Thu 25 Nov 2021
Cold crisp morning, seeing your breath, colourful leaves. All things that Autumn/Winter brings with it. It’s also a great time to check for any hidden problems in your home. Landlords will be responsible for making sure legal checks are done on their property. However, there are maintenance tasks you can do as a tenant to keep your home safe and warm this winter.
What is ‘Winter Maintenance’?
A list of jobs performed yearly that you should do around September. It will help make sure there are no underlying problems that could result in something more sinister.
There are a few simple checks that you can and should do, so you can report any more serious maintenance issues to your landlord or managing letting agent.
Check for early signs
Catching a problem early can make a difference to the cost of the solution. This will be something a good landlord will be thankful for. Check for damp patches, signs of dried up water, and draughts. These can be signs of problems that if left could become problematic and costly.
Clean and check your windows
Go round each room and clean the windows and frames. Pay particularly close attention to the seals and trim of the window. Can you feel any air getting through that you wouldn’t expect to feel? The window may need to be repaired or replaced if there are visible signs of deterioration. Cleaning the windows helps to get rid of dust and debris that can cause mould build-up will help extend the life of the windows.
Look in your loft
Check the loft space for obvious signs of damage. Look for gaps or daylight coming through. Unless the roof is made of glass or you have skylights, you shouldn’t expect to see any daylight from inside your roof space. Check around the edges of the loft. Sometimes if there are gaps, animals (mainly birds) and some insects like bees or wasps can set up home. Check for signs of life. Contact your landlord or letting agent if you find anything concerning.
Check the heating
Before the cold weather gets going, turn on the heating and make sure it works. Go round feeling each of the radiators. Make sure they are consistently warm all over. If not they may need bleeding or there could be a more serious issue. Notify your landlord of any issues you have.
Clean your gutters and fascias
Over the year, especially after leaves have fallen in autumn, guttering and pipes can become blocked. It’s important that these are cleaned out. If they are left, water can sit in them and either overflow or cause sagging. Blocked drains will not allow for proper draining and thus you could have sitting water or even flooding. Some window cleaners do offer this service too, which saves you a job.
Examine the brickwork
A quick look at the integrity of the bricks or blocks and joints can tell you a lot about the condition of the property. Missing or damaged pointing can result in damp patches inside. If you notice some major patches of pointing that are cracked or missing report this to your landlord. This can become much more of a problem when frosts begin, with frozen damp patches causing further deterioration to brick.
The big why
Performing yearly checks can help not just your landlord. You can also cut bills by making sure things like insulation and window seals are intact and working properly. The less heat that is allowed to escape the less time your heating has to stay on for. This in itself is a big reason yearly checks are beneficial.
Completing these winter maintenance checks will help foster a good relationship with your landlord. You will highlight yourself as a good tenant and will have more of a mutually beneficial relationship when it comes to problems.