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When it comes to our timber garden rooms and orangery extensions, we always recommend that our clients give them a small amount of maintenance twice a year – once in the spring and once in the autumn. Here is our checklist of simple autumn maintenance tasks…
Everyone loves the excitement of embracing a new season, with a slight crispness in the air and pumpkins fattening in their patches. Along with the autumn comes a somewhat urgent list of home maintenance and cleaning tasks that need doing. It can sometimes feel like there are so many little jobs to take into account after a long and relaxing summer, from deadheading the plants in the garden to testing smoke detectors, with endless ‘back to school’ challenges in-between. Despite the beauty of the changing trees and the fresh mornings, autumn seems to require a huge amount of effort when all you want to do is plan cosy nights in.
When it comes to our timber garden rooms and orangery extensions, we always recommend that our clients give them a small amount of maintenance twice a year – once in the spring and once in the autumn. While this might not seem necessary at the beginning when you have just had a brand new, quality-made extension installed, it is certainly easier and more cost-effective to regularly maintain your garden room than to potentially have replacements or repairs to deal with in the future.
October is a fantastic time to give your garden room or orangery a little care and attention, so it’s ready to face the changing weather conditions. We don’t go outside as much and start using our homes differently, keeping the doors and windows shut and turning the heating on. These changes make it a crucial time to check exterior paintwork, remove debris from gutters and check your underfloor heating. In our simple autumn guide, we have asked our expert garden room designers to share their handy, easy-to-do tips for maintaining your garden room or orangery this month so it’s looking its best.
Look after your paintwork
Destructive organisms in the environment can affect the painted surface of your orangery or garden room, so it will need a quick wash, which is something we recommend twice a year.
Use a synthetic brush to apply a mild household detergent, and rinse with clean water. Don’t spray your extension with a hose or jet washer, however. We recommend that the external silicone glazing caulking is also cleaned at this time with an industrial wet wipe.
Give your flat roof and roof cappings a clean
Your orangery is likely to feature one or more roof lanterns, so it’s really important to give your flat roof and lantern cappings a good wash at the same time as the paintwork, with water, a mild detergent, and a soft brush. Autumn is a great time to do this before the weather gets cold, as a wet roof can become very slippery at the best of times, let alone in icy temperatures. Avoid using heated power washers and take care using a hose, as you want to avoid forcing water through the glass. Give any automatic rain sensors on auto vents a wipe too, to keep them clean.
Retouch any dents or chips in the paintwork
We use water-based paint on all our garden rooms and orangeries, which is particularly durable. However, the paint surface should still be inspected for any dents or damage, paying attention to horizontal surfaces, cills, and bottom bead. Marks can be painted over, and dents can be easily fixed by sanding with a fine grade abrasive paper first, before washing away any residual dust and allowing 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 for a perfect surface.
Clean out hoppers and gutters
Autumn is the golden season, with russet-coloured leaves flittering and falling to the ground. Unfortunately, they flitter right into our gutters, causing water to ingress into your garden room and cause leaks. Once all the trees have dropped their leaves in your garden, remove all the debris from your gutters and don’t forget to check them at the joints.
Check your underfloor heating
Your decadent underfloor heating systems will keep your orangery or garden room feeling warm and toasty through the winter, however, it is likely to have laid dormant and unused for months during the summer.
Fire it up to get everything working again, and get any issues or faults addressed in time before the weather gets cold.
Clean down your Ironmongery
All our premium door handles and locks are factory finished with a protective colourless lacquer, which helps to keep everything in pristine condition. Salty coastal air and industrial pollution can cause it to break down, so cleaning all your ironmongery will prolong its life expectancy.
Take care not to use harsh, abrasive cleaners or metal polish – soapy water and the occasional slick of wax polish work beautifully.
Westbury’s Care and Maintenance Service
For any of our clients who are too busy, we now offer a full cleaning and maintenance service so that you can sit back and relax – we have it all covered. We now have our own Westbury Window Cleaner, so we can clean, care, and maintain every inch of your beautiful timber extension. Our service includes:
- We will wash down all external Westbury joinery paintwork.
- The glass in all of your windows and doors will be professionally cleaned inside and out, as well as the external roof glass.
- We will make sure the roof lantern’s aluminium components and finials are correctly cleaned.
- We will clean the protective membrane on your flat roof.
- Your gutters will be cleared of fallen leaves and debris and we will check for gutter leaks.
- Don’t worry, we will not forget the roof lantern’s internal shelf (which has a tendency to collect dead insects but can be tricky to reach) – it will be hoovered and cleaned.
- We will wipe down all ironmongery such as door locks and window handles for you.
- All external surfaces will be checked for damage, and we will touch in with end grain sealer if required and then paint.
- Finally, we will check that all opening doors and windows are performing well and open smoothly for you.
If you are interested in booking our care and maintenance service, contact our Project Manager, Charlotte Hills by email or phone on 01245 3265 26. Price: £480* + VAT
*Covers most jobs, prepayment required.