In the UK, we don’t often get extreme weather but, when we do, we can often be unprepared for the damage that storms, heavy snow and ice can cause to our properties.
Your buy-to-let is a significant investment, and one that should be protected. Although preventative measures may seem costly and time consuming, repairing any damage could be far more expensive – so some simple checks could save you both time and money in the long run.
With the winter well and truly on its way, here’s a breakdown of what you should be preparing for now, plus some handy downloadable tenant fact sheets, in order to make sure your property’s still in one piece when spring arrives.
- Check for any broken or weak branches
- Check trunk isn't rotten or in danger of toppling
- Prune smaller branches well to allow wind to pass through
- Check fence panels are in good condition and replace any loose fixings
- Make sure posts are securely fixed in the ground, replacing any that are rotten
Garden furniture and pots
- Weight down any of your own garden furniture or ask tenants to move them into a garage or shed if possible
- Move pots and hanging baskets indoors too, as strong winds could pick them up
- Check for loose or broken tiles and secure where necessary
- If you can, go into the loft and check you can’t see any daylight through the roof
Windows & doors
- Make sure locks are secure and operational
- Make sure there are no leaks or draughts, as these will get much worse with driving rain
Gutters & drains
Check there are no cracks or holes in the gutter and drainpipes, these could cause water to overflow down the wall and create damp inside
Ensure blockages are cleared – both from gutters and drainpipes, and drains on the ground
Ice & snow
- Ensure internal pipes (and those leading to the outdoor tap) are insulated with lagging
- Make sure tenants have their heating on at least once a day, to keep pipes from freezing , and show them where the stop cock is – just in case
- Likewise, if the property’s unoccupied, make sure you’ve got the heating on too, this can be easy to forget and can lead to damage
- Make sure your roof is properly insulated. This will help to prevent snow melting into the gutters and refreezing – causing damage due to its weight
- Make sure there are no holes, cracks or damage to the mortar or brickwork, as this could let water in – which will then expand when frozen, causing damage to the property
Depending on which art of the UK you live in, you may see worse weather than the rest of us come winter (we’re looking at you, Scotland!), so you may want to consider some more specialist products to really protect your home. B&Q does a great range in flood prevention kit while Heat Mat Ice and Snow Protection offers a whole host of products such as snow guards and roof protectors.