The Zen of Property Maintenance

All houses need looking after. Property Maintenance is just as important (if not more so), as building new ones.

Over time, for various reasons, properties are subject to wear and tear and if not attended to, they will deteriorate, and one of the key factors that can cause major damage is water leaks.


Whether it’s a leaking waste pipe under a bath, a cracked tile on a roof, crumbling grout in a shower or worn out silicone around a sink, if it’s exposed to water, the water will find a way through.

Once it’s through, and then builds up over time, water can cause all sorts of expensive problems; wooden floors will rot, plasterboard walls will turn to mush and concrete will crumble. I write this from plenty of first hand experience, having been working with Jewell Plumbing and Property Maintenance Ltd. on a regular basis since April 2016 (that’s long enough to do a degree).

So what is Property Maintenance and why is it so important?

Well, I can tell you one thing it generally is, and that’s grotty work, particularly when water has been leaking, undiscovered, for a period of time. Despite having been part of a team that have refurbished numerous bathrooms and kitchens, I never cease to be surprised at how much damage a small water leak can cause. It’s ironic really; water is massively important to us in so many ways. We use it to drink, cook with, wash in and to transport heat around our homes. But if it gets into places it shouldn’t be, it can quickly create a massive mess!

The skill set required to repair the damage to property, during a refurbishment is extensive, and includes;

Controlled demolition; ripping out the old stuff (this is particularly grotty work!).

Carpentry; rebuilding floors, walls, box work, doorways, skirting boards and kitchens.

Dry lining; plaster boarding stud walls, ceilings and box work.

Plastering; Creating a durable, flat, paintable finish on walls and ceilings.

Decorating, Tiling, Electrical and Gas engineering and very importantly, Plumbing.

This is not a complete list, but I hope to use it to help explain why I have titled this post ‘The Zen of Property Maintenance‘; The true nature of a house is that over time, it will need looking after in order for it to remain pleasant. And problems, particularly water leaks, are better found and rectified, sooner rather than later. If a person wants to work efficiently, doing property maintenance, they will benefit from a broad, practical skill set, excellent problem solving skills and a knowledge of materials, both modern and traditional.

It is important to be intuitive, as not all problems have a straight forward solution, and if one is not calm and focused, the already grotty work only becomes harder. Meditate on it if you like.

Can you imagine what it’s going to take to look after your house? Maybe you’ve already noticed a wet patch in the ceiling and are wondering what to do about it. I certainly recommend doing something as if there is a problem, the damage is probably only going to get worse and more expensive to repair over time. If you feel like tackling it yourself and have any questions about how to proceed I am happy to help if I can.

Or, If you live in the Bristol area and want some help maintaining your property, then I highly recommend you check out Jewell Plumbing and Property Maintenance’s website; www.jppm.ltd

They deal with small problems fast, which will save you money, and can also handle complete property refurbishments. To demonstrate the range of work
Jewell Plumbing and Property Maintenance have experience in, I have included the following photo gallery, that shows various stages of work from some of their projects, that I have been involved in.

Want to find out more? Click here to get to the jppm.ltd website.

Installing a box section

 

Installing Box Section and Loo

At work recently we built a little section to box in some bathroom pipework and support a new sink, vanity unit and loo. We built a wooden frame work, as close to the pipes as possible, to free up the maximum amount of space in the small ensuite. Then we covered the wooden frame in plasterboard, pastered it, painted it, put in the loo and sink and finished off with some skirting boards.

Painting the battlements

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It’s not every day I find myself painting battlements above a pointed arch, but that’s what I was doing yesterday.

Today I freed open some painted shut (and one of them siliconed shut) sash windows, without mutilating the the frames. Then I chiseled away the paint above the bottom window, and then sanded the exposed wood and oiled it so it could open and shut smoothly.

Mist Coat Roller Arm

Check out the state of my arm, it looks like I’m turning into an abominable snowman. Fortunately, this was not the case. On this particular job, I have been helping a builder, whose name is Geoff, to modernise the previously rather ugly, concrete ceilings in a flat in Clifton.

I’ve never done anything like this before, and so found the process intersting. It’s fairly straight forward really;

Evenly spaced wooden battens are screwed to the ceiling into predrilled holes with rawl plugs in them. Then plasterboards are screwed to wooden battens. To hold the 2.4m by 1.2m boards in place while we attached them properly, we made 2 T shaped frames from some extra wooden battens that reached to the ceiling. After as many whole boards as possible were put up, we measured and cut the rest to fit the spaces left over. Once this was done in each room, and remembering to cut a hole in the plasterboard for the lights to be reconnected by an electrician, a webbed tape called scrim was stuck over all the places where the plasterboard met plasterboard and over any points there were small gaps in between the wall.

Geoff then plastered all the ceilings, which he does a fantastic job of! How he does it, I don’t know, but they end up shiney and blemish free and painting them is a breeze. The mist coat is emulsion paint mixed with water, (this is the reason so much liquid sprays of the roller!) I think the idea being that the fresh plaster and plasterboard soak up the watery mix and this helps to achieve a better finish when the next coat of emulsion goes on.

Anyway, after that we redecorated the whole of the flat, and are just going to finish off glossing the woodwork tomorrow. It’s going to look lovely.

Tula’s Flames

Tula and I had great time today spray painting this yellow army onto the red wall in her bedroom.

We had designed the idea ages ago but we’ve only just got the respirators we need to spray indoors. I say we, Tula did the designing, I just assisted the artistic process. 

Tula Iis very pleased with the result and so she should be, and very importantly, I’m very pleased to be able to say that the filters in the gas masks did an excellent job of filtering out the nasty propelant gases we would otherwise be breathing in. A flaming success and headache free.

Ladybird Lampshade.

It had got to that point when our bathroom ceiling needed a lick of paint, so while I was at it I jazzed up the previously cream and rather dusty lampshade.

I sprayed it blue, cut a lady bird stencil and sprayed that on and then added a bit of greenery with some acrylic paint and a brush. Maybe I’ll add a few flowers too.

I wonder what else I can rejuvenate around the house?