Winter maintenance, what do you need to check?

Daylight savings has kicked in and the nights are drawing in. The mornings are lighter, but winter is on its way and mornings will soon be dark as well.

Winter brings with it rain, wind, and storms so as the sailors say, “baton down the hatches”!!

Have a walk around the property and check:

Gutters, Pipes and Drainage

Make sure the gutters are clear and free from any leaves and built-up debris that could cause them to overflow if we get heavy rain. Check your down pipes to make sure the water coming out of them is flowing to the appropriate place, if in doubt ask your plumber.

Outside area

Check all the paths are moss free and not slippery, clean your decks and check handrails are study. Make sure the outside lights are in working order and check that sensors are working.

Secure any items outside that could blow around and cover your firewood or store it out of the weather so it remains dry.

Time to cover and store the BBQ as well.

Prune any limbs off trees that could be a problem in the wind and cut back any shrubs on paths, walkways and around windows.

What needs servicing?

If you are planning on using your wood burner or fireplace, get it checked to make sure it is safe to use. Retain this information for your insurance. The serviceman should check the roof and the chimney for any cracks.

Heat Pumps also needs a service and make sure the outside unit is free from any plant life, your serviceman will be cleaning the outside and inside units so its running as it should.

Draughts and condensation

Check that there are no draughts around your windows and doors that could let out too much heat. If you suffer from condensation like most of us do, the best way to combat this is to make sure proper ventilation is in place for air circulation. If you get the weeping windows, either wipe off the water with a towel and put the towel outside to dry, then open the windows to let them dry out, or buy a window vac, they are amazing and will take away the wet without much effort.

If you need to dry your washing, don’t leave it inside unless you are also ventilating, for example leaving the rack by open doors and windows, otherwise you are only going to be increasing the moisture in the air.  If you are using a dry, vent it or don’t use it, it would create too much condensation if its not vented.

Mold and mildew

Keep and eye on areas that could develop mold and mildew. These include bathroom, kitchen and laundry where there is existing moisture areas. Window frames, keep these clean and mop up condensation. Check areas that don’t get much ventilation and pull any beds and furniture off the walls to check behind them regularly.

I think that is enough to go on with, till summer at lease. If you are a tenant, notify your Property Manager of anything that needs investigation, and no tenants should ever be clearing their gutters or pruning trees or anything high. Your Property Manager should have a schedule for the home and if you are unsure what to expect give your PM a call or an email.

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