When we think about property damage caused by the elements, the focus is usually on the colder, stormier months of the year. But with climate change bringing longer, hotter summers, we thought we’d highlight some of the problems that high temperatures and humid air can cause in buildings.
Where better to start than at the top? Fully exposed to the blazing sun and often the first to suffer damage during a sudden summer storm, your roof can bear the brunt of warmer weather. Outside, extremes in temperature can cause some tiles to crack and degrade over time. Inside, the combination of heat and humidity can cause serious issues if your loft ventilation isn’t adequate, causing mould to grow or supports to rot, for example. This time of year is a good time to give your loft space a once over and do an external check of the roof. It’s also sensible to clear out the gutters and check your downpipes and drains too – a big summer storm can drop a lot of rain in a very short time.
We tend to think of checking pipes as something that needs doing just before the cold weather sets in, but pipes need a bit of TLC in the summer too. In warmer weather we tend to use much more water, especially in the garden, which put more pressure on the system. So, it’s important to make sure there aren’t any leaky seals that are going to turn into a watery disaster. Also keep an eye out for any signs of water leaks around the exterior of your property. Very dry spells can cause the earth around water pipes to dry out and shrink, which in turn can cause pipes to move out of alignment or crack.
Wood expands and contracts depending on the weather, so extreme cold, damp or heat can have an effect on the wooden structures, furniture and flooring in your home. Summer humidity can cause wood to swell, so try and keep your home as well ventilated as possible. Get the windows open when you can, especially during warm, dry spells. It also helps to ensure that any wood in your property has been properly treated to help it withstand damage from the elements. The more damp you can keep out, the less likely your wood is to warp or rot.
As mentioned in the section on pipes, hot dry weather can dry out and shrink the soil around your property, causing any structures sitting on it to shift. Any large plants that are in close proximity to the property will leach even more water from the soil. This subsidence is something you really want to avoid. Tell-tale signs are cracks in the exterior and interior walls, often close to windows and doors. Keeping the soil around your building watered during hot spells and making sure you don’t plant anything with large root systems, like trees, too close to your building can help you avoid costly (and sometimes incurable) subsidence problems.
Avoid property damage with planned maintenance
A sensible regular maintenance schedule should help you avoid much of the hot weather property damage that can occur in your residential or commercial premises. If you need professional help to keep on top of things and reduce the risk of costly emergency repairs, talk to us. We’ve been helping our customers maintain their buildings for over 30 years and have a team of multi-skilled, in house engineers available 24/7. Just call our Groom Property Maintenance team on 01269 841416 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.