We have talked about the benefits of being prepared for the change of seasons in previous blogs. The most severe change of weather is of course into winter. The onset of colder, wetter windier weather can challenge any building but those with a planned ongoing maintenance schedule will always fair better.
Last month we talked about preparing the outside areas and looking at drains and guttering. It is worth remembering that a claim on your insurance would probably be rejected if water damage arose following a blocked pipe, the insurer would argue that you had not exercised due care. A clear out of gutters and an inspection of drains is a winter essential. Internal pipes, particularly those on external walls need to have insulation checked and any obstructions in the water flow dealt with.
If you have a central heating system, service the boiler and bleed the radiators, but remember that everybody has just had the same thought so book the work as early as possible. In many older buildings, particularly pubs and hotels there can still be an open fire so sweep the chimney, as well as clearing old soot you may find a bird’s nest left behind that could be a fire hazard. If you are in a colder part of the country, it is time to test trace heating tapes, before they are really needed.
If your doors and windows are in a poor state of repair, they can let in cold air and rain water. It can therefore make economic sense to carry out any minor repairs now before you need to pay to fix a serious problem later. Woodwork will suffer in the cold weather so inspect it and have any repairs done before the problem gets worse. Another subject we return to is roofing, inspect it now and get loose tiles or slates mended. It will save you a fortune, and again keep your insurer happy if a problem does occur.
If you have buildings that are not used very often, stores, outbuildings, or even churches, then a couple of simple precautions can stop you having to deal with a major catastrophe. Turn off the stopcock. Drain the water system of any water by running the taps – remember to turn them off again once you have finished. If possible, leave the heating running at a low level. This will help minimise the risk of pipes freezing and bursting as a result.
Finally, you probably already have buildings insurance in place, but it might be worth reading the small print of your policy to make sure you are covered for any winter emergencies.
The theme of many of our blogs is be prepared. It is always easier, and cheaper, to deal with a small fix rather than a big repair, and this is never truer than in the winter when emergency repairs from burst pipes to fallen trees can make good contractors busier than ever. To discuss your winter proofing needs please get in touch.
Categorised in: Property maintenance
This post was written by Express Property Services