While we might not get quite as much snow and ice as other parts of the world, a sudden cold snap can be potentially damaging to you property if you’re not ready for it. Ice and snow can cause problems, especially if they stick around for any length of time. So, if you manage a building and want to reduce the risk of winter damage, here are a few things to check.
Are your pipes insulated? Frozen pipes can cause a huge amount of damage so are to be avoided at all costs. Burst pipes occur because water expands when it freezes, which can break the pipe’s structure or blow joints. And when the water thaws it can turn into a pretty big mess. So, make sure your heating systems are left to tick over at a reasonable temperature and check that your interior pipework is in proper working order and well-insulated.
Is your roof in good shape? A build-up of snow or ice is heavier than you might think. Add it to a roof with structural problems and you could have a collapse on your hands. A heavy build up could also pose a health and safety risk to passers-by, other structures or vehicles if it should suddenly slide off. Any buckling or creaking could signal that you need to call the professionals in as soon as possible. Also check for gaps, cracks or loose tiles where snow or water could work their way inside. A loft full of snow or ice is not good – a loft full of melting snow or ice is worse.
Are there overhanging trees? Branches falling onto your roof or the areas surrounding your building are always a hazard if they overhang, but when they’re covered in heavy layers of snow or ice, the risk is even greater. So ensure branches that could present a problem are trimmed back in good time.
Are your outdoor surfaces in good repair? Cracks in concrete or walls, loose paving or potholes present a hazard at the best of times, but cold weather can make things worse. Again, the swelling and contraction of water when it freezes, then thaws, can widen gaps and further degrade surfaces. A good contractor will get things sorted out before the problem gets bigger.
Is your guttering ice-bound? Water and debris can freeze in the gutters and any ice that comes sliding down from the roof can cause ice dams that block any thawing water from escaping through the external pipework. Obviously, this can cause melt water to seep into places you don’t want it to, so make sure any icy build up is cleared straight away.
Winter property maintenance
If you need the help of reliable, professional property maintenance and repair contractors, give us a call. Our multi-skilled team provide both scheduled and reactive maintenance services to clients across the M4 region, from West Wales to London and the Southeast. To chat, ring the Groom Property Maintenance help desk on 01269 841416 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.