Owning a lodge in the UK allows you to take a well-earned break whenever you want. Whether you plan to get away for a couple of weeks in the summer, or just for the odd weekend during term time, owning your own holiday home gives you the ability to do this as and when you require.
But, to get the best out of your holiday lodge owners should be aware of the basic maintenance work that needs to be carried out on an annual basis. This keeps your lodge in mint condition and ensures continued enjoyment of your unit.
Prior to signing your ownership contract, take a look at the small print. This will include full details regarding the maintenance obligations of both the lodge owners and the owner of the park. Check this over and ensure that it is thorough and clear.
With interior checks completed, lodge owners can breathe a sigh of relief. Thanks to durable modern materials and advanced construction techniques, modern lodge holiday homes require far less exterior maintenance than you might imagine.
Most exterior maintenance is carried out at the end of the holiday season and falls under the category of winterisation.
Lodge Maintenance Tips
- The first lodge maintenance tip is probably the most obvious but also most important: Keep your lodge clean! Lodges should be kept clean and gutters checked and cleaned regularly to prevent blockages and water seeping in through the roof.
- Check the chassis for signs of surface corrosion and if necessary, repaint.
- On leaving your lodge, make sure the air vents are closed. You will be surprised at how many times these are left open, leaving the owner with a kitchen full of rainwater to welcome them on their return.
- Likewise, when not using your lodge, ensure that all gas bottles and your appliances are turned off. Gas can be turned off via the valve on top of your gas bottle and the electric can be turned off via flipping your trip fuses down on your electricity box. This will reduce the risks of leaks and unwanted charges while you are not there.
- Also, ensure your external water tap is turned off and disconnected.
- Upon returning after an extended period of time, hook up a gas cylinder and check that all the appliances are working. Check the condition of any butane threaded regulator couplings – they have a sealing washer that should be replaced periodically. Check the condition of your gas hose as this has a short life and needs to be replaced at regular intervals (around 3-5 years).
- Just like your domestic system at home; arrange for the gas system and appliances, the mains electricity supply and the refrigerator to be serviced annually by an expert – who should provide an inspection certificate. This ensures your appliances continue working safely and efficiently.
- Check all internal lights before using your lodge and replace any bulbs that have failed or are flickering. A fluorescent that is allowed to flicker for long periods can damage the light fitting. Consider where possible changing to energy-saving bulbs as these greatly reduce power consumption and of course your annual electric bill!
- Open and close all the windows and doors, including cupboard doors, and oil the hinges. Check window seals for any signs of damage such as cracks or condensation.
- Clean your lodge inside and out regularly and apply a coat of polish to help protect the exterior finish.
- Check all the vents as it is vital that they are free from obstructions, it is a danger if they are blocked.
- Check your fire and gas alarm batteries and ensure that fire extinguishers are in date.
- Our unlucky point 13 is your roof; Don’t forget your roof! It will take a lot of bad weather and they don’t last forever. If you think there may be a problem, flash your lodge or use Isoflex on the joints. It is a wise precaution.
Basic Annual Maintenance
As mentioned above, only minimal exterior maintenance will need to be carried out on your holiday lodge. Cleaning the outside of your lodge with designated exterior caravan cleaning and weatherproofing fluid helps to keep the unit looking fresh and new, while also combatting deterioration.
Many owners opt to use a jet washer to spruce up the outside of their lodge. This is an efficient and laboursaving method of cleaning and maintaining the exterior of your unit.
Roof & Guttering
Lodge roofs are ideal for keeping lodges warm and dry inside their units, but they offer a similarly hospitable habitat to mosses and lichens which can make your lodge look unkempt and grotty.
If you’ve got trees on your lodge park this can add to the idyllic atmosphere of your pitch, but watch out for leaves and debris that could clog your guttering.
Make sure that your guttering remains clear to prevent water build up and subsequent damage.
Gas / Electrical
Always read your ownership agreement thoroughly, keeping it handy and remaining aware of your obligations in relation to the gas and electrical supply on your plot. Your park owner will also have their own obligations, it pays to be aware of these.
Rust and corrosion of anchor chains is the main thing to be aware of in terms of anchoring. Conduct regular checks to ensure that chains are not deteriorating and that the space beneath your lodge is free from clutter and vegetation.
This is purely a safety issue. Many lodge steps are made from light-duty materials and should be checked regularly to ensure that they continue to retain their structural integrity.
Windows are the weak link in the structure of any holiday lodge. However - for fans of daylight and pleasant interior ambience - they are a necessary evil. Check all rubber window seals regularly to ensure that water seepage is eliminated and that no damage occurs from moisture in your lodge.
Always check that door and window locks are in good working order to prevent unauthorised access and to facilitate an easy exit in the case of an emergency.