Checkatrade is highlighting the dangers of poor winter home maintenance, as new research reveals 1 in 5 homeowners are at risk of gas poisoning as they shun the £80 cost of an annual boiler service.
However, boilers are not the only home feature being neglected this winter. In fact, almost a third (30%) of people donít check their homeís pipes for leaks exposing themselves to potential freezes these winter months. Meanwhile, 27% of homeowners also never get their chimney swept or roof maintained (23%) with over a quarter (27%) also ignoring cold draughts by never checking their window and door seals.
With many homeowners in danger of boiler issues, mould, and blocked gutters this winter, Checkatrade has created seven key checks for people to undertake to not only prevent cold weather damage but also reduce the chance of potentially costly issues further down the line:
1. Have your boiler and heating system serviced
Heating engineers recommend an annual boiler service to minimise the risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning, to prevent breakdowns, keep running costs reasonable and validate manufacturer warranties. Furthermore, to avoid frozen or burst pipes, condensation, or mould this winter, itís advised to keep the heating on for at least an hour a day in the cooler months too. Checkatrade encourages homeowners to get their boiler serviced before the temperature really drops to ensure people are not caught short without heating or hot water during a cold spell. ✅
2. Check your radiators
When getting a boiler service and overall heating checked, itís also a good opportunity to have any radiators looked over as well. Air in the pipes can affect the temperature output and if air pockets are found, itís a simple fix that can make a massive difference to the effectiveness of a homeís heating system. Checkatrade advises homeowners to turn the heating system on full and feel each radiator for any cold spots. If there are cold spots, then use a radiator key to open the air valve on the side to release the air. ✅
3. Check your insulation
Not only does insulation keep you extra warm but to avoid condensation build-up, leaks, damage and structural issues, homeowners should check the insulation in their lofts, walls and floor. Itís important to have the right insulation to improve the heat efficiency within a home. ✅
4. Tackle cold draughts
Try weatherstripping tape on windows and doors to reduce any draughts. In older homes, itís a good idea to also fill any gaps in the floorboards. For a permanent fix, consider new flooring and even underfloor heating.
Homeowners can even use a weatherproof sealant such as this one to repair any peeling or cracks in the seals around windows and doors. ✅
5. Clear your guttering
Ensuring your water can flow freely and doesnít strain or break any gutters is essential during the winter months. Clearing dead leaves, moss, and debris from the previous seasons can often fall at the bottom of homeowners Ďto-do lists so itís important to tackle gutters before winter sets in to avoid damp and rotting. ✅
6. Roof and chimney inspections
The chimney is one of the most neglected items in our home. Be sure to keep an eye out for debris, cracked tiles and leaning chimney breasts not only in the run-up to winter but throughout the year. ✅
7. Donít forget your garden pots
For green-fingered homeowners, the cold weather can do a lot of damage to your plants. Checkatrade suggests using horticulture fleece to wrap the perennials that are too big to bring inside as it stops them from freezing or dying off when temperatures drop. ✅
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