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The Simple Landlords guide to Snow, Ice and Hail

Most landlords probably aren’t dreaming of a White Christmas. While snow can be very pretty, it’s also very wet, cold, and heavy - and that’s not always good news for properties!

Add in ice and hail and there’s potential for a nasty accident or some significant damage.

We’ve put together our top tips for landlords who want to be snow-ready.

Check your roof

  • Get a builder in to give your roof an inspection every year - they can make sure the tiles are in good shape and that everything’s water tight.
  • Ask them to pay special attention to a flat roof - you need to know it can take the weight of a heavy snow fall and won’t leak when the snow starts to melt.
  • Send them into the loft, so they can also see what things look like underneath.
  • Get any cracked tiles or other issues fixed fast - it will save you money in the long run.

Prepare for ice

  • Make sure your tenants know who is responsible for clearing paths. You may wish to provide a snow shovel and salt to help.

Keep warm

  • Investing in insulation is one of the best things you can do for your tenants - and for your property. Check what insulation you have and what else you could do - even if it’s draught excluders around windows and doors - to keep your tenants warm, heating bills low, and your chances of cold-related damage to a minimum.
  • Bleed radiators and make sure your boiler is in good working order. It might well be worth getting a Gas Safe registered engineer in to give it an MOT before the first snowfall.
  • Ask your tenants to keep the heating on low - even when they’re out for the day or going away on holiday. Freezing water in pipes can expand - which could lead to a burst pipe and serious damage to the property and contents.
  • If your tenants do find a leak, make sure they know where the stop cock is to prevent further damage, and who to call to get it sorted out.

Protect your pipes

  • There are several things you can do to protect your pipes. Make sure external pipes and pipes in the loft are insulated - checking everything is properly connected and there are no cracks or existing damage.
  • Don’t forget the outside tap - fit it with an insulated cover or drain the pipe completely.

Clear gutters and drains

  • When the snow melts, there’s going to be a lot of water around. Make sure your drains and gutters are free from leaves and debris and ready to do their job.
  • When it snows or freezes, a blocked gutter could also come loose from your property, causing even more problems. Check gutters are secured properly - and speak to your tenants about keeping them clear.

Inspect for damage

  • It’s well worth checking your property for damage to the roof, windows, external pipes and outbuildings after heavy snowfall or hail.
  • Don’t climb onto your roof! If you can’t see or reach something from the ground - get an expert in.

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