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How to protect your largest investment in these uncertain times

Posted by Wall Treats on April 6, 2020

For many of us, our homes are our largest financial investment. This means it is in our best interests to make sure they are adequately protected.

While ensuring we are able to meet our mortgage repayment obligations is critical, so too is keeping our houses structurally sound so they do not incur a significant outlay in the future.

These are important activities we can do now, to preserve the physical integrity of our homes.

1. Clear all gutters (spouting)

This ensures that there is no overload of debris that can obstruct the flow of water into the downpipes. With daylight savings now ended and autumn descending upon us rainfalls are now probable. We need to ensure water flows through the gutters and into the downpipes.


If water gushes out of pipes it can:Cause timber to rot

  • Mortar to fall out of bricks
  • Put unnecessary pressure on plaster or stucco surfaces


2. Prime any bare timber surfaces

Bare timber (even those that come pre-primed from the timber yards) needs to be protected from the elements.

Primer does go off.  A quick way to check if it has gone bad is to smell it. If the primer smells rancid, it has gone off. If it doesn’t, give it a good stir before using it. You can take spoiled paint to a Resene or Dulux trade store. Both companies provide environmentally sound toxic waste disposal services.


  • Tannin rich timber, such as, cedar, must be primed with an oil-based primer to ensure the tannin does not bleed through. In our experience, a first coat of either Resene Aluminium Wood Primer or Dulux Silvasheen followed by a second coat of either Resene Wood Primer or Dulux Precision High Opacity Stain Blocker work best.
  • All pre-primed timber will have low quality primer arbitrarily sprayed on it.

These random coats of primer would have been haphazardly sprayed on in the timber yards and are only ever meant to last as long as they are in storage at the yards. The only exception is those timber that are certified with the Resene Tru-Prime warranty.

If you do not have the Resene Tru-Prime certification, then it is better to err on the side of caution. Sand off as much of the low quality primer as you can. Then apply one coat of either Resene Wood Primer or Dulux 1 Step Oil Based Sealer, Primer & Undercoat.

  • Most water-based primers last a maximum of six weeks before the substrates need re-coating. Oil-based primers generally need re-coating every four weeks.

3. Identify areas on your house that require weatherproofing before winter

Identify areas where soakers may be needed

Soakers are metal weatherproofing products that either fit around the corner of weatherboards (corner soakers) or protect joint lines between weatherboards where the gaps are too large to fill with “No More Gaps” (face soakers).

Without the soakers, water gets into the timber, which can result in wood rot.

To enhance your house’s aesthetic appearance, the soakers can be painted the same colour as your weatherboards.  From a distance, all painted surfaces appear uniform.

Find areas of rot, which will need to be addressed as soon as possible. If left un-addressed, the rot may spread, resulting in additional repair work required.


Rather than using builders bog, consider the Repaircare product.

Repaircare is a flexible resin, which moves with the timber and therefore is less susceptible to cracking.  Unlike builders’ bog, which is stagnant, there is less risk of cracks forming around the repair area.

Many of our customers have had success with the RepairCare product. We have observed instances where years after the repair has been completed, it is impossible to identify the repaired area.

To optimise the benefits from the RepairCare product, it is crucial to ensure that the repairer follows due process. Ensure that you are engaging an accredited RepairCare applicator. We know of a few who can work with you.

Find areas on your timber joinery where the putty has fallen off or is cracked.

IMG_6327.JPGPutty is the last line of defence against water entering the interior of your home through the timber joinery. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the putty remains intact so it can do its job.

Ask the glazier you engage to use quick drying putty, so once a skin forms on the putty (usually within 48 to 72 hours), you can seal it with an oil-based primer undercoat.

Traditional linseed putty takes a long time to be ready for sealing (usually months).  Therefore, we do not recommend this product.

After sealing the new putty, paint it with the same type of enamel paint that is on your timber joinery.  Remember, you need to do so within four weeks of applying the oil based primer.

Apply the enamel paint one to two millimetres over the new putty so seal it.  To achieve a straight line on your glass pane, it is useful to use low tack masking tape.

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