Prepare Your Home For Winter
Extreme cold like we have experienced in the past couple of winters can put a huge strain on our homes, leading to burst pipes, boiler breakdowns and big bills. All it takes is a few simple checks (preferably BEFORE the first cold snap) to get your home winter fit. Here's how.
Until recent years we have generally seen such mild winters that gardeners in the UK have practically been growing lemons in January, and weary parents have had to lug their infants off to Scandinavia for festive Christmas-card landscapes.
So the winter of 2010/11 and then 2011/12, with its icy grip and seemingly endless snow, came as something of a shock. The Met office records that, during the worst spell in 2011, night time temperatures fell as low as -15 degrees C, and struggled to get above freezing during the day. As well as causing transport chaos and closing schools, extreme cold like this put a big strain on our homes. So how can you protect yours?
Do Some Pre-Winter Maintenance
A few spot checks around your home will reduce the likelihood of winter rains, wind and cold causing structural damage.
* Clean out the guttering and check for any leaks or damage.
* Cast your eye over the roof from ground level to look for problem signs such as loose or missing tiles. Check that TV aerials are securely fixed, too.
* Look out for cracked, loose or missing pointing or rendering on exterior walls and have this fixed before water finds it way in.
* Get your boiler and/or central heating serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer(opens in a new window).
* Clear out leaves and debris blocking up drain grilles and clean patios and footpaths before they get slippery from a build-up of dirt.
* Have chimneys and flues swept if you use an open fire or wood burner.
* Get your insulation up to scratch - lag pipes and water tanks, fit draught excluders and insulate your loft properly.
* Make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are in full working order.
* Show every vaguely capable person in the house where the stopcock is, plus where to turn off electricity and gas supplies in case of emergency.
* Keep a list of useful numbers handy in case of emergency. Include your plumber, gas installer, electrician and doctor.
Whether your home is one you own yourself, or a rented property, we all have to take responsibility for the effects of extreme weather. Landlords of rented properties should also show due diligence in making sure that the above checks are carried out on their properties both to avoid additional expense to themselves and discomfort and inconvenience for their tenants.
Here at Martin & Co Letting Agents in Yeovil, we can give advise on the types of precautions you should take and also who you can call if you need help with any of the suggested actions. We want all our tenants to be happy and comfortable in their homes both over the festive period and throughout the winter, together with ensuring our Landlords get the steady income from their rental property with a minimum of hassle. Why not give us a call to find out how we can help you?!