Help me Fix highlights five maintenance tasks that homeowners need to consider before winter arrives and how current waiting times mean they’re best to get their house in order sooner rather than later.
Winter can put a strain on our homes and so preparing ahead of the colder, wetter months is a smart move for those looking to avoid unnecessary maintenance costs in what is already set to be a tough few months for our household finances.
However, high demand for professional tradespeople can also mean weeks on end waiting to get work done should the worst happen, so planning ahead is the smart move to avoid a winter without hot water or a leaking roof.
Boiler check – 1 Week Wait
One of the most common household issues during the winter months is a problem with our boiler. It can cost anywhere between £60 to £120 for a service check, up to £200 for boiler repair and as much as £400 for a power flush. However, current waiting times can be as long as a week in the current climate and so it’s better to be proactive ahead of the winter months to avoid a prolonged period without hot water and heating.
Brickwork – 4 Week Wait
One area that is often overlooked ahead of winter is our brickwork after months of more favourable weather conditions. However, inadequate brickwork pointing can be a major issue and over time it allows water ingress, as well as increasing the chances of frost damage and damp – two issues that are far more prevalent during the winter months. It costs just £50 to £60 on average per square metre to repoint your brickwork, but at present, it could take up to four weeks before you can bring in a bricky to carry out the work, so acting now before the colder, wet weather arrives is a smart move.
Roofing – 4 Week Wait
Much like our brick work, problems with our roofing rarely materialise until the cold and rain starts to batter our homes on a regular basis. Missing or cracked tiles are a particularly frequent problem and can lead to further issues within the home. While a roof inspection will set you back around £250, repairs that don’t require scaffolding can generally be done for around £170 for roughly five tiles – which is far more cost effective in the long run. But again, it could take as long as four week’s before a tradesperson is available, so a proactive approach is a far smarter idea compared to waiting for the damage to already be done.
Water Pipes – 1 Week Wait
Blocked, burst or frozen pipes can be a nightmare and one that often becomes a reality during the winter months. Insulting your pipes or fitting pipe jackets can be done for as little as £50 and up which is a huge saving compared to the damage done from a burst pipe. While the current wait is around a week, seven days is a long time to go without water, so sorting your water pipes now is the way to go.
Windows and Doors – 2 Week Wait
Even the most minor misalignment of a window or door can lead to a considerable amount of heat loss, or rain water entering your home. While the latter will cause damage from damp, the ability to heat our homes efficiently has also never been more pressing due to the rising cost of energy bills.
A general inspection will cost around £150, while replacing a double glazed window can cost between £70 to £150. While this is a rather substantial upfront cost, it could more than pay for itself when it comes to the money saved on heating your home this winter. But with a two week wait, now is the time to strike before the temperature drops.
Although the recent heat wave seems a fairly distant memory, we still have a few weeks left before autumn well and truly arrives and our homes start to face the seasonal onslaught of wetter, colder weather.
So for many homeowners, winter proofing our homes probably isn’t top of our to-do list, particularly with the cost of living crisis putting a strain on our household finances. However, there remains a high demand for many skilled tradespeople at present and so in many cases, the waiting time to book a job can be rather substantial. This means that even those booking now may find their cutting it fine when it comes to having work completed before the weather turns for the worst.
It’s certainly set to be a tough winter for many, but a proactive approach to protecting our homes is always going to pay dividends compared to the higher cost of waiting for the worst to happen. Not only will you find the cost of the work will be higher, but you will also be subject to a far longer wait without hot water or heating.