Although so far the winter weather has been exceptionally mild, says commercial property agent Prop-Search, as a property investor or landlord it is important that preparations are in place for the bad weather and associated risks to property that can arise.
In order to minimise falling foul of the risks that inclement weather can generate, there are a number of key factors to take in to account in advance of the winter months.
Gutter & Drain clearance
As we are all too aware, the UK can be one of the wettest places to be at all times of the year, but especially in the colder months. Water damage to property can be extensive and expensive, with sometimes the smallest of leaks leading to significant resultant damage and remedial costs. In some cases a water leak will be unavoidable, but preventative measures can be taken to ensure that gutters and drains are clear of debris and blockages, thus reducing the chances of backing up and overflowing. This is particularly important following the autumn leaf fall, where significant leaf litter can quickly clog up drains, guttering and downpipes.
If temperatures plummet there is a risk of water freezing in pipes, particularly if they are external to a property, or if the property is poorly heated or badly insulated. If a pipe is showing signs of leaks or damage they could potentially freeze, expand and burst if temperatures fall well below freezing. If a property has pipes that have the potential to freeze – such as external pipes, taps and water tanks – they can be fitted with insulation or lagging to reduce the risk of freezing.
Most commercial buildings insurance policies will require regular inspections of vacant units as a requirement of their cover. In light of the increased potential risks during winter months, some insurers may insist on greater frequency of inspections in winter. If it is known that premises will be vacant for any significant period, it is also important to ensure that water supplies are turned off at the stopcock – and the system drained down – to minimise the chances of a leak occurring unnoticed.
Prop-Manage – the commercial property management arm of Prop-Search – prides itself in providing an exemplary property management service to its clients, and can tailor this service to the specific requirements of the property owner. As part of the property management service, Prop-Manage will ensure that all necessary precautions are taken in preparation for the winter months.