Winter is almost upon us. Don’t be caught by surprise with repairs and maintenance that could have been done before the temperature dropped. There are several issues that may be prevented by investing in a seasonal property inspection before the weather changes for the worse. Below is our checklist of pre-winter property maintenance items for Victorian property owners.
Your gutters get heavy use during the winter months. Although the function of gutters and tanks is simple, the problems that can result from improper maintenance can be much more complex. Gutter debris interrupts the flow of rainwater from your roof. This can cause moisture problems in your roof, the development of mould and attract unwanted pests. Gutters can also develop breaks or leaks that keep the water from flowing to downpipes as intended. Gutter cleaning is a messy and sometimes dangerous job. Hiring professionals to inspect your gutters for necessary cleanout and repairs can save you from having to climb to unsafe heights. An inspection report and follow up maintenance will give you the assurance that your winter won’t include emergency gutter cleaning or repairs in the pouring rain.
- Rainwater Tanks
Rainwater tanks can develop sludge in the bottom of the tank. Experts recommend that rainwater tanks be inspected and de-sludged at least every two to three years. In addition, the structural integrity of the tank itself should be determined by a thorough inspection that includes the inlet, pipes, overflow outlet, tank roof and access cover, and the inner walls of the tank.
If a roof leak is going to show itself, it will usually be during the heavy rain and windstorms of winter. Trying to make repairs during the rainy season can be near impossible. Roofs should be inspected for loose, cracked or missing tiles. Wood and metal roofs should be checked for rot and rust. A professional roof inspection should always check for evidence of problems both internally from the roof cavity, and externally, including the inspection of flashing around chimneys or vents.
- Heating System
Heat system filters should be changed regularly throughout the year, but especially prior to and during the heating season. Prior to winter, the ductwork and heating system should be inspected by a professional for damage and proper function.
- Smoke Alarms
Smoke and fire detection devices should be tested and fresh batteries installed in battery operated devices, prior to the start of winter.
- Portable Room Heaters
An inspection of portable room heaters should always be included in your winter preparation. Having sat in storage unused for several months, a test run can help determine if the device is operating safely and appropriately.
Moisture and mould can develop during the damp winter months. Inspection of ventilation systems to make sure condensation is not being trapped within the roof cavity or walls of the home is another important part of a homeowner’s preparation for winter.
Houspect building inspection professionals are experienced in all these types of seasonal property inspections. With a thorough inspection report on hand, you can take action before the rain and wind start. Even if the report shows no repairs or maintenance needed, you gain the value of peace of mind for the months ahead.