Top tips for getting your home ready for winter
27 Nov 2019
Winter is coming! With the temperature starting to change it is important to make sure that your property is well prepared for the coming winter months.
To stop your property succumbing to harsh winter weather take a look at our pre-emptive measures and top tips.
It’s not too late to prepare your property!
Gutters and Drains
Clear them from debris such as leaves and mud to minimise the risk of water damage. Loose or missing shingles may lead to leakages with rain or melting snow, and flat roofs may be prone to leaks after heavy rain.
Also look out for ailing trees. Dead or dying trees can easily fall in high winds. Check any close to you for signs of weakness.
Heating and lighting
Boiler failure is the most common issue to be dealt with over the winter period. Get a boiler checked. You may wish to get a service agreement in place. Landlords tend to use British Gas, so you will know who to call if anything goes wrong and they can go out on the same day in some cases. Most local plumbers will attend on the same day as well.
Also it is a good idea to set the properties heating and lighting to come on regularly each day if the property is empty for a period of time. A few hours on low heat will prevent pipes freezing, and having a lamp or two set on a timer in the evening will help to avoid break-ins.
Although often overlooked, bleeding your radiators can be very useful for maintaining the property in the cold weather. Bleeding radiators involves removing trapped air that can build up over time and prevent them from working efficiently.
Top tip – For any pipes that run outside the property it is a good idea to ensure that the water flow is off and the tap is run dry before the temperature hits zero. This helps to avoid any structural damages caused by excess water freezing.
A blast of fresh air
Condensation can also be a major problem. It’s important to allow air flow in the winter months or you will end up with nasty damp patches on the walls – particularly in high-humidity areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. Ensure extractor fans are working and ensure the property is well ventilated.
Top tip – Try turning the cold tap of the bath on first, this way when the hot water hits it will not produce as much steam. Did you know having a bath produces two pints of moisture?
Top tip – Wipe away condensation as soon as you spot it so that it doesn’t linger leading to mould growth.
Every habitable floor of a rental property must have a working smoke alarm – and any room with a solid fuel appliance (eg, a working fireplace) should be equipped with a carbon monoxide alarm.
Top tip – Check the smoke alarm and Carbon alarm on a weekly basis. If there is an issue with the alarm, please try to change the battery first if not the alarm will need to be changed.
Ensure your current home insurance is up to date and check your policy gives adequate protection for any winter-related damages. Boiler insurance is also good to have.