Wising Up To Winter Will Protect Your Property And Your Pocket

WINTER is on its way, and whether your property is currently on the market or you are thinking about selling soon, now is the perfect time to cosy up your home.

And the more serious side to winter-proofing your home is that you will be protecting your pocket as well as your property.

While very extreme weather conditions in this area are rare, it is certainly worth checking your property inside and out, top to bottom before the full onslaught of winter.

Preparation now, particularly if you are selling your existing home or a property which is currently empty, can avoid unnecessary winter misery and the expense of having to pay out for repairs – as well as in some cases making the difference between a buyer putting in an offer or walking away.”

Now is the ideal time to make those all-important checks while the weather is still good enough to carry any work.”

Starting at the top:

  • Roof - Homeowners with a tile or slate roof need to check that there are no loose tiles or slates. When the wind is strong, a loose tile can easily be displaced and that will let in the damp. You should repair or replace any broken or missing tiles immediately.
  • Chimney – If you have one, make sure your chimney is swept by a certified chimney sweep. This is important, as a blockage, such as a bird's nest, could be a fire hazard.
  • Gutters – autumn leaves may block gutters, the weight of which could crack or even displace the gutter.
  • Loft insulation - Check that your loft insulation is thick enough and in good condition as it can really make a difference. Loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and double-glazing can all help protect your home and save you money on heating bills. If in doubt, add extra layers.
  • Pipes - Icy weather can freeze pipes causing them to burst and flood your home when they thaw. Make sure you know where the stopcock is so that you can turn the water off if necessary.
  • Heating - If you go away or your property is empty, leave the heating on low as this will help prevent your pipes from freezing in a severe cold snap. Also, a warm home makes it more appealing to a potential buyer.
  • Service your boiler – It may still be relatively mild, but when wintry weather kicks in, having heating and hot water is essential. Try and get your boiler serviced professionally each year.
  • Bleed your radiators - Bleeding your radiators gets rid of any air inside which may lead to increased utility bills if the radiators aren’t working efficiently.
  • Damp - If you notice damp, you need to dry out the affected area or use a dehumidifier to help stop condensation. If there is a lot of condensation in your house, it can harm paintwork and cause black mould spots.
  • Drains – Blocked drains should be cleared as soon as possible to ensure that water can flow easily. The result can be extremely unpleasant if you ignore it.
  • Give draughts the cold shoulder – Sealing window frames and gaps under the doors and around the letterbox is cheap and easy to do, helping to keep your home cosy and your heating inside the house.
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