Now that the winter is approaching and the weather is getting cooler, it is time to start thinking about preparing your property for winter, especially if you are trying to sell or secure a tenant. Whether your property is occupied or empty, there are a number of steps you can take to get prepare for winter and the colder weather to come.
Most of us are turning to our thermostat at this time of year to crank up the heating. Your heating system is also one of the first things you should check for the impending winter.
If you have not had your boiler serviced, now would be a good time to do so. As well as the fact that your boiler is likely to perform better if it has been serviced, servicing also gives you the opportunity to put right any small issues before they become big issues.
Tip – Don’t wait for the weather to get really cold and risk a boiler breakdown.
If you have an oil-fired or Calor Gas central heating system, remember to check your fuel levels. Running out of oil does not generally do your boiler any good and you will often need an engineer to get it running again once your supply is restored. Another good reason not to run dry is that most oil suppliers charge a premium price for a quick delivery and prices are already pretty high at this time of year.
Make sure that you have carbon monoxide alarms wherever you have a gas or solid fuel appliance and test it to make sure it is working.
If your property is empty, set the timer to make sure the heating comes on a couple of times a day. This is important if you are trying to sell or let a property to stop it from feeling too cold when people view. It will also guard against to frozen pipes. At this time of year, a cold snap can arrive at fairly short notice so it is best not to get caught out by being unprepared.
If you have not yet done so – getting chimneys and flues swept should be done before you start using wood-burners and open fires.
As mentioned above, keeping heating ticking over can help to avoid frozen and burst pipes. It is also a good idea to make sure any exposed pipework is lagged and pipes in loft spaces/garages etc. are insulated to combat the cold.
Tip – Make sure you know where your stopcock is located so that you can react quickly to a problem if necessary.
Gardens are usually looking pretty bedraggled at this time of year and not very inspiring. It is important to do what you can though to make your garden look as good as it can now. Cut back dead perennials and annual plants, rake up fallen leaves and give the grass a final cut. Adding mulch to weeded flower beds can help to make everything look a bit nicer in winter, ideal if you are marketing your property. Mulch will also help to supress weed growth come spring and protect the crowns of more delicate perennial plants so it’s a win-win.
This time of year can be a good time to prune trees and shrubs as you get a better sense of the shape with a bare plant. It can also be a good time to plant (provided the soil is not too wet) to give roots a chance to establish and develop over winter.
More generally, check the outside of your property for maintenance requirements to keep everything in good order. Clean out gutters and make sure your downpipes are not blocked, pressure wash or clean patios and terraces to help to make them less slippery in wet weather. Check your outside lights are working and replace bulbs if necessary. Peeling paint and poorly maintained coatings on woodwork should be addressed to stop moisture getting in over winter.
The New Year is generally a busy time for the property market. Once Christmas is out of the way people turn their attention once again to looking at property. Spending some time getting your property ready for winter will ensure your property is at its best for renewed interest in the new year. If you are thinking about selling in the New Year – get in touch now for a free property marketing consultation.