Preparing your property for winter

Winter is upon us, as the temperature drops and the dark nights draw it can be difficult to find that motivation to deal with those DIY jobs you have been putting to the back of your mind or you just haven’t had the time. However if you want that little problem turning into a bigger and expensive problem follow these tips to help your property survive the winter months.

Preparation is the key

Gutter and Roof – during the autumn gutters can become clogged up with falling leaves and other debris, which will prevent water draining away, the water will eventually overflow causing damage to your property. Doing a quick check for any cracks or damage particularly at upper level will also save you a lot of time and effort in the long run, a five minute fix could turn into a potential nightmare. Regularly check your roof for any loose or missing tiles, a strong gust of wind could cause serious damage to passers-by or your property.

Have your boiler checked/serviced – Having your boiler serviced annually can save you a lot of money and stress in the long run, the last thing you want is no heating in the freezing months. Emergency call outs from plumbers and gas safe engineers who have to order emergency parts tend to double if not triple because they are needed straight away.

Loft insulation – Sounds like a big job, but it is pretty straight forward and certainly the most cost effective way of insulating your property. Rolls can be bought from your local Wickes or B&Q you can usually grab a great bargain this time of year. Loft insulation comes in a variety of thicknesses and sizes, to retain heat and save money.

Insulate any copper pipes – Thousands of households have their homes ruined each winter because of frozen pipes. Pipes burst for a combination of three reasons: quick drop in temperature, poor insulation and thermostat set too low. Recovering from a burst pipe is not a simple as calling a local plumber. A half inch gap can lose hundreds of gallons of water per day, causing flooding, serious structural damage and immediate potential for mould. Here’s some simple steps to help prevent this nightmare:

· Insulate all exposed pipes as they are most common to freezing. Remember the more insulation you use the better protected they will be.

·Disconnect garden hose, and if possible shut off any valves going to outside tap and drain the water. This will reduce the chance of water entering your house should the outside tap burst.

·Keep your heating on a low heat during the night – as the temperature drops during the night the pipes could unexpectedly freeze and burst.

·If you are away for a couple of days or more, shut off the water and drain all pipes