Autumn and winter can be an expensive time for homeowners. Rain, wind and freezing temperatures can combine to cause property damage that requires costly repairs, especially when it affects heating and plumbing systems. With the cost of repairing a boiler alone totalling anywhere between £150 and £400, it’s easy to see how the strain put on a house by winter weather can leave you out of pocket.
Now is the time to give your property a thorough going over. With that in mind, we’ve made a checklist of useful snagging jobs to take care of before winter takes hold.
Mortar plays an important role in the stability of your house, and can be damaged by the ingress of water that goes on to freeze. If you find any significant holes between bricks, use a hammer and chisel to chip out loose mortar before filling them in with a pointing trowel.
Garage doors and joinery
When checking garage entrances, ask yourself: do the door mechanisms work? Are the locks OK? Use a drill driver to tighten any loose fixings.
Look for gaps between joints, misaligned sections, or missing clips. Check downpipes are attached to the wall. A rainstorm is a good time to check guttering and pipes are working properly, and to spot any leaks or spills. A waterproof sealant can be used to fix anything that doesn’t merit replacing.
Use a ladder to check the state of your roof. Are there missing or loose tiles or slates? Is flashing cracked or corroded? Identify problems and get them fixed before further damage occurs.
Garden gates and fencing
Make sure hinges, locks and bolts are working, and look for defects in walls, fences and posts.
Water should be draining away from the property, and there shouldn’t be standing water. If there’s a puddle larger than 1m2 and 7mm deep more than an hour after rainfall, you may need to correct the bed beneath the stones.
Put away securely anything that could be damaged by winter weather. Check shed felting and windows while you’re at it. A nail gun makes short work of refelting.
This is a good time to paint or stain wooden window frames to protect them from the elements.
Check outside lights and switches are working. If you have venting going outside from cookers or clothes dryers, check these are clear and that fans are working.
Look out for signs of problems and arrange to have them fixed as soon as possible. Unexpectedly high fuel bills could indicate a boiler problem. Cold spots are evidence of faulty emitters, while noises from pipes usually mean air is trapped inside.
Make sure fittings and pipework are fixed and in order. Are exterior waste pipes free of blockages and damage? Check grouts and seals are in place – these can be repaired using waterproof sealant. In the kitchen, look for signs of leaks from sinks and appliances.
Check insulation is in place and free from gaps. Make sure the loft hatch is insulated and sealed to prevent draughts. Check pipework and extracts are connected and working.
Once you’ve checked these items off your list you can rest easier knowing your home is properly prepared for the winter. To equip yourself with any of the tools mentioned above, or to seek further advice on how to take care of snagging jobs around the house, get in touch at our Redhill store.