Every year, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) promote ‘Maintenance Week’. It’s a valuable and timely campaign and I always think it’s an opportunity to remind people who look after buildings of the simple, achievable steps they can take to help ease some avoidable expense.
As the evenings draw in and we head into the winter months, here are a few tips as to what to look out for to ensure your buildings are protected:
Check and look for missing tiles, any cracks or holes, pooling water on flat roofs, or sign of damage to ceilings inside your premises. The last thing you want is for simple minor repairs to escalate over the winter costing you even more expense.
Autumn means falling leaves, which can clog gutters and cause considerable damage if rainwater unexpectantly enters the property. Reduce the risk of this happening by clearing all debris from gutters and drains. Also stay proactive during the winter months, reviewing them regularly, especially as snow falls and the potential for freezing water in poorly functioning gutters.
Refer to our previous article here regarding the perils of snow and ice.
Check all other remaining external elements which may be letting in moisture i.e faulty masonry, poor pointing, defective timbers to doors and windows etc. Sometimes a simple review now can save considerable expense later.
With the rising costs of heating bills in the UK, you must ensure your heating systems are working as efficiently as possible. Its critical that boilers and Air Source Heat Pumps are serviced, chimneys swept and solar pv panels are cleaned.
Its even more essential if you have vacant buildings. The increased cost of heating buildings has made everyone review how often they turn their boiler on. However it could be false economy by completely switching your heating off.
Check details with your insurers in case they have particular clauses regarding inspecting and heating unoccupied properties.
Also remember, any plumbing that runs through unheated spaces is at higher risk of freezing and bursting. Ensure you take this into consideration when preparing for the colder weather.
Although winter is inevitable, these few simple checks and some planned preventive maintenance can help lessen the need for large-scale, costly work further down the line.
If you don’t feel confident inspecting your own buildings, talk to us. We regularly carry out inspections and advise property owners for ongoing maintenance not only for the forthcoming year, but over the next 5 – 10 years so owners can properly budget and plan their likely expenditure. There are also advantages of planning ahead to take into future legislation changes such as Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, which are due to apply to all poorly performing non-energy efficient buildings which are currently let.
To check your property is sound and weathertight or to coordinate a regular maintenance plan then please call Robert Franklin.Back to articles