Winter is fast approaching and with it an onslaught of rain, wind, snow and sleet. Not only does this weather give us the shivers, it can affect our properties too. This month the Blount & Maslin team explain how you can prevent many common winter related problems before they begin

Prepare your outside space

Securing your outside space is obviously important in the run up to winter. Secure your rubbish and recycling bins so they don’t start flying around in high winds, which may cause potential damage to yours or your neighbour’s property or vehicles.

Also, we recommend that you clear any gutters, this is important as they carry water away from your home and if blocked could cause damp.

Find out more about damp here

Preparing your house for winter

Store your garden furniture away and secure your shed

Keep your house nice and cosy

Check that your loft is properly insulated as this can make a big difference to your home’s energy efficiency keeping you nice and warm and hopefully reducing your energy bills too.

Protect your pipes

Pipes that are particularly vulnerable to freezing include those outside, in your garage or those that are located in colder areas of your home. It is important to ensure your pipes don’t freeze as in the worst cases blockages can lead to burst pipes. We suggest wrapping any cold pipes with thermal insulation – known as pipe lagging or pipe jackets, this can be easily sourced.

Know where your stop cock is

In addition to wrapping your pipes up, it’s important to know how to locate the stop cock so you can turn off your home’s cold water system. In the unfortunate event that a pipe does burst it’s vital you know where your stop cock is so you can shut off the water mains and prevent any flooding. The stop cock is normally found in your kitchen, under your sink. Although in some houses it can be found in a front or back hall.

Bleed your radiators

You’ll know if a radiator needs bleeding because when your heating is on the radiator will be cold at the top and hot at the bottom. Before you bleed your radiators ensure your heating is off and you have a cloth and bleed key ready! Locate the valve at the top of your radiator and turn it anti-clockwise until you hear a hissing sound, this is any air trapped in the system escaping. Once the water begins to flow, tighten the value once you’re finished.

Preparing your home for winter

Keep your heating on a timer

It’s a good idea to keep your heating on a timer over winter, even if you go away. This helps keeps the system running smoothly, heating your pipes and home efficiently.

Check out our blog for more handy property tips and tricks!