As the colder months draw in, now can be a good time to think about getting your property ready for the onset of winter weather. Living in Scotland, rain, snow and strong winds are something that will inevitably happen. Sadly, there’s nothing we can do to change the weather, but we can make sure we are prepared for it.
According to the Met office, Scotland’s winters are seeing increasing amounts of rainfall every year. From 1961 to 2006, winter rainfall seen a major increase of between 100-215%, and since then the precipitation has continually been on the rise. This has implications for buildings, especially those that may not have been initially built to handle the increasingly harsh winters and are deteriorating year on year.
What matters in winter?
Winter is no longer just about frozen pipes, there are other things to take into consideration. Gutters should be kept clean and downpipes clear to ensure for an efficient flow of rain water. Active overflows can cause a number of problems such as splashing on a window ledge, penetrating damp, staining the outside wall, puddling and erosion on the ground below. Like other water related problems though, active overflows are normally very easy and inexpensive to fix. Normally, the cause will be related to a central heating boiler or toilet cistern. If you discover you have a dripping overflow or have been advised of such by a neighbour or your Factor, please act quickly to avoid escalation of the problem and associated costs. Unsightly marks and stains on external walls are a significant concern for many so please take action quickly if your overflow is dripping.
Remember that many problems can be worsened over the winter months with the possibility of freezing water on pathways etc. Many icy paths are the result of a build-up of escaped water, so stay cautious and make sure to prevent any future problems by assessing your property for winter.
Please note, as the source of these problems normally relate to non-communal areas, we as a factor have no authority to act to ensure these problems are resolved. However, we are of course happy to advise owners on your behalf of the problem and request a speedy repair.
Going away over Winter?
If you are lucky enough to be escaping to a sunnier climate this winter, there are a few things to take into consideration. If your property will be unoccupied for more than 60 days (lucky you!), you are required to contact us for insurance purposes. You can find details regarding this here. Remember to also leave a key with a family member, friend or neighbour, and inform us of their details incase emergency access is needed.
Take good care of your property in winter and it will serve you well throughout the year!