Spring is just around the corner, but we’re not quite out of the woods yet. Much of the country has recently seen significant snowfall and ice, which may well continue for several weeks. These conditions can pose particular risks to your property, whether it be a private dwelling or commercial building. Here are some of the common pitfalls and how to avoid them:
These might sound like something from a charming holiday in Lapland, but ice dams can actually form along the edges of your roof. When this happens, anything melting from higher areas of the property gets stuck, and refreezes increasing the dam. If this continues to build up it can escape under the shingles (especially if any are loose) and leak into the interior area. Large icicles hanging off these areas can pose a danger too. Compacted frozen water shards are heavy and sharp – and you don’t want to be standing underneath when they fall. Employers have a duty of care to maintain a safe work environment, so removal of large icicles is essential. The best way to prevent these issues, is with regular cleaning of your gutters and drainage system.
The chances are you’ve needed to salt the areas outside your property to avoid slips and falls. But this can cause corrosion, stainage and damage to walkways and patios. Power washing will remove this residue, and make them look great in the process. Gritting salt is designed for asphalt surfaces. So next winter, consider specialist deicing products instead.
Perhaps the most widely recognised issue in very low temperature, is the risk of pipes freezing. Many modern boilers will automatically flush water through them once the thermostat drops below a certain level. But it is worth ensuring the heating is coming on at intervals should you be away, or the property be vacant. If your boiler stops working in winter, check your exterior condensate pipe before you call an emergency plumber. It may simply be that this needs to be thawed out. Check out this helpful video to find out where to locate the condensate pipe and how to get your boiler up and running, without costing a penny.
This time of year can be a magical season with narnia-like scenes, sledging and skiing opportunities here in Scotland. So make the most of the rest of the season by minimising cold weather property issues and keeping everyone safe and warm.