Winter can be tough on your property, with extra rain, dampness, close-to-freezing temperatures, and wind. A little bit of preventative maintenance can go a long way towards making sure your home stays in good shape throughout our coldest, wettest season. Here’s a list of things to keep an eye on.
Dampness causes mould and mildew, which are not only bad for your walls and furnishings but also your health. Homes are naturally damper during winter because we keep our doors and windows closed, trapping moist air inside.
Easy things you can do to eliminate dampness include wiping down streaming windows in the morning, opening windows during the warmest part of the day, not drying laundry indoors, and checking your property for cracks or leaks. More comprehensive solutions include running dehumidifiers or installing a ventilation system, extraction fans, double-glazing, or extra insulation.
If you notice an area of mould larger than a sheet of A4 paper, get a professional to find out where it’s coming from and what kind of mould it is, as it could be a health hazard.
Before you fire up your heating system for winter, it’s advisable to ensure it’s clean and in good working order. You should vacuum your heat pump filters regularly, but it’s also helpful to get a technician to periodically give each unit a thorough clean. Boiler and gas systems should be professionally maintained at regular intervals. If you have a fireplace, get your chimney swept each autumn to reduce the fire risk. Chimney blockages can also force smoke into your living space which will leave soot on your walls, ceiling, and furniture.
Pipes and gutters
The last thing you need during winter is water where it shouldn’t be. A thorough gutter clean will remove summer dust and autumn leaves and reduce the likelihood of water overflowing into your roof space. If you have exposed water pipes in any area that is likely to drop below freezing, it’s a good idea to insulate them. Water expands as it freezes and will cause pipes to burst, then leak when the ice thaws.
Trees and shrubs
A good pre-winter garden tidy-up offers many benefits. Pruning back branches close to the house will help let more light into your windows, making rooms brighter and warmer. It will also reduce the chance of storm-swept tree limbs damaging electrical wires, guttering, or roofing. Trimming away any dense shrubbery close to the house will improve airflow and reduce dampness around the building.
Cast a careful eye over your roof to see if you have any cracked or broken tiles, rusty patches, or loose screws holding down the steel panels. You want to make sure that winter storms won’t lift any of your roofing or drive rain into your attic space.
When daylight saving ends, it’s a good reminder to check your smoke alarm batteries by briefly pressing the test button. Ensure you have an alarm in each living area, bedroom, and hallway and that they are installed correctly.
If you’re worried about dampness, leaks, or the condition of the roof on your Auckland home or investment property, give us a call. We can perform a comprehensive inspection, including a non-invasive moisture test, to give you peace of mind and alert you to small issues before they become big problems.