Running a home, whether it’s your own or a buy-to-let property, is a continuous process of upkeep and maintenance. Property owners who rest on their laurels risk being caught out with costly repairs down the line. Carrying out regular checks and staying on top of maintenance work will not only mean your house stays in the best possible condition, but it will save you money in the long-run. Simple upgrades and minor repairs are cheaper than full replacements. If problem areas are left untreated it can often lead to secondary problems in the home, which further adds to the expense.

Gas: boiler and heating maintenance

There are a number of items within a home that require regular servicing. If you’re a landlord, by law, you have to ensure the boiler and other gas appliances in the property you own are safe. Schedule a gas safety inspection by a qualified Gas Safe Registered engineer to check the whole system is working properly. A valid gas safety certificate must be provided to tenants.

The summer is a good time of year to conduct a check of the heating system. Don’t wait until it’s needed in the winter months – test it now and get a head start on any repairs that may be needed before the cold weather arrives. Check the radiators to ensure they radiate heat effectively (does the heat spread across the entire unit evenly or does it collect at the bottom?) and bleed any that aren’t. If you spot any leaks, get these repaired to avoid bigger problems down the line and subsequent damage to any flooring or carpets underneath.

Electrics

If you’re a landlord and provide electrical items as part of your terms, you are responsible for ensuring they are in safe working order. In-built or free-standing electric hobs and ovens, fridges, freezers, washing machines, even vacuum cleaners and microwaves must be checked and signed off with an electrical safety certificate by a qualified electrician.

Insulation

There’s no point going to the trouble of ensuring the heating system in your home works properly if that heat can escape from other parts of the property.

The recommended minimum thickness of loft insulation is 270mm. It’s a worthwhile, and inexpensive, exercise to top-up or replace any old, ineffective loft insulation. Similar attention should be paid to other areas of the home where draughts could get in such as around doors and windows and between floorboards. Ideally windows should be double glazed and all the window and door seals should be in a good condition.

Plumbing

In cold weather, the water circulating through the plumbing system in your home can freeze inside the pipes. This can have a knock-on effect in other areas of your home, such as with the heating system. Ensure pipes inside and outside the property are insulated to prevent freezing. If you have a condensing boiler you will have a pipe that takes away condensate waste from the boiler. It’s common for this pipe to freeze and prevent the boiler from working. Prevent this by covering the external part of the condensate pipe with insulation. Similarly, pipes in the loft should also be insulated.

Staying on top of home maintenance is a full-time job. If you feel you don’t have the skills or the time to do these things yourself, call in the professionals. If you’re looking for help with property maintenance Liverpool, Manchester and Salford based RFM Trading would be delighted to hear from you. Our qualified and experienced tradesmen are available for the small tasks, right through to the big ones. Whether it’s those annual gas and electric tests or laying insulation and draught repair work, we can help.

Call us on 0161 707 6106 or email your enquiry to [email protected].

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