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Preparing assets for winter

01-10-2017

With winter and the colder months approaching we have our work cut out for us winterising clients properties and assets. However if you don't have a company like us to look after you our Property Director David has put together some top tips for protecting your home and assets from the cold weather. Keeping them functioning and in tip top condition all year round.   

Prepare your Home  

Preventative measures and pre-emptive planning will ensure the home is best prepared for the extremes of winter weather.

  • Clean out the gutters, disconnect and drain all outside hoses.  If possible, shut off outside water valves.
  • Insulate walls and attics and weather-strip doors and windows.
  • Check lagging on water pipes in un heated loft spaces, basement or crawl spaces.
  • Check the insulated blanket for your hot water heater and water tanks and heating expansion tanks.
  • If you have a fireplace, keep the flue closed when you're not using it and have the flue regally cleaned.
  • Ensure heating vents are cleared and carbon monoxide detectors are working.
  • During exceptionally cold spells, consider keeping the heating on at all times but at a lower level to save energy as heating a cold home may cost more than maintaining a constant level of heating.
  • If your house will be unattended during cold periods, consider draining the water system.
  • Inspect your roof and security of tiles prior to the start of winter.
  • Consider having a water-repellent membrane installed under your roof covering.

Prepare your car 

According to the statistics 16% of the fatalities - are due to severe weather such as rain, snow, sleet and ice.   So, consider, preparing your car for these conditions and extremely cold temperatures - and know what to do if you find yourself stranded in a vehicle. When the temperatures start to drop:

  • Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive, travel during the day.
  • Don't travel alone. Keep others informed of your schedule.
  • Stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.
  • Winter check your car: antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, oil and other fluids consider having an emergency can of fuel.
  • Make sure your tires have enough tread and consider changing to snow tires during winter months.
  • Keep bagged salt or some sand in the boot for extra traction and to melt ice.
  • Clear snow from the top of the car, headlights and windows.
  • Save the numbers to your mobile phone of your recovery service, insurance company.
  • Keep in your boot extra a cold-weather clothing and Hi-vis vest for you and your passengers. It is also advisable to include; a blanket or sleeping bag, gloves, folding shovel, first aid kit, torch, tow rope and phone charger.

Prepare your boat for the winter  

Keeping on top of your boat maintenance over the winter period will ensure that it's ready to be back on the water when you are. It's not just winter that can impact your boats performance but inactivity itself tends to lead to wear and tear.

The best place for your boat to be during the winter is out of the water, under suitable cover and in a warm, climate-controlled storage specifically for boats and yachts.

Critical checks to prevent damage during the winter months

  • Clear the boat, a clean boat will endure the winter months much better and reduces preparation time to get the boat back on the water.
  • Ensure that the boat is as dry as possible before putting into storage, damp is not your friend. If the boat is to be stored outside, ensure that a suitable cover is used that not only fully protects the boats internals and decks from rain but also the hull from cold, snow and ice.
  • Mould is not your friend, defend against it! Where possible, take soft furnishings home and keep them somewhere cool and dry.  This will help retain the quality of the product as well as keep them fresh and clean.
  • Take away removable items and remove perishables:  Fridges and freezers should be cleaned, food removed, as well as any other removable items such as flares, fire extinguishers, fenders and electronics.
  • The Heads (Toilet), This is one area that should be cleaned fairly regularly however for winterising there are a couple of additional things you can do. While pumping out, add fresh water and flush through several times to help clean the system. Check your owner's manual to ensure that the antifreeze won't damage the system before applying the next step.  Once a suitably clean state has been achieved you can add antifreeze to the system and pump through hoses, holding tanks, valves and macerators.
  • Ensure your engine is as ready now as it should be for next season.  A professional service is clearly best but not always possible before winterising your boat.
  • Winterise your fuel, fuel can be left in the tank however a little preparation should be taken if it is to sit there for months on end. Fill the tank to within 1inch full, allowing for expansion on warm days, and add in a suitable fuel stabilising agent.
  • Disconnect your battery!  The cost of replacing a boats battery can be steep, save yourself some money and disconnect the battery at the end of the winterising process. Further to this, giving them a charge from the mains (land power).
  • Check regularly, Although the above check points are great to do before your boat goes into storage or is left moored over winter there is no greater thing than to check regularly. Visiting your boat during the winter months can raise awareness for potential problems early.

If you would like our help to protect your assets for winter please give us a call. 

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