Home   News   Digital archive   Article

Top tips for winter home maintenance

THE National House-Building Council, a leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes, provides the 10-year Buildmark warranty which gives protection for problems that may occur in new homes.

While the Buildmark is there if something goes wrong, NHBC is offering the following advice to homeowners to help with those outside jobs before the winter weather arrives:

1) It is good to clean your gutters at least once a year of any leaves and debris to prevent blockages and silting up - be careful when placing ladders against plastic gutters or pipework, where possible use a ladder with an extension bracket.

2) Chimneys should be swept at least once a year to prevent chimney fires and any risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

3) Tiles on sloping roofs are brittle and can easily crack under a persons weight - anyone who has to go on the roof should use a roof ladder. Flat roofs are not designed to take heavy loads, so do not allow window cleaners or decorators to use the roof for access without protecting the surface. Stone chippings on the roof are to protect the felt from strong sunlight so don't remove them.

4) Outside woodwork needs preserving against weather conditions. Regularly repainting or preserving the wood will help to protect it. The first repainting will probably be needed after two years, after that it should only need to be done every four to five years, although this may vary if you live near the sea or in a more extreme environment.

5) Manholes give access to the drains - do not obstruct them or cover them with soil as you may need to get to a blockage quickly.

6) Don't worry if paths develop minor cracks as the ground slowly settles in the first few years.

7) Avoid piling up soil and leaves against outside walls, as it may cover the damp course and encourage damp. If you are not sure where your damp course is ask your builder. Ideally keep soil and paving 150mm below the damp course.

8) Ask your solicitor whether you own any fence or wall bordering your property and who should maintain it.

9) Planting trees and shrubs can make your garden more attractive, especially at this time of year. But be careful - allow enough room for trunks and large roots to grow safely, especially if you are planting near sheds, drains or a neighbour's house.

10) Be aware that tree branches that hang over your roof maybe a potential problem, especially in ice and wind. If you can reach them safely, trim them as best you can away from the house.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More