for borrowers

Looking after your home

Your home or property is probably the biggest purchase you’ll make in your lifetime, and something to be proud of. 

Maintaining your home may not be the most exciting way to spend your weekend, but it doesn’t have to be a huge chore. A little job here and there can stop it feeling like a daunting task, and help you to avoid those big catastrophes (and associated bills).

You could even break it down into internal and external jobs to suit the weather. To help you get started we’ve shared our top tips for helping keep your home in good order.


Internal Jobs

Test your smoke alarms – These little fellas could save your life, so it’s important to check they’re working on a regular basis, and replace the unit or batteries as soon as they start beeping.

Service your boiler - It’s important to get your boiler serviced annually. Regular maintenance minimises the risk of breakdown and helps lengthen the lifespan of your boiler too. It also keeps you safe and healthy. Please get a fully-qualified heating engineer to do this.

Carbon Monoxide is a danger to anyone with a fuel burning appliance in the home, so it may be worth investing in a detector.

Note for Landlords; it’s a legal requirement to have working smoke alarms installed on every storey of your property and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g. a coal fire, wood burning stove).

Protect your pipes - If you’re heading away for more than 48 hours, set your heating on low, as pipes holding water can freeze and crack at 0 degrees. You can also insulate pipes and water tanks.

Bleed your radiators – this helps get air out and the void will then fill with more water. Having trapped air in your radiators will stop warm water circulating which will mean your house won’t heat as efficiently as it could, and cost you more to run over time. Run your hand up the radiator when on to see if it’s cold at the top – if it is, they need bleeding.


External Jobs

Check your roof – Tiles may have become damaged or moved, so it’s best to replace them to avoid any potential water damage.

Clear your gutters – it’s not a fun job, but worth doing. Gutters are built to take water away from your property. If they are blocked they can cause a leak in your home or create damp where water is lingering, which can be very costly to fix.

Keep good airflow – most homes will have air bricks or vents. They allow air to circulate around the building which stops damp forming. Check they’re clear on the outside and inside. Open windows occasionally and using extractor fans also help prevent damp.

We’re all adults here, but just in case you’ve got grand ideas of ladder climbing this weekend after reading this – just a friendly disclaimer. Whilst we’re encouraging you to maintain and look after your property, if you feel you’re not capable of doing any of these things, please find a local trusted tradesperson to help you – we’d hate for you to get out of your depth, hurt or injured.

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