Following an unusually hot September and mild autumn, the last week has seen temperatures plunge, marking the start of what experts are predicting could be “the coldest and snowiest winter for at least six years.”
Of course, the start of colder weather can also mark the start of problems for homeowners and landlords, from burst pipes and malfunctioning boilers to blocked drains and storm damage.
As we head towards Christmas landlords should be mindful that tenants may well be away from the property for extended periods of time and without proper precautionary measures, properties could be at greater risk of damage. However, a little planning and preparation is the best method of prevention. Here are some top tips to prepare your home for winter:
- Ensure all pipes and tanks in the loft are adequately insulated. It’s worth checking that they have not been moved or dislodged when past tenants have stored belongings.
- Check overflow pipes are correctly connected and not blocked.
- Arrange to have gutters and downpipes cleared ensuring they are free from cracks or splits. It’s also worth checking that all supporting brackets are secure and in good condition – snow and ice can build up, adding excessive weight.
- Make sure gratings are clear of leaves and debris as these can cause blockages. Any external pipe-work should also be lagged, including outside taps which should either be turned off internally if possible and drained down, or fitted with an insulated jacket.
- Replace cracked or missing roof tiles – leaking roofs can cause extensive damage.
- If tenants are planning on being away over the festive period or for any length of time over the winter, ask them to leave the heating on low.
- Whether at home or not, doors between heated and unheated parts of the property should be left open to allow warm air to move around the property. During very cold spells this should include leaving the loft hatch open to allow warm air to circulate, reducing the risk of frozen pipes in the loft.
- Ensure tenants know where the stopcock or isolation valves are located in case they have to turn off the water to any part of the property in the case of an emergency.
Bleeding radiators to release trapped air is a good way to safeguard against winter boiler problems and ensure your heating system is working efficiently. Ask your tenants to do this or arrange a convenient time to carry the task out yourself.
- Consider taking out emergency insurance to include breakdown of heating systems, plumbing, drainage problems and loss of power supply for added peace of mind.
Our in house property maintenance experts, INEX Property Solutions, can help you get your property ready for the colder weather.
Get in touch today by phone on 0800 074 7172 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help you get your home winter ready.