With winter setting in, the risk of damage to your home is always higher than during other, more clement seasons. Severe weather can cause problems, both seen and unseen, for your property. These, in turn, can cause problems for you.
Selling your home is a hard enough task as it is. Selling a damaged home is even more difficult. Whether it is visibly cracked tiles or a hidden leaky pipe unveiled during the conveyancing, winter's effects can see your home's value significantly decrease - or, worse, your potential buyer disappear altogether. Insurance claims can also prove expensive, adding to the financial strain during the costly process of marketing your home.
As the wind rises and the temperature plummets, HomeGoFast provides you with seven simple steps to take this year and winter-proof your property.
1. Check your pipes
Frozen pipes are bad news, especially if the home you are trying to sell is empty. Unattended, they can burst and flood the property, causing even more damage to the rest of the building and its belongings. Be sure to check your pipes before the winter sets in. If everything is fine, make sure you at least know where your stopcock is so that it is easy to turn off the water supply, just in the event of an emergency.
2. Watch out for damp
Keep an eye out for damp, whether it is in your bathroom walls or by your kitchen pipes. During the colder months, when condensation levels are high on the inside of your heated home, damp can spread or be easily overlooked. One spotted, treat it: dry the area, install a dehumidifier or a vent. Whatever you do, do not just paint over it.
3. Clear your gutters / drains
Leaves are famous for bringing the UK rail network to a halt, but one area where they really can cause delays is in your gutters. Leaves can block them, leaving them overflowng (unpleasant) or even cracking (more unpleasant). The same can happen to your drains, be it from leaves or other debris. Ignore that and the smell - and mess - is the most unpleasant thing of all.
4. Replace missing tiles
The damp we mentioned earlier? Missing roof tiles can provide the ideal entry point into your home for it. With storms and strong winds common during the winter months, do not be caught out.
5. Turn on the heating
If in doubt, turn on the heating. If you are preparing to show a buyer around your property, this will already be one to make it as welcoming as possible - but this is especially true for any empty home, which can avoid frozen pipes just by having the central heating left on low.
6. Insulate, insulate, insulate
Leaving your heating only adds to your winter energy bills, which you can keep down by insulating your walls and loft for warmth and efficiency.
7. Service your boiler
Your heating and hot water will not work if your boiler is broken. Consider hiring a professional to service your boiler every year or two.
Now your home is in a good condition for the cold months, read our home selling tips to help find a buyer. href="http:>
Photo: Lauren Finkel Photography