Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Prepare for the Coming Winter; the Approaching Winter Will Take Its Toll on Your Home. Act Now to Keep the Damage to a Minimum, Advises Peter Fall

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Prepare for the Coming Winter; the Approaching Winter Will Take Its Toll on Your Home. Act Now to Keep the Damage to a Minimum, Advises Peter Fall

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Fall of Clear Building Survey

AFTER this year's summer, the idea that we have turned the corner into autumn and are heading for winter, is a bit of a joke.

Nonetheless, our summer holidays are past, the schools are back and the roads are full of traffic again. Our thoughts should be turning to making sure our homes are ready for the cold and wet of winter - as opposed to the cold and wet of summer!

It is important to do a careful check on the outside of our buildings to make sure that the bits that keep the weather out are not failing or liable to fail once the strong winds, rain, frost and snow start.

The checks will not only alert us to areas where damp or draughts might get in but it will allow us to do the stitch-in-time repairs while the weather is reasonable, rather than struggling while the water pours in.

Start at the roof and look at the tiles and slates. If there are any that have started to slip or have already become loose, it is essential that they be reset or replaced.

It's the same with the ridge and hip tiles at the tops of the roof slopes. These ridge and hip tiles also need to be well stuck down with mortar so if the mortar is missing, get it replaced.

While you're looking at the roof, take a peek at the chimneystacks. The mortar on top of the stack that is between the chimney pots, needs to be sound. If the mortar is breaking down or even missing, the pots could blow off and water can soak into the brickwork. Brickwork that is very wet will split apart when the frosts come, so the more we can protect the tops of the chimneystacks the safer they will be.

Over the next few weeks the trees will start to shed their leaves in a big way. The leaves of large trees close to buildings have a nasty habit of blocking gutters, rainwater pipes and drain gullies.

While you can clear the drain gullies once a week, you'll not be able to do that to the gutters and rainwater pipes. …

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