12 monthly Property Checks

Any property can do with a check up once a year on some features - one problem is that while some checks can be done at any time of the year, while others are best done when there is time to rectify any problem found. So although we only have one page to list the checks, we've divided them into three groups.

Checks for any time of year:

  • Check all stopcocks and isolating valves:
    • Are they dripping from the gland ? If so, tighten the gland nut (under the handle) very slightly.
    • Are they becoming stiff to turn ? If so, apply a drop of oil to the spindles.
  • Check Smoke Detectors
    • Clean inside to remove any dust and cobwebs.
    • Does the battery need replacing ? Most detectors need new batteries once a year, either change them automatically or make sure you have spare batteries to hand.
  • Check electrics - if a Residual Current Device is fitted to your supply, push the 'test' button to make sure it is still working (this will cut off all the circuits, so choose a convenient time.

Checks best done in the autumn in preparation for winter rain etc:

  • Clean out the rain guttering (even if there is no sign of overflowing) - you'll need a ladder to get up there and work safely - make sure that the ladder is firmly positioned and don't overstretch.
  • Check your roof insulation and tank/pipe lagging - has any become displaced ?

Checks best done in the spring - you then have the summer to rectify any problems before winter comes again:

  • Check the roof:
    • Does the covering look intact - are there any displaced or missing slates/tiles ?
    • Look at the ridge tiles, the slates/tiles down a gable end and any mortar flashing - does the mortar look sound or are pieces obviously missing ?
    • Get up and look at any flat roofs - (try to do this after rain) - is the covering still sound, is water collecting in puddles ?
    • Clean any clear plastic roof - algae can build up on the outside, although initially it won't be noticeable, it will reduce the amount of light coming through.
  • Look at any metal flashing - does it appear lifted or torn ?
  • Check any outside paintwork on the house (windows, doors, fascia etc) - look for flaking, cracked or blistered paint - does it look like it will last another year? It's better to repaint too early than leave it for the rot to set in.
  • Rain water guttering/pipes:
    • Look at the rain water guttering and down pipes - does it all look firmly attached and in line ?
    • Do you recall any problems with the guttering/down pipes over the winter - did the water overflow from the guttering, did any of the joints drip water or did the ground gully overflow ?