Act now and get your home ready for winter
With the school holidays nearly over and the children going back to school next week now is the best time to check your home is ready for winter.
It’s much better to sort any problems out in the relative warmth and dryness of autumn rather in the cold around Christmas when’s there’s an emergency,” said Midlands green energy expert Ron Fox.
He suggests five domestic chores to be carried out in September.
Firstly, have your boiler serviced and get the pipes and water pressure checked. Ensure the person is qualified and is listed on the Gas Safe Register, said Ron, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park.
Secondly, Check the water stopcock to stop it seizing up. Close it a half turn to the right and then a half turn to the left. Spending a couple of minutes in the autumn could save many hundreds of pounds in the winter if a pipe bursts.
Thirdly, make sure there is no damp in the home caused by poor ventilation. The tell-tale signs are condensation on the windows, water on the sills or black mould in the bathroom. The problem may be blocked airbricks or gutters.
The sealant between the tiles in the shower, bath and basins may have become discoloured, mouldy or even leading to leaks. Ron suggests taking out the old sealant and replacing it with an antibacterial one.
“Once any damp has been sorted it may be worth putting the heating on a low, constant temperature to dry out the rooms,” he added.
Fourthly, September is a good time to have your chimney swept when the fireplace isn’t being used.
Fifthly and finally check the roof and chimneys and the simplest and easiest way is to hire a drone and a thermal imaging camera.
“Many householders do not realise how technology can help them as it is much easier and safer than hiring expensive scaffolding, or a cherry picker or sending a person up a ladder,” said Ron.
Also some areas may be off-limits because of tight angles or out of sight in a valley between roofs.
“Once we have cleared a flight plan with the relevant authorities the technology allows us to pinpoint specific areas with far greater accuracy,” he added
“As there’s no need for anyone to leave the ground so there is no difficulty with health and safety.”
Ron said the drone detects missing or defective insulation; air leaks and moisture in cavity wall insulation; excess water on flat roofs; inefficient seals round doors and windows; wear and tear in solar panels and reveals where energy is being lost from the building.
“Inside a home the thermal imaging camera will show up the problems without having to cut into plasterboard or concrete or search through the attic or the roof.”
For more details about having a drone check your house or to book a free thermal imaging survey camera, which will take about an hour and a half, call Ron on 0845 474 6641 or go to www.noreus.co.uk