Preparing your Properties for Winter – During the coldest months of the year temperatures can reach lows of -10⁰C at night in some parts on the UK, so it’s no wonder why you need to spend more time looking after your home during winter. As you increase the heat inside your home and cosy up in front of a warm fire you must not forget to think about other parts of your home and the potential damage that could be caused. In a previous blog we spoke about how landlords can help tenants save money, and by preparing them for winter you could end up saving both you and them hundreds of pounds…
Do certain rooms in your properties feel colder than others? You may find that a window has a crack and it is letting in a draft, however this is easily fixed by sealing the window. This will retain the heat in your properties and on top of that will also save your tenants money on energy bills. Caulking is simple, cheap and quick to apply and you can buy it in permanent or temporary forms in most DIY shops.
Your fireplace will need a bit of TLC before winter if your tenants plan to use it because over the years, as with anything, it can deteriorate leading to problems beginning to occur. If you check and maintain your fireplace once a year before winter then you won’t end up having to fork out hundreds to get it fixed when something goes wrong. Check that your chimney is clean and that it isn’t home to any birds nests – you can use a torch to look up the chimney and investigate whether there are any cracks, broken bricks or build-ups of ash. Remember to get your chimney professionally cleaned once every other year depending on how often your tenants use the fire.
After autumn it’s always a wise idea for gutters to be cleaned out as they can become clogged with leaves and dirt meaning the drainage of rain or melting snow is almost impossible. If the water cannot drain, it will increase the chances of leaks or damages to your properties. Get your ladder out of the garage; grab the gloves, a rubbish bag and start cleaning! It isn’t a strenuous job and doesn’t take too long but it can save you from a huge bill due to leaks. Don’t forget to check the downpipes too because they can also become clogged with leaves, twigs or dirt. After the cleaning process you can test the gutters by pouring water down them to make sure it exits from the downpipe.
Padding your pipes can prevent your properties from bigger problems if they burst. Any DIY shop will sell tubular pipe insulation sleeves and once they have been purchased you can begin to cover any pipes exposed to un-heated areas. You may find these pipes in basements, cabinets or attics so don’t forget about them! The pipe sleeves can be cut into whatever size you need and fitted around the exterior of the pipe including any bends or joints. Duct tape is the best way to seal the ends of the insulation sleeves together and by doing this simple task you can end up saving yourself a lot of money in the long run. On top of that, your tenants can conserve a huge amount of energy!
Getting a professional in to check your properties’ heating before winter is always a good idea especially if you can’t do it yourself. If you want to do it alone then ensure you check the systems are in good working order and also replace any batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors just in case the heating systems are being over-worked.
In winter there are many ways your properties can become damaged due to ice or water but if you are prepared it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Ensure you prepare and research ways to prevent any accidents, injuries or problems occurring and you should get through winter without any mishaps!
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