Preparing Your Home For Winter

As with our bodies, our homes need regular check ups. Property upkeep is more crucial than ever, with buyers reluctant to look at properties that will prove costly to patch up. Properties that had fallen into disrepair captured a premium in boom years, when buyers wanted projects, but in these cash-strapped times, buyers prefer something that’s been well cared for and isn’t going to throw up unpleasant financial surprises. What could have been cheaply and easily rectified at the start, can grow out of control if left and end up costing a fortune. Doing little jobs as they become necessary is the best advice.

As with most things in life, prevention is better than a cure. Regular maintenance of your home is less intrusive and expensive than letting it fall into decay and having to fix it.

At this time of the year, clean out gutters, its not a bad idea to clear out all the drains, use a cane or similar to clear out debris from out of the air bricks, check out chimneys, to ensure air is circulating.

Here are a few pointers for you to look for:

Have you got a chimney?

* Is it tilting ?

* Is there any growth coming through the top?

* Can you see mortar missing from the joints?

* All of these can lead to potential problems

Look at your roof covering if it’s covered with tiles or slates, are any slipped or missing?

Look out for tile debris and pieces of tile broken on the ground as these can indicate that there are problems, that will allow rain to enter and cause rot

Look at the ridge tiles along the top of your roof

Are they all there?

Are there holes where they join or are you able to see any light coming in through the joints? Check your tiles and slates. Gaps may signify a need to repoint the ridge tiles.

Look at your gutters

* Could they be leaking at joints?

* Do they overflow?

* Are they catching water from the roof or is it running down the wall?

Looking at your gutters on a rainy day is the best way

Check behind the gutters

There are soffit and fascias, and, at the end of the roof, often barge boards. If theyre made of timber, check if they need painting, as bare wood rots quickly.

* Are your rainwater pipes working?

* Could they be cracked?

* Are they fixed securely?

* Are they blocked with things such as leaves, twigs, tennis balls and even dead birds?

Check all gullies to make sure that there is no green algae or vegetation as this often indicates that there may be problems.

If your windows and doors are made of timber, they need painting every three to five years.

* Is there bare wood, especially on the sills and the lower parts of the opening sashes?

Check out bottom of the water pipes to check the gullies

* Have they been regularly cleaned?

* Are they working properly ?

If not, they can cause dampness where the build-up enables water to penetrate a wall and, possibly, cause subsidence.

Trim unruly foliage.

Check all growth against the building, especially trees, bushes and ivy. Have you removed, cut back and pruned carefully where necessary?

These items growing on a wall can also cause dampness and structural damage.

Rectifying these possible hazards will be of tremendous benefit when you actually come to sell your home, the end goal is getting the best possible price for your home.

Do you need some conveyancing advice? Find a solicitor near you today.

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