Owning property involves a continual cycle of maintenance to help take care of the building. Here’s some help for getting your home ready for Winter this Autumn.
The more the merrier we say! Now is the time to get some good deals on insulation for your property. Your loft should have at least 270mm but if you have plenty of height 300mm – 400mm is best. The minimum would involve insulating between the floor joists and then another layer on top of them so they are covered.
Don’t forget about lagging pipes in the loft. When insulating the loft it keeps your home warmer. This means the loft will be slightly more cold. Therefor make sure to lag any pipes up there! No one wants a burst pipe in the middle of winter.
Depending on the age of your property there are other insulation measures you can take. Cavity wall, uPVC double / triple glazing upgrades and under floor insulation are all good ideas.
For more information you can see the Northern Ireland Direct website here.
Looking after your boiler is paramount. Not only will this identify any problems but it will satisfy your insurer that you are “Carrying out due Maintenance” at your property. If the worst should happen then you are more likely to be covered.
It is a good idea to have a registered engineer to service your system. In Northern Ireland we have plenty of excellent quality companies who are registered to service oil and gas boilers. Gas engineers must be gas safe registered.
Oil and gas boilers should be serviced at least once per year! There are many benefits to a service including, worn parts being replaced before they cause serious damage.
Wood burning and multifuel stoves are very popular in Northern Ireland. You should only burn wood that is below 20% moisture content. Burning “green” or wet timber is bad for your stove and the chimney. It causes creosote and tar deposits in your chimney that can catch fire. Logs should be seasoned for 1-2 years before burning. You can buy seasoned logs from many local suppliers. You can use a moisture meter to test your logs. They can be bought from eBay and Amazon. Your local supplier may stock them.
There are many local chimney specialists who are now using powersweep technology. You may also find that they are HETAS registered and so can service your wood stove as well. Your wood burning stove may required new fire rope / glass or other seals reinstated. Having a service once per year will keep your insurer happy too!
Drains & Gutters
The autumn leaves are currently falling. Unfortunately they always seem to find their way into our drains and gutters. Now is a good times to clear out gutters and downspouts. Drains can be cleared of leaves and other debris. This means when we get all the rain, sleet and snow our home will be ready for it.
Electricity in Northern Ireland has recently went up. Like car and home insurance, you should “shop around” for a good deal. We have quite a few energy suppliers in Northern Ireland but still less than the mainland unfortunately. However it’s still possible to get a better deal. For more information see the Consumer Council NI Deal Comparison Tool.
Home Insurance Cover
Adequate home insurance cover is essential. We can’t stress this enough. Make sure you have the right level of cover for all your possessions and installations. It is a good idea to always have “trace and access” cover. This allows the insurance company to come in and find a leak if it happens. Oil heating is used across Northern Ireland. It is important to make sure you have “escape of oil” cover and get your oil tank and boiler services at least once a year. An oil spill is serious and can penetrate drinking water mains so make sure you look after your installation. Double skin oil tanks are a good idea.
Property Surveys NI
If you find that you are experiencing damp, subsidence, rot or other structural defects then we are here to help. We can book you in for a comprehensive survey carried out by one of our qualified specialists. We carry out all types of property surveys including asbestos surveys. Contact Philip to book on 07702 332 333. Or contact us.