If you want to know how to protect your home this winter, we can help in this article. We have compiled pointers from our surveyors on essential tasks you can carry out.
Protecting Pipes From Freezing
Water expands as it freezes. This is what causes many burst pipes each winter. Pressure can also build up if water is blocked by pockets of ice. Some insurance companies recommend leaving a tap dripping in very cold weather although this is wasteful and can be avoided if pipes are insulated correctly.
You should aim to insulate all pipes where temperatures could reach freezing temperatures. Any outdoor hoses should be emptied and taps protected with insulation. Pipes running along the attic, garage or other cold outbuildings should also be insulated.
Always know where you stop cock is located. This should be turned off if you are away on a winter holiday or in the event of a burst pipe.
Should I Leave my Heating on?
For the sake of your energy bills and the environment we would say no. Leaving your heating on 24 hours a day is wasteful. It is always better insulating your home or business premises properly. That way, the heating doesn’t need to work as hard.
We recommend the use of a timer so that the heating comes on for a set time. You can also fit a frost stat so that the heating comes on automatically in the event of freezing temperatures.
Cleaning Your Gutters
This job is often overlooked. We have all seen the plants and weeds growing out of guttering that has not been maintained. This causes numerous issues including blockages. If ice forms in freezing temperatures then any melting snow cannot drain properly. This can cause water to leak into your roof at the eaves.
It is very important to keep gutters clean. You should also seal any holes in the ceiling that allow moist damp air to seep into the attic from habitable rooms. Finally ensure that all attic ventilation is clear and working.
Insulation is key to a warmer home. Double check you have the recommended UK minimum of loft insulation (currently 270mm) at the time of publication.
Did you know that in many properties, the cavity wall insulation can be topped up. You can check the details with an insulation specialist. You can check more details on NI Direct here.
Northern Ireland Property Surveys
If you need a property survey, call out experts who will try and get to you as soon as possible. We offer building surveys across Northern Ireland. We have Belfast and Coleraine offices. Call Philip on 07702 332 333 to discuss! We are always happy to help.