Top tips on how to prepare your block for winter

Belinda Thorpe, Managing Director of Residentsline advises us on how to prepare your block for winter.

Long periods of extreme weather are likely to cause damage to property, whether due to floods, strong winds or gales. Blocks of flats are often more subject to storm damage due to their height, so maintenance is key.

Although storms are regularly communicated on the news, it will help everyone if you can prepare your block ahead of time, a few things to consider include:

Flat roofs

Generally have a ten year guarantee; however you should still obtain regular checks to ensure they remain in pristine condition. Once the guarantee has ended, an annual roof check from a roofing or building company is recommended. Your insurance company will normally request a copy of this report along with confirmation that any maintenance has been completed, if required.

Trees

Take a walk around your block, as trees can blow over and damage cars, walls, gates or even pedestrians. Remove any branches which are not secure.

Blocked gutters

Leaves and other residue can get deposited in the gutter and prevent the efficient flow of rainwater. Uncared for guttering can be time consuming, inconvenient and expensive to replace. Damp caused by blocked gutters can cause problems inside the house as well as attract algae and mold to brickwork & rendering.

For many homes, a clear out once every two or three years is the best policy. If you have lots of trees around or a mossy roof, then once a year may be required.

Fences

Give them a quick shake to make sure they are secure, as these are often blown down in high winds.

Garden furniture, pots and ornaments
Can lead to smashed windows and other damages when picked up in a strong wind. Where possible store away until the weather calms down.

Water

Sorry to be the one to remind you but it won’t be long until the temperature starts to drop.
Ensure your external pipes are insulated, empty water features and cover up your lawnmowers or other mechanical items.
If you are going away for a period of time consider turning off your stop cock and most importantly make sure that everyone knows how to turn it off in the event of a leak.
Make sure you and others in your block know how to contact your insurer out of hours.
Water can make a lot of damage if left leaking overnight.

Neighbours

Lastly, be a good neighbour and let the owners know if you see anything that may need attention. Often flat owners have can view walls, roofs etc. from different viewpoints that could help avoid a disastrous situation.

Belinda Thorpe is the Managing Director of Residentsline whose sole focus has always been blocks of flats. You can contact Belinda and her team on 0800 281 235.

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