Tenant Guide to Winter-Proofing

Autumn is here and there is a chill in the air which means it is time to start getting your home ready for the winter ahead. Even if you are living in a rental property, there are still a few checks that you can do now that could save you have to deal with unexpected problems - like broken boilers or burst pipes - this winter! Our maintenance manager Vicky Vanner told us some handy tips that will set you up for a hassle-free, cosy winter at home.

1)      Check your boiler…

The first step to get prepared for Winter is to make sure your boiler still works. You should be able to find an instruction manual inside the property or even online by searching for the make and model. Switch it on and if it works, we recommend you spend a bit of time getting to grips with how your boiler and thermostats work. If it doesn't work, don’t panic, there are a few simple checks you can do yourself. Look in your manual for how to reset your boiler or top-up a combi-boiler. You will also find a few videos on our tenant channel which should also help. If there seems to be a serious problem, you should report the issue onto FIXFLO immediately. 

If you’re going to be away for the holidays, we suggest leaving the heating on low or even setting a timer so that the heating will come on regularly, this will help reduce the likelihood of any burst pipes and condensation.

2)      Check the location of your stopcock…

We definitely recommend finding out where your stopcock is located so you know how to turn the water supply off in the event of an emergency. During colder weather, water can freeze inside the pipes which can cause them to burst. Water leaks should always be reported to us as soon as you find them as small problems can quickly escalate into big, inconvenient and expensive problems.

3)      Keep condensation at bay…

Condensation problems tend to get worse in the Winter and can cause mould to form. It is important to maintain an even temperature throughout the property. Allow heat to circulate by keeping internal doors open and using draft excluders where necessary to improve insulation and reduce condensation. If possible, keep your windows open for a short time during the day to let in some fresh air. We also have a video on dealing with mould here and this booklet on dealing with Mould and Condensation has plenty of great advice.

4)      Keep gutters clear....

Heavy rainfall and overflow from blocked gutters can cause damage to a property and inconvenience for you, so it is particularly important at this time of year to keep an eye on them. It’s unlikely you can keep them clear yourself, but you can check for any potential problems. The best way is to look at the house on a rainy day and if you notice water running down the windows or walls you should let us know.

5)      Keep external drains clear…

It is important to check all external drains for any blockages and to ensure your tenant is keeping the area around them clear as during autumn an onslaught of leaves can lead to blocked drains. You should also ensure all exposed pipes are suitably insulated to avoid them freezing and bursting in colder weather and that the boiler has been recently serviced.

We also have a couple of numbers you should keep to hand in the case of an emergency:

TRANSCO: To report a gas or carbon monoxide emergency call 0800 111 999 - 24 hours a day.

UNITED UTILITIES: To report a water-related emergency call 0345 672 3723 - 24 hours a day.

If you have any maintenance issues to report please ensure you log them as soon as possible on FIXFLO or if you have any queries please GET IN TOUCH WITH US.