It’s that time of year again: the nights are drawing in; the temperature has dropped, and the days are getting colder. It’s also the time of year where boilers, having enjoyed a long summer break, tend to decide they’re not quite ready to go back to work, and properties can fall into disrepair.
Here’s our guide as to what you can do make sure you’re ready for those cold winter months.
First thing’s first: check your boiler before you need it
Before we’re hit by really cold weather, it’s worth making sure your boiler is working whilst it’s still warm.
Start by turning your boiler on, making sure the pilot light is on, and check your radiators are heating up. If your radiators need bleeding, you can either do this yourself, or call your Property Manager at Alexander & Co for further advice.
It’s also worth checking with your Property Manager that your gas safety check is valid. Alexander & Co will usually manage this on behalf of the landlord, but it’s worth checking for your own peace of mind.
If you’re living in a property that has either fireplaces or chimneys, these should have been cleaned before you moved in. However, if you’ve been in the property for more than 12 months, please arrange for the chimney to be swept and provide a copy of the chimney sweep’s certificate to your Property Manager before you use it. Again, you can contact your Property Manager at Alexander & Co for any advice on this.
Every property has an EPC, which indicates just how energy efficient your property is. This takes into account your house’s insulation, but as the weather turns colder, it’s worth checking on insulation yourself: are your windows and doors sealed properly, or can you feel a draught coming through them? Do you need to get draught excludes for your letter or mail box? Checking these could save you valuable heat and money during the winter months.
With colder temperatures definitely headed our way, it’s important to make sure you keep water running throughout the property during the cold weather. Start by checking now if the pipes are clear and without blockages; that the stopcock is working; and that your pipes are insulated, to help prevent them freezing.
Outside the Property
Autumn is a great time to thoroughly check your property’s exterior. Once the leaves start falling from the trees, they inevitably end up clogging the gutters, so take the time to check that your guttering is in good order – not cracked or blocked – and are properly fixed to the property. If you have any guttering issues, please contact your Alexander & Co Property Manager, who can arrange for this to be fixed by one of our professional contractors.
Whilst checking your gutters, take the time to check the paintwork of the property, too. Peeling paint can be caused by moisture getting into the property, and it’s worth checking that vents are not obstructed, too.
Whilst you’re outside, give your garden some maintenance ahead of winter. We all know nothing really grows in the colder months, but it’ll be worth giving the grass one last cut, any bushes or shrubs a trim and raking up any leaves. Autumn is the ideal time for planting, too, so if there are any flowers, shrubs or trees you want to plant – with your landlord’s permission – then now is the ideal time to do so.
If you have any outdoor furniture you’ve used throughout the summer, why not put it into storage so it doesn’t get damaged over the harsh winter months.
We’re Here to Help
If you’ve done all your checks and have any concerns, then do let us know. We’re always on hand to help, and our Property Management team can get repair work arranged quickly and efficiently if necessary.
You can also report any maintenance issues through our website at any time: