When should repair work be done?
Repair work should be done when you notice the need for it, at the latest. For example, a leaking roof needs to be repaired immediately. Wet rooms in poor condition can lead to problems with mould. Depending on when the house was built, ventilation and underdrains should be taken into consideration.
By monitoring the state of the residence regularly substantial delayed repair work can be avoided. Checks of the house should be done a few times a year. For example, the condition of weatherstrips of doors and windows can be evaluated during the summer time and the draughtiness during the winter period. Also, the rainwater chutes should be checked twice a year.
The requirements of newly constructed buildings are easily achieved with mechanical ventilation. Installing this system usually requires some construction work and when in use it requires regular maintenance. The recommendation for ventilation systems is that indoor air should always be circulated, filtered, preheated, and of uniform quality. Other appliances in the household also require periodic replacing. For example, radiators should be replaced every 20-25 years, due developing technology. Also, the already mentioned weatherstrips of doors and windows wear out so they are recommended to be replaced every 3-5 years.
What kind of residential building repair work requires the permission of the authorities?
Restoration work and small-scale repair work does not require a permit. Larger changes, such as changes in the way the rooms are placed or colour of the façade require planning permission or a building license. In Tampere, planning permission is applied for by using the same application as when applying for a building license.
Before starting repair work, one should familiarize themselves with the building regulations set by the government, and requirements of individual buildings, technical systems, energy, and the e-factor.
Individual building requirements mean that each section of a building is used as it should be and fills the energy efficiency and, for example isolation requirements. The walls, roof and floor of the building form the outer shell, which in the best case scenario is maintenance-free. A well isolated shell guarantees evenly heated and draught-free indoor air.
Technical system requirements apply to the technical appliances, such as the air ventilation and heating systems, and their specific maximum electric power. The efficiency of these systems must also be considered.
Energy requirements of each building class are based on the standard operation of the building (e-factor). For example, the energy requirement of linked, row and single family houses is less than 180 kWh/m2.
Where to start?
Firstly, an inspection of the condition of the building should be acquired from a professional, especially in a situation where the damage is more substantial (e.g. water damage). The professional may list all required repair work, which they see the building needs done. The resident themselves must determine which work is most necessary and urgent to do. Before starting the work, it is necessary to verify if the repair work requires any permits.