GPH recommends homeowners 'batten down the hatches'

Published:  15 February, 2016

Following the recent flooding which has caused devastation to homes and businesses across the North-east, an independent builders merchants is encouraging homeowners to give their property a health check as winter weather continues to hold sway across the UK.

GPH Builders' Merchants, which has branches in Westhill, Inverurie and Stonehaven, suggests that following a few simple steps can avoid unwanted property damage, and unnecessary repair bills.

Sales and marketing director for GPH, Nikki Mortimer, said: "With some forecasts predicting that temperatures will continue drop to below freezing across the North-east in the next few weeks, protecting your home is extremely important as winter weather conditions can cause a multitude of problems, and preparing your home now can save a lot of time and money down the line."

The tips GPH is giving homeowners include:

Ice cold: It is essential to ensure that pipes are properly insulated, especially those in unheated areas such as garages and lofts, as these are most at risk of freezing and bursting. Worse case scenario, it is invaluable to know where the tap that turns off your water supply is located – if you do suffer from a burst pipe you will need to shut-off the water to your home as quickly as possible.

Shout it from the rooftops: Snow, ice, wind and rain can all be the cause of loose or damaged tiles. It is essential to remedy these promptly or you could find yourself facing expensive repair bills. Never attempt any work on your roof if it's wet and/or windy and, if in doubt, consult a professional.

Gripping times: Cold weather and wet conditions can make things slippery outside. Give your patios and pathways a thorough clean, sweeping up any leaves and moss to help prevent slips and falls. Applying rock salt where appropriate, or a less caustic alternative, will help banish snow and ice when the weather turns particularly nasty.

Cracking up: When cracks appear, regardless of their size, they should be investigated immediately, if only to offer peace of mind that there is nothing structurally wrong. In the majority of cases small, hairline cracks are a sign of simple and expected expansion and contraction movement within your home and can be easily remedied.

Turn it up: With temperatures below freezing, it is important to keep your heating on at a low setting to avoid burst pipes. Heat reflective aluminum foil installed behind radiators is a cost-effective way of reflecting heat back in to the room. You can also open your loft hatch to help keep the loft area, water tank and pipes in it warm.

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