Posted on 14th November 2014

Don't Forget to Winter-Proof your Property

Martin Williamson, Head of Residential Property
Winter has now officially arrived and so if you havent yet moved wooden garden furniture indoors now is the time to do so to avoid it being damaged by the elements. There are many additional measures home owners can take to stop Jack Frost wreaking havoc on property and to keep energy costs in check.
 
Properties can be at risk both from the outside elements and the moist, warm conditions that build up inside during the winter months. The outside of a house takes a battering in the winter so a realistic assessment of its current condition is vital remember to check the roof, walls, floors, windows and doors and, if they are found to be wanting, invest in better insulation and ensure that windows are properly maintained.
 
Good ventilation can be as crucial as stopping the cold air from coming in. Condensation can be an issue if a property is poorly ventilated. This problem can be prevented by simply opening the windows every now and then. Unfortunately security and ventilation are conflicting requirements.
Inspect the roof and replace any cracked tiles.
 
Loft
Check the insulation is in good condition (up to current standard.)
 
Gutters and drains
Clear them of leaves and debris. Take particular care that the gulleys are clear
Overflowing gutters can drench walls and cause damage. Insulate external drain pipes (e.g. those for central heating) with waterproof tape or similar material.
33% of heat lost in the home is through the walls. Cavity wall insulation is a good option and can boost its value and saleability while reducing your energy bills.
Also remember to check the pointing frost can play havoc with poorly maintained walls.
In very cold weather, water on paving will freeze. Ensure the paving is well drained and avoid water collecting, freezing and causing accidents.
Check perimeters of all windows to make sure water flows away from glass and doesnt collect on the sill, or drain behind it. It is important to minimize draughts. If double-glazing is not in place consider fitting cheaper options such as secondary glazing or put polythene across the window frames.
 
Doors
Stop draughts through letterboxes by fitting a cover and put a sealant around the door frames.
 
Chimney
Have wood and coal burning flues swept.
Have your boiler serviced. If you have a condensing boiler, insulate the external condensate and ensure it is of the correct bore.
And finally, check the heating system is in order; insulate hot water tanks, and bleed radiators.
These are just a few hints and tips that should help to make properties better able to bear the brunt of the elements this winter season.
 
Please note: This article is intended as guidance only and does not constitute advice, financial or otherwise. No responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by Latimer Hinks. In addition, no responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by the firm.