Winter checklist

After a lovely mild winter, some snow is forecast for the region and we did get a flurry last night! It really is worth noting that during the winter months contractors in general, and particularly boiler engineers, plumbers and electricians, are very booked up. Therefore, landlords and tenants, please take the time to read the following to ensure the chances of a breakdown, water leak or other problems are minimised.
1 Ensure that there is plenty of oil, gas and/or other fuels needed.
2 Check that boilers have been serviced and are in good working order.
3 Chimneys/flues including Aga and Rayburn flues should be swept annually.
4 Ensure that septic tanks have been emptied.
5 Check that white goods are in good working order.
6 Check that pipes are insulated with lagging where sensible.
7 Pay particular attention to outside taps and it may be worth turning off the water supply all together to outside taps or at least ensuring they are insulated.
8 Check that you are aware of the location of the stopcock and that it works.
9 Check the guttering to ensure it is free from blockages and leaves as this reduces the risks of leaks and blockages.
10 If there is a persistent cold spell it is advisable to keep the heating on low constantly to prevent pipes freezing.
11 Bleed radiators; keeping the heating system healthy is important as low pressure can cause a problem.
12 Maintain good ventilation in the property otherwise damp and mould will develop.
13 If you are going away remember to leave the heating on to prevent pipes freezing.
14 If you are going away it is wise to inform somebody who could check on the property for you. Also, please do remember tell us or your landlord if you are leaving the property for a long period of time.
15 Immediately report or attend to any leaks you may have detected however small, it may seem insignificant but a small drip will often lead to a larger problem.
16 Ensure you have torches with full batteries to hand.

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