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Don’t wait until winter to protect your property and pocket from the elements

8th September 2015 Print

As the schools return for a new term and summer draws to a close, it won’t be too long before the clocks go back, the nights start to pull in – and winter creeps up.

Understandably, we may want to put thoughts of frozen pipes, cracked tiles and falling gutters as a result of heavy snow and storms to the very back of our minds, but Harrison Murray and the Nottingham Building Society (known as The Nottingham) have some timely tips for homeowners.

So while the days are still relatively long and temperatures remain steady, now is the perfect time to think about preparing your property for the colder weather and avoid any unnecessary misery and expense.

As well as recommending that the property be adequately insured, Harrison Murray has some seasonal advice on how to winter safe your home - so that potential buyers see it at its best, whatever the weather.

Su Snaith, Head of Estate Agency for Harrison Murray (part of The Nottingham Building Society), said: “We are still in late summer and the weather is relatively bright and mild, so people naturally don’t want to think about winter just yet.

“However, by putting a few measures in place now, particularly if you are looking to sell your home, then you and your buyer could be reaping the benefits of taking action early and heading off any larger than necessary or unexpected bills this winter.

“We all know how important it is to protect our homes, especially during the winter months – and this is even more crucial if you are selling an empty property.

“Some simple but effective maintenance will not only protect your home, but could save you money and make the difference between a buyer making an offer or walking away.

“Now is the ideal time to make those all-important checks inside and outside the property while the weather is still good enough to carry any work.”

Pipes - Icy weather can freeze pipes causing them to burst and flood your home when they thaw. Make sure you know where the stopcock is so that you can turn the water off if necessary. Investigate any new damp patches immediately.

Heating - If you go away or your property is empty, leave the heating on low as this will help prevent your pipes from freezing in a severe cold snap. Also a warm home makes it more appealing to a potential buyer.

Service your boiler – It may still be relatively mild, but when wintry weather kicks in, having heating and hot water is essential. Try and get your boiler serviced professionally each year.

Bleed your radiators - Bleeding your radiators gets rid of any air inside which may lead to increased bills if the radiators aren’t working efficiently.

Roof - Homeowners with a tile or slate roof need to check that there are no loose tiles or slates. When the wind is strong, a loose tile can easily be displaced and that will let in the damp. You should repair or replace any broken or missing tiles immediately.

Gutters – Autumn leaves may block gutters, the weight of which could crack or even displace the gutter.

Damp - If you notice damp, you need to dry out the affected area or use a de-humidifier to help stop condensation. If there is a lot of condensation in your house, it can harm paintwork and cause black mould spots.

Loft insulation - Check that your loft insulation is thick enough and in good condition. Loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and double-glazing can all help protect your home and save you money on heating bills.

Chimney – If you have one, make sure your chimney is swept by a certified chimney sweep. This is important, as a blockage, such as a bird's nest, could be a fire hazard.

Drains – Blocked drains should be cleared as soon as possible to ensure that water can flow easily. The result can be extremely unpleasant if you ignore it.

To find out more about how to protect your home, call into any of the Harrison Murray or The Nottingham branches.