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December 9, 2017

Protect your property from snow and ice this winter

Winter seems to have gone up a notch over the last few weeks, with snow and ice hitting some parts of the country, causing potential damage to properties and their inhabitants.
To ensure that your properties are protected from the effects of snow and ice this winter, our friends at Just Landlords, a specialist Landlord Insurance provider, have put together some top tips for investors:
Start on the roof
You may not like the thought of going onto your property’s roof in these temperatures, but it’s essential to make sure that it’s in a good state of repair before the really bad weather hits. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, get a reputable tradesperson in to check it over for you.
If any minor issues are found, it’s important to tackle them now and make sure they get fixed before they potentially get worse – snow is heavy on a roof, which could cause a very expensive problem if there are weaknesses in the structure. It’s worth paying out a bit now, before damage has the chance to exacerbate.
Check the pipes
Frozen pipes can also cause highly expensive and detrimental problems, so it’s certainly worth arranging an inspection of your property to make sure that everything is working as it should be. If you’re worried about the pipes freezing, you can lag them to keep the heat in.
If you have any water tanks, such as one in the loft, it’s essential to make sure the loft is adequately insulated, otherwise the tank could get very cold if the snow and ice arrive.
Speak to your tenants
It’s important to always have good communication with your tenants, but it’s particularly essential at this time of year, when they may be going away and the weather starts to affect their home. Ask them now if there are any small issues that need repairing before Christmas (you don’t want to be receiving emergency phone calls over the holidays) and remind them what to do if there is an emergency.
You should also ask them if they’re going to be away, as this could leave your property empty for a couple of weeks. If they are, suggest popping round to the property once a week to check that it’s okay and everything is working correctly – this is also a good chance to get repairs done.
Clear the guttering
Now that autumn is over and winter has truly arrived, you may find that the guttering on your property is full of leaves and debris. Although this might seem like a minor annoyance, it could actually have a detrimental impact to the structure of your property.
It’s worth hiring someone to clear all of the guttering of anything that may be clogging it up (or doing it yourself, if you’re comfortable), to ensure that water can flow through easily and doesn’t leak back into the property. This will avoid costly repair work at an already expensive time of year.
The winter can be harsh on your property, especially if snow and ice arrive, but you can avoid serious and expensive damage by taking the time to check over the property and prepare it for the cold weather. It’s also important to make sure that your tenants and agent know what they can do to keep the property secure.