Snow is formed when tiny ice crystals stick together in clouds to become snowflakes. When enough ice crystals stick together, they’ll become heavy enough to fall to the ground as snow. The UK gets on average 33 days of snowfall or sleet a year (Met Office Statistics: 1971 – 2000) but some winters receive much higher amounts than others, with this winter proving to be one of the snowiest. Snow can be great fun: days off, snowmen, sledding; but it can also cause great problems for property, and in turn for homeowners and Landlords. Listed below are some quick tips that can make all the difference to your property this Winter:
Clogged guttering can lead to snow settling in the pipes, this can then result in damage to both the pipes and the property due to the weight of the snow. Take time to clear your gutters before snow is forecasted; or if snow falls unexpectedly make sure you take the time to remove the snow that has fallen. This chore will be over before you know it, and will definitely save you a great deal of potential trouble.
With temperatures plummeting to near Siberian figures in some areas, it is advisable to have the boiler and heating systems serviced to ensure they are fit for use when called upon. Although this comes at a cost, the cost of the service will be substantially smaller than the potential repair.
Leaving an Empty House?
If you, like the birds, are heading to warmer climates ensure your empty house is prepared to be unoccupied. An empty house is the most at risk from the threats of winter. Leaving the heating on a low (i.e. 15 degrees) or ‘frost’ setting ensures the water in the pipes will not freeze, expand and burst, causing massive amounts of damage. If your pipes do freeze, turn the water off, drain the system and leave the taps open. Lagging will also combat the risk of burst pipes.
Check the roof
Rain, sleet or snow seeping through roofs is one of the leading causes of damaged properties come Winter. A quick visual check for loose or missing tiles will allow you to fix the problem before the damage is done.
Removing snow from the ground of your property removes a great many of the hazards associated with snow. Don’t use any old shovel you have lying around, invest in a snow shovel to make the job much easier. When moving snow it is important to maintain correct posture, using your legs to do most of the work. Rest frequently and only move snow that will pose a direct hazard to yourself or your vehicle.
When it comes to house maintenance, it is always better to be safe than sorry. At Hera Property Management we manage a great deal of rented properties. As part of our service we ensure all properties are Winter ready and arrange any maintenance that needs to be completed in advance of minus temperatures. For more information on our services, or advice on getting your property Winter ready please do not hesitate to contact us.