Property Management Guide: Winter Tips
November 6, 2014
As the mercury begins to drop, signalling the start of Winter proper, it’s a perfect opportunity to remind renters that the cold weather can cause all manner of issues in your home, especially if no action is taken to counter the effects of the adverse weather.
To provide a lending hand the Young London Property Management team put our heads together and came up with some top tips that can help renters protect their home as the cold winter months close in.
Bleed The Radiators
If you haven’t used the radiators over the summer then now’s a good time to bleed them so as to release any trapped air. A good way to test for this is to see if the radiator is noticeably colder at the top than the bottom.
Thankfully it’s a relatively straightforward job as all you need is the key and a towel. If in doubt there are plenty of videos on YouTube.
During the winter months frozen pipes are a common problem, especially when it gets extremely cold. Thankfully, there are ways that it can be prevented.
A good idea is to keep your heating on throughout at the day at a low temperature, this should keep your home at a constant temperature at all times and help minimise the risk of water pipes freezing and bursting.
It’s also a good idea to leave the cupboard door under the sink open (from time to time) as this will give the warm air a chance to move around the pipes.
Remember: If you have a dripping tap it’s best to keep the plug in the sink to prevent water from building up in the waste pipes and freezing.
Condensation can be a problem at this time of year, when warm moist air comes into contact with either a cold surface or cold air. It can be a problem if you have warm rooms where the air may be circulated into colder areas.
The following points are handy to remember as they will help prevent condensation from appearing:
- Keep your heating on low during the day, this allows the home to stay at a constant temperature.
- Use your curtains as insulation. They can prevent heat loss at night when closed and can help warm cold rooms when left open on a sunny day.
- Keep the doors open from rooms which receive a lot of sunlight during the day as this will help the warm air to circulate around the home.
- Ensure that furniture is not kept hard against walls and radiators.
- Particularly in colder weather, when we may be more inclined to keep all our doors and windows firmly closed, it is still important to ensure that there is suitable ventilation in the property to help minimise condensation build up around the windows/walls. Therefore, it is best to have windows open slightly, have heaters on and ensure damp washing is not left to dry inside without ventilation.
A few other tips to keep in mind to help counteract condensation:
- If possible keep the kitchen door closed if you are cooking as well as the extractor fan on for about half an hour after you have finished.
- If you’re having a bath keep the door closed and use an extractor fan, if one is available.
- If you notice any condensation just wipe it away and keep an eye on the area to make sure it doesn’t reappear.
A lot of agents close over the Christmas period so you will need make sure that you their emergency/out of hours contact details. If your landlord looks after your property make sure to check to see if they’re going to be available, and if not try to figure out a contingency plan should something go awry.
Also, if you’re going to be away for over 2 weeks please ensure that you let your Property Manager or landlord know so that they can visit the property to make sure nothing untoward has happened.
Other Winter Top Tips
Some more pointers that will be useful during the colder winter months:
- Vacuum away any dust build up around extractor fans to keep them clean and working efficiently.
- If it snows or rains a lot then it’s a good idea to get a doormat with a rough texture to remove mud and gunk from shoes before it gets traipsed around the property house.
- If your property has gutters and drains remember to clear them of leaves and debris as overflowing gutters can cause serious damage to the walls
Hopefully these tips will help you avoid any winter weather problems.