No matter your situation, doing maintenance on anything tends to be a pain. But it’s always best to stay on top of potential issues or you could be left with an even bigger bill down the line.
Another huge benefit to keeping your property in good shape is that it will help to protect its value and help with the selling process should you ever choose to sell your property in the future.
Winter can cause a whole host of issues with your home, the icy cold trying to damage your pipes, gales blowing anything and everything away, and rain flooding your streets. While we can’t stop winter (unfortunately) we can make sure that our property is in tip top shape to brave the colder months.
So, what can you do to help keep your property safe against the assaults of winter?
The Agent's 8-Point Checklist
1. Check your pipes
During the winter your pipes are going to get a lot of use. Repeated heating and cooling combined with a vicious frost can cause cracking. An easy step to take is to carry out a visual inspection, particularly of any external pipes. Make sure they are insulated to protect them and your bank balance from any potential bills.
2. Have a look at your roof
From the ground (don’t mess around with ladders in cold and icy weather!), take a look along the roof to check if there are any missing tiles. And while you are looking, make sure the gutters are in working order and draining correctly. You don’t want a pool forming on your roof, not this type of pool anyway!
3. Service your boiler and bleed your radiators
Check the boiler, make sure it’s serviced annually. Bleed the radiators, the more efficiently they work, the better it will be for your heating bill. You can also lower your boilers flow temperature, your radiators won’t heat up as quickly, but your boiler will run more efficiently – saving even more money on your energy bills.
4. Look after your wood burner or stove
If you are lucky enough to own a wood burner, make sure the chimney is regularly swept to ensure it is clear and that it is all in good working order. It is also good practice to ensure that it is regularly serviced and that all official documents are kept. This will keep the heat flowing efficiently and safely and will ensure you aren’t left scrambling trying to service your burner before you move home.
While it isn’t maintenance, it is also good to stock up on fuel throughout the year, you don’t want run out in the coldest months!
5. Check for draughts
Check for draughts from your external doors, your windows, around the fireplace and any other places where you think the wind could get in. It is also good to check if any internal doors need adjusting or replacing due to the hot and cold cycle of the seasons.
6. Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
With so many fuels and energy sources in use, make sure your warning alarms are in good working order. One minute of your time to check the batteries is always time well spent.
7. Insurance - read the fine print
Check your policy. If the winter is going to be particularly bad with storms, ice, snow, or floods then use it as a reminder to check what you are covered for. For example, some policies may not cover for wind damage, or the fine print may state that only a certain amount of compensation is paid in the event of damage.
Remember, if you spend a lot of time away for work or in a partner’s house, you may have to adjust your policy accordingly as the house could be classified as unoccupied, even if it’s only for a certain period of time.
8. Invest in a shovel and some salt
Expecting a lot of snow and ice? While it isn’t really maintenance, it may be wise to get a shovel and some salt to help clear your drive so that you can make that urgent morning appointment!