July 12, 2024

KJ Home

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Maintenance tips to avoid hefty home repair costs this winter

3 min read

As winter approaches, most Brits will do all they can do put off home maintenance.

At present, 54 per cent of Britons (28 million), put off maintenance according to Aviva, with many giving time and money pressures as the cause of delay. This may result in hefty repair costs or large insurance claims if jobs aren’t tackled.

Here are ways to prepare before the cold weather, according to Yell.

Check your roof

Roofs can suffer anything from minor to extensive damage during the winter in the event of a storm bringing heavy rain, winds and snowfall.

Should your roof incur any damage, you should find a good viewpoint where you can assess the impact of strong weather. You may find it is helpful to check for:

  • Missing tiles

  • Blocked gutters

  • Holes

  • Debris build-up.

Missing tiles can result in water damage or leaks which can be a costly repair. Meanwhile, debris build-up and blocked gutters can put extra weight on your roof, increasing the risk of damage.

Check your heating system

Reports have shown that by December most central heating systems have been switched on – except for an unlucky few whose boilers are not working.

It’s a good idea to have your furnace or boiler system checked annually by a professional but additional checks are advised when exceptionally cold weather or storms are imminent. If you have a boiler, you are advised to:

  • Keep an eye on water pressure once a month

  • Bleed your radiators twice a year

  • Check radiator valves are open and working properly before winter comes

  • Check for any leaks in the venting system

  • Check if any wiring looks questionable or damaged

  • If your heating system is a heat pump, make sure your outdoor unit is free from any leaves or snow. There should be no greenery crowding the unit at any time.

Check your pipes to avoid freezing

Experts warn that at-home thawing of pipes can cause them to burst. To avoid having to remedy the issue later on you should:

  • Ensure all pipes in your roof space or loft, as well as pipes in other areas that may be vulnerable to the cold, are insulated.

  • Ensure your heating is not turned off completely but remains low if you’re away for the winter.

  • Have your thermostat set to a minimum of 18 degrees or your heating timed to come on regularly throughout the winter to ensure the pipes are not at risk of freezing.

Block out window and door draughts

There is no easier way to save money on your heating bills than by blocking door draughts.

Draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you £45 a year, the Energy Saving Trust has said. If you have an open chimney, draught-proofing it when not in used could save £65 a year. The benefits include reduced condensation and damp, money saved on energy bills and, of course, a warmer house.

Draught-proofing needs will vary depending on what level is needed but homeowners should generally be able to do this without external help. By adding metal brushed window and draught excluders to frames, you will be able to keep out the cold and reduce the amount of warm air that is being lost. These can be fitted to both exterior and interior doors.

It should also be noted that keyholes and letterboxes can be draught-proofed.

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