The cold weather has arrived and we all rely on our homes to keep us warm and dry, so it makes sense to prepare them ready to see us through another winter.
Eleanor Richards-Jones, from Rhiwbina-based chartered surveyors Jones Battye, says:
“I really enjoy this time of year with the prospect of Christmas ahead. But the harsh winter weather can really take its toll on our homes so it’s worth taking the time to look after them properly.”
Here’s Eleanor’s top 10 common sense tips for looking after your home both inside and out this winter:
1. Take a good look outside. Check roofs and walls for damage and replace any cracked tiles, poor pointing or hollow render. Rain will always find its way in if it can, and frost can cause pointing and render to crumble.
2. Clear gutters, gulleys and drains of autumn leaves and debris. Overflowing gutters are a major cause of dampness.
3. Keep paths and paving well drained. Standing water will freeze and may cause accidents.
4. Remove debris from sub-floor vents and check they are not obscured by flowerbeds or decking.
5. Make sure your loft insulation is in good condition and meets the current depth recommendation of 300mm. And while up in the loft, check the cover is on the cold water tank and that pipes are properly lagged.
6. Get your chimney swept if you have an open fire or log burner, and make sure you have an active carbon monoxide detector.
7. Check your heating system. Get your boiler serviced, insulate hot tanks and bleed radiators.
8. Put silver foil behind radiators on outside walls to reflect the heat. It’s an old idea but it works!
9. Reduce draughts the old-fashioned way. Invest in (or make your own) draught excluders, line curtains, put down rugs on bare boards and get a chimney balloon.
10. Give your home adequate fresh air and ventilation. Drying clothes indoors, showering, cooking and even just breathing causes a lot of moisture which needs to escape or it will cause condensation and mould growth. Fit extractor fans in bathrooms and kitchens, and open trickle vents on double-glazing.
For professional advice, property valuation and RICS Home Surveys, give us a call on 02920 625433, visit www.jonesbattye.com or pop in to see us at 5 Heol y Deri, Rhiwbina, Cardiff.