With winter just around the corner, now is the ideal time to start thinking about preparing your property for the weather. Most of all property insurance claims occur during the winter months. With issues caused by things such as burst pipes, broken boilers and leaking roofs. All of these issues are particularly costly and can cause further damage and problems with your property.
If you are a commercial property owner, then the last thing you want during the winter months is unexpected bills and payments, so preparing your property is most advised. Winter-proofing your home helps to keep everything running smoothly and avoid any expensive damages and repairs from occurring. With that in mind, here are 3 mistakes that property owners make during the winter months and how you can best prepare your properties.
Not Carrying Out Gutter Cleaning
Blocked gutters are a serious issue and are the root cause of the majority of roof leaks during the winter months. If your home or property is under the shadow of trees, or just more prone to debris accumulating, then during the wet and windy autumn months, leaves, twigs and dirt can all build up within the gutter space. Then, during particularly heavy rain or snowfall, this can cause water to overflow and damage your roof space or cause dampness throughout the property.
In the winter, blocked gutters can become even more problematic, as something called an “ice damn” can occur, which is where water builds up into a dam which then prevents proper drainage. Then, if rain or snow does fall, it is unable to drain and can cause further roof damage. It is recommended that you carry out, roof inspections and gutter cleaning twice a year. In late autumn and then again in early spring. By removing debris and dirt from your gutters, ensures that any falling water is directed away from your property. During these inspections, you should also have your roof and loft space inspected to look for damage, missing tiles or rotting beams.
Forgetting To Check For Pests
Don’t forget, it’s not only humans who feel the cold. During the winter months, your property might become appealing to animals looking to shield themselves from the cold weather. As a property owner, you should be regularly checking for the presence of pests in your property. But this can be easily forgotten during the winter months. Animals such as rats, mice and birds often nest in warmer buildings, especially commercial properties, so if you or your tenants notice any signs of pests, these should be investigated.
Now could be a good time to prepare and clean your property for the winter months ahead. Services such as pigeon guano removal, pest control installation and bird proofing could all be carried out during the quieter winter months and this then helps to protect your property in the future.
Leaving Pipes Unprotected
Because pipes are usually out of sight, this means that they are usually out of mind, too. Frozen pipes can cause serious issues and damage to your property if they burst and usually occur when interior temperatures are too cold. This causes the water in the pipes to freeze and then explode.
Usually, tenants are responsible for looking after piping during the winter and preventing this from happening, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give them warnings and advice if you are expecting colder weather. Things such as letting taps drip slightly to avoid pressure buildup, opening cabinets where pipes may be housed to allow warm air to circulate and keeping the thermostat at a regulated temperature to avoid cold temperatures indoors.
Either your tenants or yourself should consider insulating the pipes in your home to prevent them from freezing over with pip insulation – essentially pool noodles with a hollow middle and cut down the side – which you can then slip over your pipes to prevent them from getting cold.