Homeowners get set for winter

Posted on: 21 October 2019 by 50connect editorial

Homeowners should prepare their properties for the wilds of winter and sort out any outstanding maintenance jobs ahead of wetter, colder weather.

roof damage

You are probably ready for winter - a warm new coat, wet-weather shoes, scarf, gloves etc, but have you given the same consideration to your home and how it wil cope with the approaching winter?

The summer months are the ideal time to address those niggling jobs that you've been meaning to do since last spring but, being honest, very few of us get round to doing them, favouring instead to direct our efforts on the garden. That lack of attention could have an unpleasant consequence if loose tiles, blocked gutters and dameged chimney stacks take a battering in wet and windy winter weather.

To encourage you to prepare for the harshest season here is a winter checklist that should be ticked off before the weather turns for the worse.

  • Check your roof - loose tiles can easily become dislodged during high winds and storms. Apart from the damage caused by falling tiles, the gaps they leave behind could lead to damage to the fabric of the building.
  • Ensure your guttering is not clogged up with leaves. Water damage resulting from blocked guttering can lead to flooding and damp problems inside a home. It is also worth checking your chimney for bird nests etc.
  • Check your pipes are in good condition. Burst or frozen pipes in the depths of winter spell misery and a lot of inconvenience.
  • Outside lighting is beneficial as many people leave and return to their home in the dark at this time of year. Security lighting, working on sensors, at both the front and rear of your home is an excellent and cost effective way of deterring burglars and vandals.
  • Ensure your garden furniture, barbeque, toys and other seasonal items are carefully and securely stored for the winter. Not only can they be stolen if they are left outside, they can be damaged or be a hazard in bad weather.
  • Inspect any trees on or bordering your property. Long branches can damage your house, windows or out buildings and greenhouses. If the trees are not on your property discuss the situation with your neighbours.
  • Internally make sure your gas fires; boiler and central heating system are serviced by an authorised body.
  • Ensure smoke alarms are in good working order and fitted with new batteries - the use of candles and gas or electric heaters present increased fire hazards at this time of year.

Your home insurance is not a catch all. Don't rely on it to cover everything. If it can be argued that the damage was caused by neglect or poor maintenance, you might find yourself facing a hefty bill.

The stress of having to find a reactive solution when your heating fails or loose tiles allow driven rain into your home can be avoided by taking these few steps.

If you are worried about finding a reputable builder, you can compare online at Checkatrade.com and RatedPeople.com or use a community-based recommendation network such as Nextdoor (subject to location).

The most important thing is not to ignore an issue and hope that you'll  be okay. Guttering, tiles and chimney issues can create problems with the fabric of your property, which could cause more long-term problems for you and your bank account. If you are unsure about what is necessary work - ask a friend or neighbour for advice or ask them to support you when a tradesman quotes on the job.

By understanding what you are asking them to do, you'll have a better idea of their suitability and the price they ask of you. Be informed, be confident and get that work done.

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