From the Desk of The Editor....Winter conditions affect everyone and so we felt it might be useful to outline some of the simple actions that landlords and tenants should undertake in order to avoid potential problems.
With temperatures reaching very low levels it is advisable to ensure that properties are kept warm, even if vacant, in order to avoid issues such as frozen pipes. Water in frozen pipes expands and can cause flooding when a thaw takes place. Thermostats on heating systems should be set low but at a level to avoid freezing. Insulation of pipes will also help avoid problems.
If a property is set to be empty for some time over the Winter period, consider draining down water and heating systems completely in order to avoid freezing.
Condensation can be a problem during the colder months as people tend to close windows and therefore reduce the amount of ventilation available within a property. Proper insulation coupled with ventilation and heating are the best cures for condensation.
Externally, ensure that gutters, downpipes and drains are regularly cleared. Blocked gutters, downpipes and drains can cause flooding and other water related problems. Large volumes of snow can also cause flooding problems when thawing and so be careful about where one piles up snow from cleared paths and driveways in particular.
A few minutes of preventative action can save a lot of time, inconvenience and cost later on.