Now that Autumn is very much upon us, which means the days are going to be shorter and the nights are longer, there are a number of property maintenance jobs to complete before winter arrives. At Hancock and Partners, we are experts in managing properties throughout the year and are committed to providing our customers with the best possible information to keep their properties in the best condition. Therefore, we have put together this blog to highlight some of our recommendations for property maintenance jobs to complete in Autumn, which will not only help prepare your property for winter but should also save you money in the long term. 

Maintain the exterior of your property 

Although the interior of your home is incredibly important, the exterior needs just as much care. You need to spend some time clearing your gutters from debris such as Autumn leaves, which can help you to avoid blockages. You do not want a situation where water is unable to flow away from walls, so it seeps into your home. 

In general, you should check that your property is not damaged in any way – such as gaps forming around windows, broken gutters and damaged drainpipes, just as a few examples. It is also worth spending some time preparing your garden for the colder weather, by trimming trees and removing any moss or weeds which could become slip hazards.

If you have a driveway in front of your property or patio area at the rear, do check for any cracks between paving stones as these can soon expand once the rain water freezes in the gaps. Again, early prevention pays in the long run.

Assess your boiler

 No-one wants to put up with cold showers, a lack of heating, radiator faults, expensive bills or noises coming from the boiler at any time of the year, but many tenants and homeowners find these problems unbearable in the middle of winter. 

 More than any other maintenance issue, it can be the cause of much stress between landlords and tenants. This is why we make it quick and easy for tenants to report any problems on our dedicated website page for reporting a maintenance issue.

Before we approach the colder months, it is therefore essential that you check your hot water, radiators and boiler are still working correctly – especially if the boiler is an older model. Boiler breakdowns are often caused by small problems which have worsened over time, so it definitely pays to ask a qualified engineer to check the boiler in Autumn.

Here at Hancock and Partners, we recommend organising a professional boiler service to avoid any emergencies. This will ensure that your boiler is checked by an experienced and qualified engineer at least once a year. They will be able to inform you of any problems and also provide you with a professional opinion regarding how to proceed in case of a fault.

Check your pipe insulation

Pipe insulation is incredibly important, especially in the winter, as insulating pipes can lower your overall energy consumption. Although not always visible, pipe insulation is one of the most important aspects of your home’s heating and hot water system, so it is essential to check them. 

When the temperature drops below freezing, there is also the risk that burst pipes will occur, as standing water can expand and freeze, causing small cracks that may break open or burst. If your pipes are properly insulated, this can be avoided. 

Check your doors and windows

As well as checking your doors and windows for any potential security breaches, it is also preferable that they are completely draught-proof. Although energy bills increase in the winter regardless of escaping hot air, you don’t want to overpay unnecessarily for a problem that is easily resolved. Of course, you can look at replacing new doors and windows, but as a quick solution, all you need to do is purchase some threshold strips from your local DIY store. These can easily seal any gaps when the windows and doors are closed. It is an easy and cost-effective job to do but will still save you a lot of money in the long run. Look out too for any signs of rotting window frames as this will only deteriorate further in the cold, wet winter weather. 

Evaluate your home’s security

As the nights draw in earlier and the days shorten, your property will soon be in darkness from 4pm to 8am. This may seem obvious, but more than half of burglaries occur during darkness, so you need to evaluate your home’s security, and improve it wherever possible. 

It is important to check all the potential vulnerabilities in your home, such as the doors, windows and garden gates, as these are all obvious target areas for someone looking to break in. Ensure the most up-to-date locking systems are in use and working as they should. To enhance your property’s security even further, it would be beneficial to look into more visual deterrents – such as a burglar alarm and external security lights, which are always off-putting for any intruder. 

About Hancock and Partners 

We have highlighted just a few of the property maintenance jobs you should complete in Autumn – which apply to both landlords and homeowners. Moreover, if you are a landlord looking to maintain your rental properties, you should speak to the Hancock and Partners team. We have been helping Chichester, landlords, tenants and vendors with all manner of simple or complex property maintenance work for years, so feel free to speak to a member of our team who would be more than happy to help. Contact us via our website using any of the phone numbers on  https://www.hancockpartners.co.uk/contact/