The Beast from the East has brought with it almost as many column inches as it has snow. Freezing temperatures, icy roads and a dumping of the white stuff have struck almost the whole of the country over the past week.
Extreme weather brings with it much concern: Getting the kids to school safely, getting to work on time when your commute is disrupted by the chill. But one thing most people tend to forget about during spells of cold weather is their home.
The Big Freeze can do real damage to your abode and potentially put tenants in harm's way so it's worth taking a few steps to protect your interests and theirs. Here are our tips on carrying out some property maintenance to protect your home fromt he codler weather...
PipesPipes that freeze over can cause untold damage, so it's well worth arranging an inspection to ensure everything is as it should be. Get an expert over and get those pipes in the loft lagged.
More importantly, if you have a water tank in the roof, make sure your loft space is insulated or the tank could freeze up in conditions like the ones we've experienced recently.
RoofObviously you don't want to be crawling about on your roof with the temperature in minus figures to carry out home repairs, but ensuring it is worth bringing in a trusted tradesperson to take a look and ensure it is in a sound state.
Missing or damaged tiles or a weakened structure could cause major problems in the event of a huge dumping of heavy snow. It's worth putting your hand in your pocket now given how untrustworthy our weather is becoming.
GutteringHave you had it cleared since the autumn leaves tumbled to the ground (or, more accurately, into your guttering)?
If you haven't then it's worth getting it done now - heavy snow thawing or intense rainfall could flow back into your property if there are endless blockages in your guttering system.
If the pipe work is ageing, meanwhile, it could be susceptible to cracking in the extreme temperatures.
Talk to your tenantsAs well as ensuring your property is fit to live in protected from the elements, it's also important to remember the people indoors: The tenants.
Communication is key at this time of year, and the people living in your properties need to know what to do and who to contact if there is emergency situation brought on by the weather.
Make sure you know if they are away from the property for any length of time so you can keep an eye on it - this could also be a superb time to get any of the above work done.
If you're thinking of renting out your property, contact your local Martin & Co office who will be happy to explain the letting process to you.