Don't let the cold get the better of you this winter. Michael McGrath from our repairs and maintenance team suggests some handy tips to help prepare your home for whatever winter throws at us.
Check rainwater gullies are free from leaves and rubbish
A quick check to make sure rainwater gullies aren't blocked could prevent a nasty accident. Gullies are found at the bottom of pipes that take rainwater from your gutter on your roof down into the drain. If they become blocked, water will oveflow and can make paths slippery and dangerous once they freeze.
Turn off the incoming water supply if you go away
Heading off to see friends and family for the holidays? It's a good idea to turn off your water at the stop tap before you go to help avoid a flood if a pipe bursts. Your stop tap is probably under the kitchen sink and needs to be turned clockwise to be closed. Give us a call if you have any problems finding it.
Our maintenance team have a little rhyme they use to remember which way to turn the stop tap: 'Righty tighty, lefty loosey'
Plumber's handy hint!
Never leave a leak
Always investigate the cause of leaking water. Our team is on hand to help. The faster we know about a problem, the faster we can get it fixed and less damage it will cause.
Keep electric keys topped up and solid fuel stocked up
Make sure you don't run out of energy when it really matters. keep your pre-payment solutions topped up and solid fuels stocked up so you're ready when the frost really bites.
Banish condensation for good
Condensation and the mould it creates are a winter bugbear for most of us - no matter how old our house.
What is condensation anyway?
Condensation is caused when warm, moist air hits a cold surface, such as a window, and condenses, running down the cold surface as water droplets. if left this can turn into black mould, which looks and smells unpleasant.
Cooking, drying clothes indoors, bathing and even breathing adds to the moisture in the air.
So how can you avoid it?
This is the million dollar question every winter for our repairs and maintenance team
Stop it in its tracks
Wipe down surfaces where moisture settles, for example on windows and sills
Cover boiling pans when cooking
Dry clothes outside if possible
If you have to dry clothes inside try to:
Use a small room with the doors closed and windows open
Time your laundry so you can hang things to dry during the day to make the most of the sun's warmth
Make the most of your clothes horse by hanging nice shirts and blouses on coat hangers off the rack. That way they'll dry with fewer creases, you'll get more items on the drier and you'll be able to pop them straight in the wardrobe.
Consider investing in a heated airer or dehumidifier. Heater airers are much cheaper than a tumble drier, gentler on your clothes and cost pennies an hour to run. Dehumidifiers not only tackle condensations but also speed up drying times for your washing.
Let your home breathe
Nobody likes draughts but some ventilation is vital. Open windows for a while each day or use the trickle/night vents
Use the extractor fans in your kitchen and bathroom
Don't block permanent ventilators or chimney openings.
Stop steam travel
When cooking, bathing or washing, close the kitchen and bathroom doors to prevent steam going into colder rooms.
Keep your home warm
Maintain a low constant heat when the weather is cold or wet. This is more effective than short bursts of high heat and needn't mean increased heating costs. Your thermostat should ideally be sat between 18 and 21 degrees.