summer2You’d be forgiven for thinking only of ice cream and beaches at this time of year, but we must bring you back down to earth.
It’s because now is exactly the right time to consider getting your home or workplace winter-ready. As they say, ‘The time to repair a roof is when the sun is shining’.
Your home will probably be at its driest soon, so it’s a brilliant time to have a quick walk around both inside and out to assess whether there are any problems.

Outdoor Inspection

1. Cracking in Bricks or Rendering
Inspect the exterior walls for cracks in the bricks or rendering. Even tiny cracks can let water in, which then freezes and expands in the winter, possibly causing much more significant damage in the long run. Larger cracks could indicate major structural issues requiring urgent attention, which should be inspected by professionals to prevent further deterioration.

2. Missing Mortar Between Bricks
Check the mortar between the bricks. Over time, this can decay due to weathering. Missing or crumbling mortar allows moisture ingress and weakens the wall’s structural integrity. You can consider repointing any areas with major mortar losses. Repointing is simply renewing the external part of the mortar joints to secure the stability and protection of the wall.

3. Overgrown Plants in Gutters
Ensure your gutters are clear of debris, leaves, or overgrown plants. If gutters are blocked, the sitting water will overflow and damage exterior walls and foundations. Furthermore, ensure the downspouts are clear and water does not fall near the house. Proper drainage is crucial to preventing water damage.

4. Missing Slates or Tiles
Check the roof for missing or damaged slates or tiles. These could well be a source of leaks and water ingress into the inside of the house. If you find that extensive damage has been done or there is just a general uncertainty about your roof’s condition, then it would not be a bad idea to arrange to have a professional roofer take a good look and rectify any damage.

Indoor Inspection

1. Dampness or mould
Move furniture away from walls to check for hidden damp spots or mould growth. These areas behind furniture are often overlooked but can hide significant issues. Check the ceilings and corners of rooms for any signs of dampness or mould. These could indicate roof leaks or poor ventilation. It’s important to address dampness-related issues early on to avoid severe structural and health-related issues.

2. Temperature Anomalies
Notice if there are rooms that may feel much warmer or colder than the others in your house. This could mean there is a problem with the insulation in that area of your home or with some kind of ventilation. Look for window and door drafts; sealing these can offer optimum energy efficiency and comfort and help your home stay at a constant temperature all year around.

3. Dead Woodlice
The presence of dead woodlice in corners or behind furniture is also indicative of dampness. Pests such as woodlice like to inhabit damp areas and, therefore, are at times an indication that there is an underlying moisture problem. You can avoid pest infestations and damage to the structure simply by rectifying moisture-related problems. Ensure proper ventilation and consider using a dehumidifier in particularly damp areas.

4. Water Marks on Walls
Check for any watermarks or staining on the walls that may indicate roof leaks, plumbing problems, or condensation. If you do notice water marks, trace their origin. This could involve checking the roof for leaks, inspecting plumbing systems, or improving ventilation to reduce condensation. Early detection and repair prevent further damage and costly repairs.

If you do identify any of these problems, then further investigation is necessary. We can help with rendering, brickwork, and defective insulation issues. We suggest seeking a reputable local builder for slipping tiles or water leaks. Websites such as Checkatrade can help you find verified professionals with customer reviews.

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Advice for Homeowners This Summer