There are a number of warning signs before maintenance issues become expensive and difficult to repair. Take a look through the guide below to make sure you know the signs to look for in order to prevent a small issue becoming a bigger, expensive problem:
- During the cooler months, it’s important to have the heating on for at least an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, even if you are away on holiday somewhere warmer and more exotic. Some people keep their heating on in the background at around 15 degrees at all times, as this keeps warmer water flowing through the pipes. Doing this prevents the pipes from freezing and therefore limits the risk of major leaks.
- If you find that your radiators only heat half way up, bleed them with a standard key that you can purchase from most DIY shops. This will eliminate the air in your heating system and will ensure that your radiators heat all the way to the top. This will help maximise the efficiency of your system and help keep those toes toasty. There are a number of guides on the internet on how to bleed radiators.
- Make sure to keep your property’s gutters clear. During the autumn/winter months, it is likely that leaves and debris will clog your gutters and potentially causing leaks due to over-spillage. If you notice a blocked gutter and it is difficult to reach, be sure to bring this to your Landlord’s or Property Manager’s attention as quickly as possible.
- A combination of cold weather outside and a warm property inside is more likely to cause condensation-related issues. To avoid damage from this, try to dry any surfaces that have become wet overnight such as windows, sills, kitchen worktops and so on. To help further, try opening a couple of windows for at least 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening (this is not ideal on a bitterly cold winter’s morning but just a quick blast of fresh air does help). The open windows should be opposite sides of the property and preferably opposite sides of their respective rooms. Don’t forget to close the windows when you leave the property for security purposes.
- Always try to use your extractor fans when cooking, using your bath or shower. If you do not have an extractor fan, try opening a window slightly for the duration of use and for 20 minutes after use. At the same time, make sure the door of the kitchen or bathroom is closed to prevent steam filtering through the rest of the property. It is always a good idea to cook with the saucepan lids on to keep steam to a minimum.
- Try to avoid drying your clothes on radiators, which can also cause unwanted steam.
- When using the sink or bath, firstly run the cold tap and then slowly introduce the hot tap. This will significantly reduce the occurrence of steam.
- Avoid blocking ventilation systems, airbricks or trickle ventilation, as this is likely to cause unwanted damp patches throughout the property.
- If you do find yourself with mould growth in the property, manage this by wiping it down with a bleach-based cleaning product until the source of the issue can be rectified. Products are available from most supermarkets or DIY shops. If you need assistance to rectify the cause, please report this to your Landlord or Property Manager as soon as possible.
- To prevent flooding, clear any debris surrounding the property and any near-ground windows or patio doors e.g. leaves or snow. If you notice a rainwater drain not draining quickly enough, it is best to get this cleared before the wet winter months, as it will only worsen if left to its own devices. If you need assistance with this please contact your Landlord or Property Manager as soon as possible. If preventative measures have been taken and there is still a threat of flood, it is a good idea to move valuable items to the higher floors of your property.
If there are any other aspects of caring for your rental property that you would like advice about, please do get in touch with our dedicated Property Management Department at Jackson-Stops & Staff, we are here to help.