The winter months are tough on everyone. There are always colds and viruses lurking around, going from the freezing cold into heated buildings wreaks havoc with our skin and we have to wrap up extra warm every time we go outside to protect ourselves from the chill.
It’s not just people that require some extra TLC in winter however; our homes are also more prone to problems when it’s cold outside. Paying extra attention to maintaining your property at this time of year is important if you want to avoid bigger issues from occurring in the future.
Keeping an eye on your pipework should be top of your winter property maintenance checklist – especially when the temperatures start dropping towards 0°. Pipes can burst when water pressure builds up behind a frozen section which can result in flooding and dampness.
In order to prevent this from happening, you can insulate your pipes with sleeves or wrapping and remember to run heat through them at least a couple of times a week to help minimise the build-up of frozen water. It can be tempting to turn the heating off if you’re going away but try to leave it on at least a low setting otherwise you may come home to frozen pipes.
Whether you live in a Victorian property or a brand new build, condensation can affect any home. It may not seem like a big deal but if it isn’t dealt with quickly, it can lead to bigger and more serious problems such as damp.
Condensation occurs when warm air collides with cold surfaces or when there’s too much humidity in your home. It is therefore more common in winter when we have our central heating on. Signs that you may have a problem include:
- Damp walls with blistering paint
- Damaged and peeling wallpaper
- A musty odour
- Black mould growth
A few tips to help stop condensation from occurring in the first place include:
- Avoid drying clothes on radiators or in front of the fire
- When cooking – cover your pans so all the steam doesn’t escape and use the extractor fan because this helps to remove excess moisture
- Ventilate bathrooms and kitchens – extractor fans are great but it’s even better if you can open a window when cooking or showering
- Try to keep your heating on at a consistent temperature because this helps to keep surfaces warm and prevents rapid temperature changes from occurring
We’re incredibly dependent on our heating system in the winter which is why it’s more important than ever to ensure that it’s in good working order.
If you haven’t done this for a while, try bleeding your radiators to see if there’s any trapped air inside them. Releasing the air allows your radiators to fully heat up which not only keeps your house warmer, it can also help to reduce energy bills.
It’s highly advisable to get your boiler serviced once a year by a Gas Safety-Registered engineer, preferably in the run-up to winter. If your boiler stops working you won’t have any heating or hot water which is the last thing you need when it’s freezing cold outside.
If you would like more information or advice about maintaining your property this winter, please feel free to contact Rentokil Property Care and we will be more than happy to help.