing cracking (spiderweb-like fine cracking) in the plasterwork was the main indicator of the penetrating damp caused splashing up of rainwater. No cracking was observed higher up on the walls.

Even if your house has a reduced overhang at the eaves, gutters will still provide the required protection against heavy rain and wind storms your house may be subjected to.

Insufficient roof overhang at the eaves

Roofs with no gutters which have a two-tile overhang (600mm in the case of a metal roof) or less will allow water to pour from the roof close to the walls, windows and doors and the foundation.

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Weekend Projects

Weekend Projects to Increase Resale Value

by Kay Pascale


If you’re trying to increase the resale value of your home, there are probably more than a few side projects you want to finish before putting the house on the market for all to see. While some of these, like any kind of roof maintenance, are true renovations that likely require the help and vision of an expert, there remain some weekend projects that you can complete in a single weekend. Here are a few tips to help increase the resale value of your house.

Fix Outdoor Landscaping to Improve Curb Appeal

The first thing potential buyers will see when they walk up to your home is the landscaping. Do trees and bushes look overgrown? Is the lawn too long, or are there unsightly stumps and plants littering the yard? A little prevention in the form of weeding, gardening, watering, and trimming will have the front of your house looking immaculate and inviting to potential buyers. According to Home-Dzine, your lawn is probably one of the first things someone will notice about your house. Therefore, keep your grass trimmed, remove dead branches, and plant some flowers for a pop of colour.

Clean Your Gutters

Power washing the walls and the driveway is a great way to make your home look well cared for. This allows your house to stand out in a positive way from the rest of the houses on your street. Moreover, Gutters are often overlooked when cleaning up the outside of a home because you can’t see them from ground level. But rest assured it will make a big difference.

Make Any Necessary Repairs

Repairs can easily be completed in the span of a weekend. In addition, to ensure that there are no visible red flags, have a walkthrough or seller’s inspection. This will pinpoint any areas that need to be worked on prior to selling the home. Things that may be simply annoying to you might be deal-breakers for a buyer. In particular, leaky taps, mould damage, or a faulty light switch could be the difference between that SOLD sign and spending weeks or even months languishing on the market.

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Home Renovations & Extensions.

the builder and renovations
The biggest mistake people make when they are doing extensions and renovations is to accept the cheapest price for a builder and expect a great job. It would be best if you had interim inspections done by a neutral party like a home inspector. It’s not expensive!

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Renovations and extensions usually prove to be cheaper than buying a new house.  However, it is important to employ a good builder with good references!

Do not over-capitalise on your property! It is probably best to speak to a real estate agent familiar with property values in your area.

Moreover, buying a new property does not only involve the purchasing price but also a number of additional costs (transfer fees, registration fees, real estate agent fees etc.).

Adding value

Renovations and additions that add the most value:

  • extra bedrooms,
  • bathrooms,
  • garages,
  • swimming pools or cottages.

Make sure that the renovation or addition really adds value. Therefore, just because you like a feature it does not necessarily add value. Furthermore, the value may actually be reduced; think of a garish paint job.

An “income-generating”, e.g. rental space, often increases value.

Make sure that the quality of the workmanship is of the top order. A badly finished renovation, poor paint job or ill-fitting units will put off any prospective buyer. In addition, interim reports by a home inspector can ensure the quality of your renovations and extensions are up to standard.

Do not cut corners. Also, ensure that only skilled craftsmen work on your property!

Watch the design

An additional bedroom adds value. However, if it fits poorly into the architecture of the house, it will likely deter future buyers. Poor design may even reduce property value.

Stay in keeping with the original style of the house. Also, maintain the same fittings throughout, e.g. wooden floors, high ceilings etc.

Inexpensive renovations

The value of a house can be increased with inexpensive renovations:

  • Re-grout bathroom tiles
  • Replace damaged, dirty or tired fittings
  • Clean or refit carpets

A neat garden increases value:

  • Neat beds
  • Manicured Lawn
  • Well-maintained boundary walls
  • Neatly arranged pot plants
  • An outdoor seating area.

Saving costs

  • Undertake serious renovations in an economic downturn, when discounts are available.
  • Be an owner-builder.

Keep in mind that building costs are usually more expensive per square meter than buying.

However, in an economic downturn, builders and suppliers are open to negotiation prices. Currently, building costs are much closer to the real value of the home. Therefore, if you make it clear that you have a strict budget, suppliers can advise you on less expensive options, with the same finish.

Prioritise renovations:

  • Newly renovated bathrooms and kitchens are appealing to buyers. Such renovations can be very costly. Whilst granite and Caesarstone are very popular for kitchen tops, a high gloss finish can also be achieved with PVC-wrapped kitchen units.
  • You do not need to replace taps with the most expensive designer imports. Local manufacturers, e.g. Cobra, have a very attractive range of products at much lower prices. Also, the installation is not problematic.
  • Do not overspend on your swimming pool. It costs anywhere from R20 000 to R50 000 to put in a pool.  Then there are the maintenance costs that also need to be considered. A small pool that is easy to maintain may be the best option.
  • Garages are important selling points. If you can also provide additional space for plumbing and laundry, the value is increased further. This is a low-cost improvement.
  • Security is a major selling point. Perimeter walling, palisade and electric fencing immediately push up the value of your property. Furthermore, American shutters, which double up as security bars, add cosmetic appeal as well as security.

The biggest mistake homeowners make when they are renovating is to use “builders” off the street or to trust the builder to do a great job. Even the fact that a builder is NHBRC registered is no guarantee! Do yourself a favour, and get interim quality inspections done by a home inspector before you make interim or final payments. It’s not expensive!

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 Inspected Once, Inspected Right!®


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