07 Dec How do I prepare my property for the winter?
We all know that with the cold weather conditions comes with it an increase in maintenance issues, which always seem to happen over a weekend, or especially over xmas when we are ‘trying’ to enjoy a glass of mulled wine or two!
Now is a good time to start thinking about how best to prepare your property and reduce any problems that may lie ahead over the next few months.
So, what are the most common problems that people experience over the winter period and what can we do to prepare for them?
Bursting pipes in winter is every landlords worst nightmare, it can lead to floods, property damage and in some cases loss of rent. It occurs when water pressure builds up behind a frozen section of the pipe, the swelling then causes the pipe to burst.
Ways to prevent this:
– Keep the temperature at a constant low temperature at all times, above 15⁰C is recommended. This will allow the pipes to remain at a steady temperature, which will reduce the problem significantly. Speak to your tenants and ask them if they are going away this year, if they are make sure they have the temperature gage is set on ‘constant’ and at a low temperature, so there are no dramas when they return.
– For extra peace of mind it is worth getting your plumber to cover vulnerable pipes with insulation sleeves or wrap with foam, this will reduce heat loss and prevent pipes from freezing.
– Keep doors open to allow the warm air to spread through the property.
As lovely as it is to see the falling leaves in Autumn, they can play havoc with your guttering and drainage system. Piling leaves on the gutters with the added element of layers of rainfall with nowhere to drain can lead to blockages. If water has nowhere to drain it will eventually find a way into your property. Ensuring your gutters are clear with a regular service, around once or twice a year will eliminate any problems that may occur.
Over winter the boiler is in constant use, so if there are any underlying problems then they are most likely to occur in winter. To reduce the risk of any problems and to ensure your boiler is safe to use it is essential to have your boiler serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer annually
Now is the time before it gets too cold to do any minor repair work, this includes filling in any cracks, repairing any loose roof tiles, securing fence panels and repairing any outbuildings, ensuring they are secure against any adverse weather you might encounter.
For complete piece of mind over the winter period it is best to have a good insurance policy in place, bear in mind though to check that it includes all winter related damage, just incase. If anything does go wrong you will be glad you have it.