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Rics urges property owners to protect homes against winter damage
28th December 2011
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has urged property owners to ensure that their premises are well protected against potential damage this winter.
The group said it is important to stay vigilant about the potential damaging effects cold weather can have on their buildings and take preventative measures such as ensuring taps are not left dripping.
Other preventative measures include turning on the heating on a low setting periodically when the premises are vacant. This helps to prevent pipes from getting too cold and bursting.
It can also prevent expensive furniture, gadgets and other contents from getting damaged.
In addition to taking out preventative measures, landlords should also make sure that they are properly covered by landlord housing insurance to safeguard themselves in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
Keith Denholm, chair of Allied Surveyors Scotland and the Rics Scotland Residential Property Professional Group, pointed out that if the exterior of a property takes a battering during extremely harsh weather, property owners will only be able to properly assess the damage when the worst of the conditions are over.
"Once the snow and ice has cleared up, a 360-degree assessment of its condition is advisable - think roof, walls, floors, windows and doors," he said.
"These need to be improved and repaired by sealing and insulating better where possible, ready for further freezing weather conditions."
Property owners were specifically advised to inspect their roofs and replace any cracked tiles and protect chimney pots by fitting them with ventilated cowls if they are not in use.
Landlords were also urged to check that the insulation in their lofts is in good condition and there are no areas where insulation is missing.
Rics warned against over insulating because it is important that tanks and pipes in the loft do not freeze.