The UK year is bookended by the cold, and while it’s widely recognised that the drop in temperature is often cause for discomfort, most people don’t realise that failing to winter-poof your home can also lead to a significant costs as well.
Today, we’re looking over some of the most common issues that can arise within the home when left unchecked during the winter months, how much they could cost you and how to tackle them before they happen.
The Boiler – £4,000
The boiler is the heart of our homes, especially during the winter months and so it’s important to get it checked before the cold weather sets in. Even in a new build there can be problems with your boiler and a service check will set you back around £50 to £100. However, left neglected and this cost can be considerably higher with a new boiler setting you back as much as £3,000.
The Roof – £4,000
A leaky roof can really dampen your holiday spirit and can cause damage to your home way beyond the roof itself. Cracked or missing tiles are the most common issues and while they sound like a small problem, they can often cause a domino effect that can cause damage to spread right across your roof. A professional inspection is the safest option and will set you back a few hundred pounds. In contrast, fixing an already damaged roof can start at a few hundred pounds but soon spiral to as much as £4,000 should the roof need extensive repairs.
The Gutters – £200
Particularly during the winter months, gutters can become blocked with plant debris and so making sure they are clear to begin with will at least give you a fighting chance. Failing to do so could require hundreds of pounds spent on new guttering and a new downpipe, as well as causing water damage to your property.
Water Pipes – £700
Cold weather can cause water pipes to crack and potentially burst. Check there are no cracks already emerging to prevent this from happening and also consider insulating your pipes. It will cost you £50 or so to fit pipe jackets but new pipes and redecorating due to water damage can set you back hundreds of pounds once it’s too late.
Windows and Doors – £300
Windows and doors help keep the cold out but if they are in a poor state they can make your home energy inefficient. It’s worth checking the fitting of your doors and if wooden, that there is no rot or damage. It’s also common for windows and doors to be permitting cold air ingress. A new double glazed window can start at £300 a piece, so it’s worth trying to maintain your windows and doors before you reach this stage.
Insulation – £500
Poorly fitted loft insulation will cost you money in energy bills in the long-run, as much as £250 a year. Making sure it’s up to scratch is a quick, cheap task and can cost £80 for a blanket insulation replacement. However, replacing the full thing in the loft for example, can set you back as much as £500.
Brickwork Pointing – £300
Inadequate or incomplete brickwork pointing can be a major issue, particularly during the winter months.It’s not just an aesthetic problem and over time poor finishing can allow water ingress, frost damage and damp. Leaving it until it’s too late will see you spend hundreds in brick repair instead of £30 per square metre to repoint.
Trickle Vents – £60
Finally, trickle vents are the small openings that allow air to flow through a window while it’s shut. They reduce condensation and mould which can be particularly prevalent during the winter months. However, if poorly installed they can cost you money in lost energy and are as much as £60 a vent to replace.
Founder and Managing Director of HouseScan, Harry Yates, commented:
“It’s a busy time of year and so it’s understandable that winter-proofing our homes isn’t our first thought ahead of Christmas. However, the majority of checks can be quick and easy and identifying any issues is always better done sooner rather than later.
Not only can neglecting your home cost you a lot more money in the long run, but it can also be particularly difficult and inconvenient to rectify an issue bang in the middle of the Christmas break.”