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Be Weather Wise with your outdoor home improvements

KZN is internationally recognised as having perfect winters - balmy sunny days, no humidity, nights cold enough to want to snuggle AND... very little rain. This makes the months of June, July and August the perfect months for homeowners to literally, get their houses in order.

Waiting until summer to do those outdoor enhancements, improvements, repairs and maintenance is crazy and can lead to a lot of frustration and, for our advertisers, perhaps unfairly sullied reputations. All outdoor home improvements are dependent on the weather. Days of rain can delay completion of a job by weeks, and although the contractors have no control over those delays, often homeowners get impatient because they just want the job completed and their home to themselves again.

These are the problems that various home improvement projects can encounter if the rain interferes with installation and completion.

BUILDING & ALTERATIONS: Which would you rather have...mud or dust? That's an easy one for me!! But, not only that, wet weather delays the curing of the concrete, cement and plaster. A job would be completed that much faster if there are dry, sunny days.

ROOFING: This is a no-brainer. Most roof repairs are going to leave you home exposed to the elements for a period of time and damp timbers could definitly become a problem.

SWIMMING POOLS: Wet soil can interfere with the digging of the hole for a new pool and can also impede the construction of the shell of the pool. Under-surface water can cause serious issues at a later stage. Pool renovations such as re-marbelling and fibreglass coating also require dry weather.

WINDOWS & DOORS: Again, you need dry weather to complete the most successful and hassle-free installations or replacements.

GUTTERS: Don't wait until it is raining before you replace or repair those leaking and broken gutters.

RAIN WATER HARVESTING: Make provision now to collect those very first drops of the Spring rains. Water scarceity is here to stay so be like a good boy scout and BE PREPARED!

DAMP PROOFING: It is much easier for damp proofing companies to do a successful job if the surfaces that they are treating have dried out. However, in order for the contractor to fully understand the scope of work, it is advisable that photographs be taken in the rainy season to show the extent of the problem.

PAINTING: The same goes for exterior painting - the walls need to be dry before applying the paint otherwise the paint will fail. The moisture content in the plaster should be no higher than 10%.

RETAINING WALLS: Retaining walls need to be installed in dry weather, not just for safety reasons, but also for stability.

PAVING & TARRING: A dry surface to apply the pavers or asphalt on will give a much more successful, level and evenly finished product.

SKYLIGHTS: Like roofing, it will be far better to install these under dry conditions, not just from a convenience perspective but also from the sealing around the installation.

SUNDECKS: Timber pillars need to be concreted into the ground so dry soil is best. The decking timbers need to be dry for the sealing coat to be applied.

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