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10 Dec 2015

Is your house ready for winter?

Author: Antony Gibson

Winter WonderlandAs the cold and wintry months are drawing in, it is important to check that your house is ready for the frosty nights ahead - especially if your house is on the market.

First impressions mean a lot, and nothing is more likely to dampen these impressions for prospective buyers or tenants than walking into a freezing home coupled with a leaky radiator or draughty rooms.

You need to make sure your property is at its best if you want it to sell quickly and for a good price, so take the time to fix even the minor problems before water gets in and you find yourself paying a hefty price to fix something you could have prevented.

To start with you should take the time to look around your house - both the interior and exterior of the property – and analyse what you see as though you’re a visitor.

A cold home is an unhappy home

Although you want to avoid unnecessary heating bills, as soon as the colder weather hits you need to check that you’re heating is working efficiently in order to avoid any unexpected call-outs for plumbers or gas engineers that might affect your property’s viewings.

It’s always a good idea to have the heating on if you are expecting a viewing, as alongside untidy properties, cold and unwelcoming ones tend to take longer to sell or let as they affect those first impressions mentioned earlier!

Check your chimney

Call out a chimney sweep if you regularly use a wood burning fireplace as you could be at risk of a chimney fire. As the gases cool and condense, they build up in your chimney and become hazardous. Chimney sweeps are highly sought-after at this time of year so book one in ASAP and ensure your chimney is safe to use.

Fix dripping taps

It's vital to sort out any drips because they can freeze up before the water drains away and cause pipes to burst completely. Make sure you know where the tap is to turn off your water supply too; just in case your pipes do burst.

Clean the gutters

Before the cold well and truly takes hold make sure you clear your gutters, and make sure there are no leaves that could cause blocks and overflows. This isn’t the best job to do but it will always be a necessary one; perhaps consider investing in gutter leaf guards to help prevent your gutters becoming blocked in future.

Emergency contacts

Put together an up to date list of useful numbers for your plumber, electrician and gas installer so should any problems arise, you will be prepared all year round.

The association of Independent Industry Clerks (AIIC) are also advising you to check your property is safe from potential fire or water damage. This can be helped by double checking your smoke alarms are working and keeping heating on a low setting if you're going away.

There are many more ways you can prepare and protect your house, such as; adding insulation, protecting pipes from freezing with foam tubes or investing in more energy efficient boilers.

Consider everything you could do to your home to ensure it is the safest and most efficient it can be in order to have a happy home and a swift sale or let.

For more information read Aviva’s guide on preparing your home for extreme weather or Sainsbury’s Bank’s guide on protecting your home against adverse weather.

Thinking about selling or letting your property this winter? Request an accurate property valuation or rental valuation from the team of expert agents at your local Romans branch.

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