Now that Christmas is over and Winter is in full swing, it’s a good time to review how your home is coping with the weather and address any minor problems before they deteriorate and cause further issues with our Winter Checklist Property Maintenance guide. Most of the suggestions listed below are well within the average person’s ability but if you don’t feel up to the task, why not contact CPM (Complete Project Management) to find out more about our Property Maintenance services.
The cold weather can put a lot of strain on your water pipes, particularly if they are old or if your neighborhood is experiencing below-freezing temperatures. If water is left to build up in the pipes, it can freeze, causing cracks and eventually leaks. The best way to avoid this is to check the pipe insulation and make sure your house is kept at a moderate temperature. We recommend speaking to a local plumber if you find any leaks, or experience a sudden loss of water.
Central Heating System
During the festive season, your heating system works overtime, especially if you’re the sort of person who likes to bask in sub-tropic temperatures during the winter months! Check your radiators and thermostat regularly and contact a heating engineer if you hear strange noises coming from the vents, or if you suddenly notice cold spots around your home. You may be tempted to switch off the heating in rooms that are not being used, but this can draw the cold into your home and lead to damp and mould problems. Set a timer to regulate when your central heating system is on, as this will reduce energy consumption and keep your home at a moderate temperature throughout the day. If you’re unsure what temperature your home should be, take a look at our recent blog The Ideal Home Temperature.
Having completed your Autumn Checklist, your home should by now be fairly well insulated. However, as the temperatures drop below freezing, you may become aware of cold spots or the occasional draft inside your home. It’s worth having a quick look at your home’s exterior to ensure no insulation has deteriorated during the festive season, while inside you may wish to hang some extra curtains and use draft excluders, which can be purchased relatively cheap from your local home furnishing store. If you’re not quite sure where insulation is required, take a look at our recent blog Home Insulation: Top to Bottom.
Tip: Open the curtains during the day to allow the sunlight to heat your home for extra efficiency.
It’s important to grit & salt your driveway, paths and patio regularly, as a build-up of snow or ice can be dangerous for you, your family or anyone visiting your home. Be sure to clear all the major walkways and avoid using water, as this will most likely re-freeze overnight and cause an even greater hazard….black ice! We also recommend filling in any holes or cracks, as these will fill with water which will then freeze and cause further damage.
Last but not least, have a general cleanup! During the winter your outdoor garden furniture, garden tools and barbeque will suffer from the cold and wet, so it’s worth cleaning them and storing them away ready for the summer. Drain the fuel from all motorised garden machinery before putting into storage and shut off outdoor water valves to avoid the pipes freezing and cracking. Store your garden furniture and equipment in a garage or shed, as this will protect it from the elements and ensure it’s ready to use in the Spring.
Once you’ve completed this list, you should be well prepared to ride out the rest of Winter and look forward to the upcoming Spring. The key to home maintenance is preparation, and as the old saying goes… “A stitch in time saves 9”. It’s important to prepare for Winter thoroughly, as the extreme weather conditions can cause havoc inside and outside your home, and if you spot a problem early, it can save you a lot of time, money and hassle! If you feel any of these jobs are outside your comfort zone, why not call 01392 363999 or contact us online to find out more about our Property Maintenance or Responsive Maintenance services.