Essential maintenance to prevent Winter damage

As the weather gets colder and winds become stronger, seasonal changes can have a substantial impact on your properties, leading to an increased need for repairs and emergency call outs and triggering the start of lasting damages such as leaks, cracks and mould. So how can you prevent this from happening to your properties?

We’ve pulled together the below guide to protect your properties from seasonal damages.

1. Check your building insurance policies to make sure you are adequately covered

This might sound like an obvious point, but it’s also the most important. Make sure you take the time to re-read your insurance policies prior to the winter months so that you’re well informed about what you are covered for and able to prioritise the most important maintenance checks in the run-up to winter.

2. Conducting roof inspections

It is recommended to check your property roof at least once a year as a preventative measure against leaks and further damage. You can hire a roofer to conduct the inspection for around £100-£200, or you can take a close look at your roof yourself using a ladder. A roof inspection should check for missing or damaged tiles, signs of algae, and moss or leaf build up. Cracked roofs or missing tiles can start leaks, which in the beginning may be unnoticeable, however can quickly lead to household damp, mould, and create larger openings.

3. Empty your gutters before winter & trim back large trees close to your property

Falling leaves can escalate the risk of blockages in your gutters and drainpipes. This can cause water returning into your gutter and potentially leaking into your property’s roof and onto brick walls.

4. Protect your pipes

The cost of fixing a burst pipe can rise to around £7,500 during freezing weather. The pipes most at risk are those in unheated interior spaces such as basements, attics, and garages. The best way to protect pipes in your properties from bursting in freezing weather is to make sure that the pipes in your buildings are well insulated before the heaviest winter weather. As an additional measure, keeping hot water on for at least one hour a day through the colder months will protect pipes from the worst of the freezing weather.

5. Communicate with your tenants

Lastly, It’s your responsibility to conduct the preventative maintenance needed to protect your properties over the winter months, but prevention of damage is also in your tenant’s best interests. There are many resources available online that can better inform your tenants of small actions they can take to help prevent winter damage. Kindly informing your tenants of what they can do can increase the effectiveness of your efforts and ensure your properties are as well protected as possible against winter damage.

When it comes to winter property damage, prevention is always more effective and less costly than repairs. Make sure to prioritise making a plan to ensure that your properties have been checked and are protected from the worst of the winter weather that’s yet to come.

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