Your autumn garden room maintenance check list
How much maintenance does an orangery or garden room need to keep it looking as good as new? We say that a little bit of care and effort on a regular basis will go a long way to saving you money and keeping your garden room looking brand new. Autumn is the ideal season for giving your garden room a bit of TLC, and our bi-annual maintenance check list shows exactly how easy it is to care for your garden room.
It’s finished. Finally, after months of researching and planning, you have your own dream garden room extension standing resplendent in your garden, glistening in the sunshine. You’ve been peeking out your window for weeks, watching the team of builders and carpenters as they install your beautifully crafted timber extension. You’re very much ready to host your first cocktail evening, with friends calling you up every few days asking if they can come over to be the first to see it. It’s exactly as you imagined it would be, and you love how clean and fresh it looks.
So how much effort will you need to put in to keep your garden room extension looking clean and fresh for years to come? We recommend a little but often approach, running a quick maintenance check twice a year or so. You’ll find it easier and more cost effective to regularly maintain your garden room than to leave it and potentially have replacements or repairs to deal with in ten years’ time.
Here’s our list of 7 recommended garden room maintenance and care checks:
1. Clean out gutters and hoppers
It is important to do this in autumn. Failing to remove fallen leaves and debris from gutters can cause water to ingress into your garden room and cause leaks. Check gutters at the joints, and if any have failed this should be addressed immediately before any damage occurs to the joinery element.
2. Wash down all paint work
We use a water-based paint on all our garden rooms and orangeries, which has a particularly long lifespan. To prolong the finish of your paintwork, we recommend a simple wash down twice a year. This keeps it clear of destructive organisms. A mild detergent solution can be applied using a synthetic brush, and then rinsed thoroughly, but don’t use hose pipes or large quantities of water on the product. We recommend that the extend silicone glazing caulking is also cleaned at this time with an industrial wet wipe.
3. Retouch any chipped paint work
The paint surface should be inspected for damage, paying attention to horizontal surfaces, cills and bottom bead. You can easily cover any damaged area with a lick of paint. Abrade the area with a fine grade abrasive paper first, then wash away any residual dust and allow to dry. Using a good quality synthetic brush or roller, apply a coat of water-based paint and allow to dry for four hours, before applying a second coat and ta-dah, you’ll be left with a flawless surface.
For more severe bumps and marks where damage has affected the full depth of the coating, i.e. a deep cut or gouge, we recommend that you use a medium grade abrasive paper first, and then use the fine grade abrasive paper. Once washed and dried, apply a grain sealer to the affected area before painting. Don’t worry, paints and sealers are available from Westbury and we can offer advice on the best products to choose.
4. Wash down flat roof and roof cappings
You should give your roof and cappings a good wash down twice a year, using water and a mild detergent with a soft brush. Take care, as the roof can become very slippery when wet, especially in cold weather. Avoid using heated power washers and take care using a hose, as you want to avoid a lot of water being forced through glass. Give any automatic rain sensors on auto vents a wipe too, to keep them clean.
Hardware such as bolts and hinges are subject to everyday use and endure a lot of wear and tear. Inspect all fixing bolts for tightness every six months, including those securing brackets, and tighten if necessary. Lubricate door hinges with light oil if required and apply WD40 to espagnolette locks to help things feel smooth. Do not lubricate friction hinges, however. Check for any wear and replace any parts that seem excessively worn. Check door tracks for any obstructions and keep clean from dirt or excessive water.
Our door handles are factory finished with a protective colourless lacquer which keeps the handles in pristine condition. This coating can be vulnerable to salt air and industrial pollution can cause it to break down. Cleaning with soapy water and the occasional application of wax polish will prolong the life quality of your handles. Metal polish or any type of abrasive cleaner must not be used.
7. Underfloor heating
Turn on your underfloor heating to give it a good old run and get the systems working again. This should ideally be done every three months, but it’s especially good to do in autumn as it’s likely to have been kept off over the summer.