When you consider the term ‘British weather’, you likely think of a damp, wet and gloomy climate. While we do have our warmer, brighter days, there’s no denying that it rains a lot here!
Look Out for Leaks
The first consideration is to ensure you keep an eye out for leaks throughout the year. One way of approaching this is to carefully head into your attic and look for evidence of water leaks. You may see the actual leak in action, or instead, you might just notice that the plaster is stained or the joists have damp spots.
Beyond that, it’s also worth inspecting your roof from outside (from ground level). Look for any signs of damage, such as in relation to the tiles, chimney or flashing. If you suspect there is any damage (or a leak, of course), hire a professional to perform the repairs.
While you may spot a leak (as carefully evaluated from the ground in your garden), leaks often won’t present themselves so easily!
Here are some signs to look out for which may be indicative of a water leak:
- Patches that are damp or discoloured on a ceiling, floor or wall
- The sudden appearance of mould or mildew
- The smell of mildew
Expanding on a point already brought up, aside from waiting for significant issues to arise, it’s important to have your roof maintained regularly. Ideally, you should have a roofer inspect your roof at least once a year and have any necessary repairs performed promptly. Regular roof maintenance can prevent existing issues from developing into larger issues down the line, which could prove very costly, especially if significant leaks result.
Clean and Functioning Gutters
Guttering is your property’s first defence against rainwater damage; therefore, ensuring that your gutters are clean of debris and working as intended is essential to prevent wet weather from damaging your home.
You should have your gutters cleaned twice a year. This can be done by a professional, but if you have the right skills and knowledge, you can do it DIY. However, safety considerations are key.
Here is what is involved:
- Set your ladder up, ensuring that both feet are firmly placed on a solid and level basis.
- Have a second person ready to hold the ladder from the bottom for safety reasons. You may also want to consider using a ladder strap for safety.
- Proceed so long as your ladder allows you to safely reach the gutters. If not, hire a professional.
- Employ a trowel to remove debris or scoop it out by hand (with protective gloves on) from your gutters and empty them into a bag or a bucket.
- Carefully descend the ladder with the waste. You can add some of the waste to your garden as compost or put it in a suitable bin for garbage disposal.
- You may then carefully ascend the ladder again with a hose.
- Use the hose to wash down your gutters.
- Carefully descend the ladder, and that’s the job done!
For repair work or cleaning downpipes, hire a professional. Gutter repairs tend to cost about £30 to £40 per square metre. But what about having your guttering replaced?
Brand-new guttering costs can range widely depending on the material used and the size of the guttering (which in turn will be heavily linked to the size/type of property in question). While guttering tends to last about 20 years, repairs may be needed sooner, and there will come a time when having the entire guttering replaced will make more practical sense.
Seal Your Windows and Doors
Another consideration is to have suitable weatherstripping and seals added to your doors and windows. If you find cracks between the frame and the property, this can be injected with insulating foam sealant. Furthermore, fresh paint coats for any timber window frames/door frames may also prevent moisture penetration. While these jobs are generally DIY-friendly, if in doubt, hire a professional.
Maintain the Exterior Finish of Your Property
There are many ways to protect the exterior of your home from direct damage caused by the elements.
Firstly, your property’s exterior should be painted once every 5-10 years with a suitable paint designed to protect it against the elements. Beyond that, cladding can be used to protect a home against the elements too.
Of course, cladding over paint can be a tricky business, and either way, this work must be done by a professional. Cladding, of course, can offer the desired look meaning that additional paintwork may not be required.
If you have cladding installed, it may need to be replaced in little as a decade, or it may last for half a century or more. It will really depend on a wide range of factors, such as the durability of the material and the extent of the weather damage it’s faced over the years.