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How to prepare your property for the winter months - 27/11/12

Landlords are being reminded to consider some simple yet important ways of preparing their properties in time for the winter, particularly in light of the flooding experienced in many parts of the UK.

Areas in the south-west, north-east and north Wales have all experienced high water levels with more than 200 flood warnings and 300 flood alerts being issued across England and Wales.

"A weather front will slowly move across north England and north Wales on Monday (November 26th), and it's here that we are likely to see some further serious flooding," said Chris Fawkes from the BBC Weather Centre.

Lloyds TSB have also been quick to issue advice on how best to avoid costly damage to your properties.

Tim Downes, senior claims manager at Lloyds TSB Home Insurance, said: "In winter we tend to think less about our homes' exterior and like to retreat indoors, however there are some essential checks that need to be carried out to see it through the bad weather. Prevention is the key, as much of the damage could be avoided if householders spent a small amount of time preparing for the bad weather."

The roof - A visual check should be carried out to ensure there are no loose or cracked tiles that could become dislodged, damaging the attic or rooms below. You should also check chimney pots, TV aerials or satellite dishes and anything else that could come loose in the wind.
Guttering - Blocked drain pipes and gutters can cause serious damage once there is a build-up of rainwater which can leak into the roof cavity. Gutter leaf guards can protect against this quite easily and are widely available. In addition, it is important to check for ice in the gutters which can weigh down the pipes and gutters, eventually causing them to collapse.

Damp proofing - All houses should have damp proofing, which is a black lining in the mortar around two or three courses above ground level. It is vital that this is not bridged with soil or debris which could make it ineffective.

Water pipes - Another key area to be observant of is plumbing. The stop-cock is usually situated under the stairs or the kitchen sink. These are used to control the flow of water through a pipe. Many people are unaware of this and how it is used which leads to a large amount of insurance claims for damaged caused by water valves not being shut-off properly. It is also important to check the insulation of pipes and tanks since cold weather could cause them to freeze.

Electrical goods - Landlords and their tenants should also make themselves aware of the fuse box and how it is used. It may even be prudent to get hold off an extra supply of fuses, particularly if your property is in an area prone to power cuts during bad weather.

Article source: Property Live


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