As the coldest months are ahead of us, it is now more important than ever to be proactive in maintaining your property to avoid extra costs during autumn and winter. From water damage to freezing pipes, colder months present a whole host of potential problems for your home so we have listed our top six tips for caring for your property.
Check the gutters
Maintaining the gutters of your home is of high importance during cold months. Clogged or leaky gutters can cause a leaky roof, and can even lead to water damage inside your property. Gutters should be maintained throughout the autumn as leaves fall, but if maintenance is something that slipped to the back of your list, go check them immediately.
After clearing any debris that has clogged the gutters, inspect them carefully to make sure that water flows easily. Cracks or dents may seem minor, but they can have a tremendous impact on the way that water is routed around your house, so be sure to make relevant improvements as soon as possible.
Be conscious of your windows
Windows are the bane of a home owner’s existence during autumn and winter due to the many different types of problems they can develop. During the cold months, homeowners should keep a careful eye on windows. Check for signs of a draft (standing close to the windows and feeling cool air is a tried and true indicator, as is a skyrocketing heating bill).
However, sometimes it is the very windows themselves that present the biggest problem. Condensation that develops on windows can seep into wooden panes, resulting in rot, mould, and complete window replacement in the worst cases. As a homeowner, you can combat this kind of damage by wiping windows that have developed condensation. Constant maintenance is the secret to keeping windows efficient, so don’t rush to double-glaze: only 10% of heating is lost through windows.
Weatherproof your pipes
A burst pipe is an expensive headache for a homeowner. Pipes burst when the water inside them freezes and expands. Homeowners can combat this by wrapping insulation around external pipes, or simply keeping the heating on a very low setting when they are away on holiday. If the pipes are never able to get cold enough to freeze, a burst pipe is nearly impossible.
New insulation won’t just take pounds off your electric bill, it will add value to your property through a higher EPC rating. Nearly 35% of heating is lost through walls, so keep an eye on your electric bill. If you notice that the bill is creeping up steadily or suddenly skyrockets, it may be time to add new insulation to your home. Consider insulating your loft for the most cost-effective solution.
Clean dryer vents
Lint build up in your dryer vents can make your tumble dyer work less efficiently and can even cause a fire. Cool, dry autumnal weather increases static electricity which consequently can ignite lint that has built up in your tumble dryer. By cleaning the vents, you can minimise the risk of your tumble dryer catching fire.
Bleed your radiators and check your boiler pressure
Normal boiler pressure should be between about 1 and 2 bars so check this figure on the pressure gauge on the front of your boiler. Boiler pressure is important as it helps keep the water in your home warm. If the boiler pressure is too low, your central heating may not work. If it is too high, it will be under too much strain and could also prevent your central heating from working.
It is also important to bleed your radiators to make sure your central heating system is efficiently working, and your heating bills don't cost you anymore than they normally should. It is also one of the easiest DIY tasks to do. All you need is a brass radiator key or a flathead screwdriver to bleed the trapped air out the radiator and ensures all your radiators heat up fully and evenly throughout your home.
If you are after any works this autumn or winter, give our Portico handymen a call on 020 7099 6999 or get a valuation.
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