After a period of cold weather what should you check on your home?
After several years of fairly mild winters, seriously cold weather with freezing temperatures, snow and ice can be a shock.
It can cause damage to buildings that you might not easily spot, so once the milder weather begins these are the vulnerabilities that are worth checking and fixing before they deteriorate further and cause more expensive damage.
Burst pipes are obvious at the time, since they usually result in water leaks, so they are easily spotted and not something that you are likely to delay in getting fixed. However, it might be wise to check in areas around the site of the leak for longer-term damage, such as loose plaster or hidden issues under floors.
Roofs: Snow lying on a roof can be heavy and once a thaw sets in the snow starts to slip and it can dislodge tiles. On flat roofs it may be worth also checking that it hasn’t seeped under the felting and cause less visible damage perhaps to ceilings.
You can also prevent winter damage problems with some simple precautions.
If you are going to be away during severe, frost conditions it is advisable to leave your heating on to prevent pipes icing up then bursting when they thaw out.
For the future, you can build in some protection for which there are sometimes Government grants, such as for loft insulation and for eco-backed cavity wall insulation.
If you want to control electricity consumption more efficiently, and ensure your home is protected from damage due to electrical faults, you can install a new consumer unit (fusebox). It is worth checking whether you are eligible for financial help. Grants of up to £500 may be available for a new unit on your main home only if you qualify.