Keeping Your House Healthy Over Winter
Repairs can be costly and as always, prevention is better than cure;
Familiarise yourself with your property
· Check you know the location of your mains water stop-cock. If you experience flooding from any household pipes, turning the water off at the mains is the fastest way to minimise the damage caused.
· Do you know where your mains fuse box is and how to read it? If your power ‘trips’, one or all of the switches on the fuse box will be pointing in the downward position. This means the circuit has been broken for some reason. It may simply mean the circuit has been overloaded (too many things plugged in), you have a faulty appliance or perhaps it’s something more serious such as water in a socket or light. If you cannot push the switch back up to reset the power, you should consult an electrician.
· Do you know where your gas meter is? Never tamper with your gas meter but know where it is and what it looks like. External meters should have a door to protect them from the elements. Remember, if you smell gas at any time you should call a Gas Safe engineer as a matter of urgency.
· Check your roof. Missing roof tiles will allow the wetter weather in and slipped tiles can be dangerous when they fall. If you have any areas of concern, ask a local roofer to check things out now as it may not be safe to get up to your roof once the snow arrives.
· Keep a small stash of road salt or grit in your shed or garage. This will make it easier to reach your front door or get your car out in freezing temperatures. A snow shovel is also helpful.
Prepare and Prevent
· If you have a wood burner or open fire, ensure the chimney is swept ready for the fire to be relit. Chimney fires can be very dangerous and are caused predominantly by a build-up of debris or sticks dropped by birds during the spring and warmer months when the fires aren’t in use.
· Remember to regularly check that your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in full working order. During the colder months boilers are working overtime, open fires are on more often and we like to eat hearty dinners! Any solid-fuel burning appliance (boiler, fire, hob) can give off dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. These emergency detectors are vital to warn us when things go wrong.
· Insulate your external pipes where possible with weather resistant insulation. This will help prevent them freezing and bursting when the colder weather creeps in.
· Ensure your boiler is up to date with its service. Gas engineers can often spot problems before they happen and may identify old, failing components before they break under the strain of the increased winter usage.
· Clean gutters of leaves and debris. Blocked gutters mean rainwater is not guided to the drains and so consequently can flow down the walls of the property. This in turn can cause damp.
· Trim back any trees or branches that are encroaching near your roof. High winds can weaken branches and a build up of snow can make branches snap.
· Ensure gates and fences are secure.
By staying one step ahead you can help avoid catastrophes over winter, but remember, BeeMyHome has a reputable maintenance team who can help with all your property problems.
Enjoy your winter and most importantly, stay safe.