As winter approaches, it is important that you make sure your home can stand up to strong winds and rain. If you are vigilant for potential problems, you could prevent serious damage to your home, not to mention costly repair bills. Here are a few easy steps you can take to check your exterior is ready to face the elements.
- Guttering and downpipes – these carry rainwater away from your home. Clear your guttering and downpipes, particularly during and after autumn, to get rid of leaves and debris. Check for corrosion, leaks, cracks and missing screws.
- Hoppers – the reservoirs that connect to your downpipes – should be checked for debris and cleared frequently to prevent flooding.
- Boiler flues – check that the flue is unobstructed. A blocked flue will mean that carbon monoxide from your boiler could go back into your home.
- Air Bricks – allow your home to breathe. Make sure they are clear of debris.
- Roof tiles and slates should be in good position. Check that none are cracked or damaged, and that none have slipped out of position.
- Ridge tiles– check that none are cracked or damaged, and that the mortar is in good condition. If they have, get them repaired asap by a reliable roofer.
- Flashing should be intact and sit tight to the tiles – if it looks damaged, or doesn’t sit tight to the tiles, get it fixed.
- Windows should be treated and protected to ensure they are watertight.
- Check Trees close to your house – if the roots grow too close, they can cause subsidence. Get a tree surgeon to remove any loose or dead branches, to prevent damage during heavy winds.
- Fascias should be in good condition – check them for cracks, splits and decay.
- Check that your chimney is clear (you should have it swept at least once a year, anyway), and that the pointing and flashing are sound.
- Satellite dishes and aerials should be checked to make sure they are well secured to the exterior, in the event of storms.
If you notice that your exterior is looking a little tired – if the cracks are starting to show, it is best to get it fixed sooner rather than later. Small cracks need a small rendering job; large cracks can lead to damp and structural damage.
Don’t be afraid to ask a local trader to come and take a look at your property and quote for any repairs that may need doing. From fixing a roof to clearing guttering, you are better off paying someone to do it properly, and safely, than having a go and putting yourself and your property at risk.