Top Tips for Winter Maintenance

With the arrival of dark nights and dropping temperatures, as part of ‘Maintenance Week’, we have pulled together some simple measures you can take to  protect your building or home from the seasonal weather conditions. Winter weather has a habit of turning small issues into significant problems. However, taking small, simple steps to protect your property against potentially harsh winter climes can save money and inconvenience further down the line.

As a guide, check out our ten pointers below to give some ideas on the actions that can be taken now to help keep homes & buildings in tip-top condition.

Our 10 tip tips for winter maintenance

The PCA’s ten tips to protect homes this winter include;

1) Think about ventilation – winter sees air becoming more laden with water, meaning that issues such as condensation, and even damp and mould, can take hold. Ventilation fans and air management systems are at the front line in tackling this, so make sure service and repairs are up-to-date and the correct equipment is specified for your property’s needs.

2) Keep woodwork protected – Exposed timber can start to decay without some form of protective finish, so make sure wood outdoors has a barrier to protect against water and frost.

3) Chimneys – These can provide an entry point for damage at the point where lead flashings meet at the joint with the chimney stack. If not sealed tight, water will stream into a property.

4) Roofs – Any cracked or slipped tiles provide an easy route for water to enter a home. The resulting damage can be exacerbated if there is no secondary underfelt.

5) Gutters and downpipes – Gutters provide a way for water to drain away quickly. Even a small blockage can cause problems. As well as ensuring drains are free from moss, leaves and debris, it is a good idea to check the entire system, including the downpipes, are properly connected with no faulty joints.

6) Pointing and rendering – If damaged, loose or eroded, this can provide a route for water to enter a building, particularly when we have driving rain. Pay particular attention to the weather-prevailing side of a property.

7) Window and doorway openings – The warm summer months we saw this year could have caused the weather sealing between the frames and masonry in some homes to deteriorate. This will become an area where rain can enter.

8) Garden areas – vegetation that has thrived in the summer months should now be checked or cut back to prevent it causing water penetration of external walls and growth into weak pointing. Don’t forget to attend to storage water butts as they can overfill, become blocked up with debris and excess water, and then soak the surrounding ground and adjoining house walls of the building, causing localised internal dampness problems.

9) Drains – Makes sure gulleys and drainage points are cleared of leaves and other debris, so that rainwater can drain away from a building quickly, particularly during heavy downpours.

10) Drives and paths – Surface water must drain away from a building quickly, particularly during heavy downpours, so check and clear away any build-up of leaves on drives and paths.

Article by Property Care Association