How to put your home maintenance on autopilot and keep your house in tip-top condition
You’ve bought into the Dubai dream, but safeguarding your property’s value comes with hands-on responsibility. Daniel Garner, managing partner, We Will Fix It and James Smith, general manager – support services, Emrill ( give us the low-down on the maintenance jobs you can’t afford to ignore.
The complete checklist of all home maintenance:
Every three months:
- Air-conditioning (A/C) systems require regular general servicing three or four times a year. This not only helps ensure that each unit is working optimally at the preferred cooling temperature, but gives your maintenance provider the chance to spot potential repair work before a breakdown occurs.
- Check the filters on your washing machine as they can easily become clogged by soap particles or fabric fluff, which can affect performance.
- Include a coil deep clean by qualified technicians into your scheduled A/C service. time, the issue of condensation forming on A/C coils leads to a build-up of fine dust and dirt. This gets sucked into the system and impacts not only unit cooling ability but can also exacerbate any existing respiratory issues. The result is better air flow, a noticeable reduction in any ‘unsavoury’ odours, and efficient unit performance
- After the summer months, it’s a good idea to refresh soft furnishings, curtains and carpets by scheduling a professional deep clean.
Twice a year:
- A full in-depth A/C service should be undertaken twice a year, ideally before the summer and six months later. This helps prevent a build-up of dirt, dust and debris in the coils and ducts that can significantly affect the quality of the air we breathe – and become a breeding ground for harmful contaminants and bacteria. This could cause the system to stop working, trigger or worsen allergies, and also hit your utilities bills hard, if the system isn’t working as efficiently as possible.
- Keep insects at bay with a pest control sweep of your home to prevent unwanted critters taking hold.
- Dubai Municipality recommends that water tanks be cleaned every six months by an approved supplier using safe cleaning and disinfection chemicals and equipment, so your water supply is fit for consumption. Most homes are serviced via a tank and pump system. Debris and other contaminants can build up over time, creating the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and other water-borne diseases.
Throughout the year:
- Keep an eye on appliances and power sockets. If you notice signs of wear and tear that could be a safety issue or affect performance, err on the side of caution and swap them out.
- Your home’s exterior also takes a daily beating thanks to the harsh UAE climate, so pay close attention to any signs of cracking, movement or damage.
- Fire alarms, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and emergency exits (if relevant) must be properly maintained and in good working order at all times.
- Check all the household pipes and plumbing system regularly to root out any blocked drains, identify cracks that will need fixing or a poorly flushing toilet. Preventive maintenance is preferable to dealing with the aftermath of a flood due to a cracked pipe.
- Dubai Municipality recommends those with swimming pools carry out daily water quality checks for chlorine, pH, and temperature levels, with reading registered in a logbook. Samples should also be taken once every 15 days for calcium hardness, alkalinity and cyanuric acid.
- Swimming pool water should also be tested for microbiological parameters every two months.
Swimming pools need to be cleaned, after ensuring that filters are clear and chemical levels in the water are correct.
Should I get an annual contract?
- Keep your home protected and well-maintained all year long
- Avoid having to pay as you go, which may end up more expensive
- Enjoy peace of mind that if anything does go wrong you have an emergency team on call 24/7
- Increase the life-span of equipment and systems with scheduled check-ups by qualified technicians
- Benefit from added-value services, such as free call-outs
- Rely on the same trustworthy team for any and all home maintenance jobs
- Outsource the management of any subcontractors brought in to carry out work in your home.
- Ensure when looking for a contract that you consider what services are essential and make sure it covers the key aspects of maintaining your home
- Check the small print as there may be restrictions on the number of annual call-outs and guaranteed response time, or additional charges for emergency call-outs.
What are you responsible for in terms of upkeep?
For tenants, property upkeep shouldn’t extend beyond general wear and tear issues. As a homeowner, whether you live in the property or rent it out, the bigger picture covers a wide range of responsibilities.
As a homeowner:
“You’re responsible for ensuring the property is habitable and that it meets municipality guidelines, regulations and building codes. This includes waste disposal and running water provision, as well as smoke and fire alarm placement, plumbing or electrical work and ensuring structural integrity,” says James.
As a landlord:
“ If your property is rented there are no hard and fast rules, but: “The general rule of thumb is that the cost of minor wear and tear is covered by the tenant, and anything above AED500 should be covered by the landlord,” says Dan.
Many landlords let their tenants find their own supplier to get the job done and reimburse the cost. Or, you can send in your preferred maintenance company.