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How to protect your Tooting property from winter weather

How to protect your Tooting property from winter weather

In this month’s guest blog, the team at Marsh & Parsons Tooting look into preventing your property getting damaged by colder weather.

In London we’ve had a reasonably mild winter so far – but we all know that can change in an instant! The onset of cold weather comes with some risk to your property, whether that’s in the shape of a frozen pipe, a broken boiler, a power cut or more. To help you keep your property in shape this winter, we’ve had a look at five of the most common cold weather-induced situations and how to handle them.
 

Frozen pipes

A situation to try and avoid over winter.
 

If there’s a relatively sustained drop in temperature (the Beast from the East being a perfect example), then there’s a chance that your pipes could freeze. The risk with this situation is that the frozen water will expand and cause the pipe to crack, which in turn will lead to a leak once the temperature rises.

You’ll therefore want to keep your home as warm as possible. Even if you prefer to keep the heating off, make sure to have it on for at least twenty minutes every other day. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to let warm air in and make sure that there aren’t any new or existing draughts affecting the temperature. If the property’s going to be empty at any point over the next few months, turn off the supply to the water pipes if you’re able to.

If a cold snap does occur and your taps stop working, or you can see frost on the pipe, hear bubbling or whistling noises or smell bad or strange odours, then it may be frozen. If you can identify the frozen section, turn off the water supply, open the taps and gently heat it with a hairdryer or heating pads. If you can’t work out where the frozen part is, it’s best to call a professional plumber.

Hopefully these tips should help you prevent your pipes from bursting, but if the worst does happen then call an emergency plumber as soon as possible. While you’re waiting for them to come, turn off the water supply and electricity, and move as much as your furniture out of the way to minimise water damage.
 

Broken Boiler

If September onwards was too hectic for you to think about getting your boiler inspected, now’s the time to get it sorted to prevent any breakdowns. Speaking of heating, regularly bleeding your radiators will ensure they’re working efficiently – keeping you warm and saving your money. If any of them have any cold patches, aren’t warming up quickly, or you can hear gurgling sounds, it’s time to bleed them.
 

Condensation

Keeping your rooms well ventilated will prevent condensation on the walls.
 

Keeping your windows open mid-winter isn’t the most appealing prospect, but it’s vital to do this occasionally to prevent condensation. Condensation occurs when a hot room isn’t ventilated: when warm air meets a cooler surface, it will release some moisture which in turn can cause damp patches. If you have rooms without windows, check that dust isn’t blocking your extractor fans and stopping them from working (this is particularly important for kitchens and bathrooms which tend to get hot). This advice is especially relevant for those living in a new build, as these tend to be far more effectively insulated than their period counterparts.
 

Power loss

Your fuse box should be your first point of call in the event of the electrics going.
 

If your electrics and/or lights go out, it may be that your power supply has ‘tripped’. This is usually easy to sort out – just a matter of identifying the tripped switch on your fusebox and resetting it. If this doesn’t seem to be the case and your neighbours have also lost power, call 105 to find out more. Unplug any electrical items (if it’s safe to), as they could be damaged if the power comes back in a surge. Keep in mind that some food items in your fridge or freezer may have to be thrown away if the power is off for an extended period. While the days are slowly getting longer, we still don’t have much daylight time at this time of year so be sure to keep a torch and some batteries handy.


Damaged roof

While extreme weather isn’t a regular occurrence in London, you should still be prepared for any heavy spells of rain or strong winds. Check your roof for loose tiles or leaks, and make sure any trees on your property are in good health: a fallen tree or branch can cause a huge amount of (expensive) damage. If you’re worried about one on or near your property, a tree surgeon will be able to give you advice on the next steps.
 


Marsh & Parsons Tooting is an award-winning estate agent and one of our valued Community Partners. Find them at 29-31 Upper Tooting Road, SW17 7TS. Call John-Paul (sales) or Matthew (lettings) on 020 8115 8053.

Click here to view local properties for sale and here for lettings.

Find out more on their website, and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Find out more about our Community Partners here.

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