Check your roof:
To avoid winter leaks, get an expert to check for broken, missing or slipped tiles. One of the most common sources of leaks, are ridge tiles that have come apart, allowing water to seep through. Another key place a specialist will look at is the flashing round chimney stacks, as they can lift up or tear and expose the joint to the elements.
Don’t go clambering around on your own roof!
Roofers use specialist equipment including purpose-built ladders, and scaffolding. Given that you can’t do a proper roof inspection from the ground, it is much more sensible and safer to let insured and highly trained experts get up there and give you their informed opinion.
Chimneys and Fireplaces
Book in your seasonal chimney sweeping nice and early – qualified sweeps get busy very quickly at this time of year!
Buy your wood from a reputable seller:
The increasing popularity of wood burners means that there’s plenty of opportunity for unscrupulous log sellers to try and offload poor quality fuel. Burning damp wood can create a tar that sticks to the flue, potentially causing a blockage and putting you at risk of a chimney fire.
Buy a moisture meter (less than £20) and check the moisture content in your logs before you use them; if it’s over 20%, they need to dry out. A reputable log supplier will only sell properly seasoned wood.
Boilers and Heating
Keep your boiler ticking over:
When the weather is cold, it’s a good idea to heat your home for one hour every day, even when you’re away.
When you let your home get cold during the day, your boiler has to work extremely hard to get it back up to a comfortable temperature, and may end up over compensating and using more energy. The tendency is to get frustrated with a cold house and crank up the heating. You could be better off keeping the thermostat at 17-19 degrees and maintaining a warm house throughout the whole day. To find out whether this works best for your home, it’s easy to run a test and measure usage.
Where is Your Stopcock?
If the water in your pipes freezes, pressure can build up behind the blockage and cause them to burst. Although that’s rare, it’s important to know where your stop cock is so you can shut off the mains in an emergency (it’s normally under your sink). Look for a tap or a lever on your copper pipes and turn it clockwise to switch it off. If your pipes do freeze, locate the frozen pipe and apply heat to melt the blockage – a hair dryer or hot water bottle works best.
Leave the Cold Outside!
If you’re feeling the chill from draughts in your home, sealing them is a quick and simple way to stay warm and save money. Good places to check for draughts are around the edges of your window frames, the gaps under your doors, and around your letterbox. Draught excluders are available online for a few pounds which will help with the doors. You could even make one yourself if you’re feeling creative. For windows and other small gaps, just seal the openings and keep the cold out this winter.
London Damp Proofing Company are here to help with free impartial advice and fully insured and qualified teams. Call us for a friendly, no obligation chat.