Christmas is just around the corner and we can almost hear the sound of Santa's bells. But before you leave your home to visit family for the holidays, we have some top tips to share with you to ensure you don't have any issues while you're away...
1. Update emergency contact details
Make sure that you know how to get in touch with us in the event of an emergency. Our office will be closed Friday 22nd December at 4pm, and will reopen on Tuesday 2rd January 2017 at 9am. Emails will not be monitored during this time. In case of emergency only, out of office hours, please send us an SMS to 07966 662971 with your name, address, phone number and the full details of the problem. If the issue is deemed to be an emergency, our Out of Hours Team will call you back to arrange the necessary action. Please note this number is for emergencies only and you may be charged an small administration fee for incorrect use.
Non-urgent repair requests should be emailed to us in the usual way and will be actioned as quickly as possible upon our return on the 2nd January.
2. How to avoid burst pipe disasters
It is essential that heating is left on low and us not switched off. Pipes can freeze and then burst during the cold weather and this can lead to major leaks causing much damage to property and your contents. To ensure this does not happen, we kindly request you leave your heating on low and constant over the winter weeks when you are not home. If damage is caused due to your failure to do this, you may be liable for associated costs - so it is vital you do so.
3. Know thy boiler
Burst pipes and other potential problems can be prevented by ensuring that the heating remains on low during cold spells. Be sure to know how your heating system works. If you require a copy of your manuals, these are available on line (by searching the make and model) or from Dwell during office hours. If there is any issue with your heating or hot water (boiler) not working properly, the first thing to do before calling the emergency number is to check the pressure. This should be set between 1 and 2 bar on the gauge. Pressure drops are by far the single most common problem with heating and hot water. If the pressure has dropped to around 0, you can top this up yourself by opening the value for the filing loop and increasing the pressure. Ensure you know how to do this correctly by reading the manual before attempting to do so. If you can’t find a user manual, please google the make and model number for details.
4. Know thy stop tap
It is essential you know where to find the stopcock in the event of a plumbing emergency. Please make familiarise yourselves with the stopcock location if you do not know where it is. If there is a leak, the stopcock will need to be turned off quickly to avoid damage to the property, so it is important that you know where it is.
If you are going away over the Christmas period (or, indeed, at any time during the year), you might consider having a lighting timer system fitted. This can be an effective way of reducing the chances of burglary. Always ensure all doors and windows are locked securely too and alarms are set if provide.
5. Know thy fusebox
Ensure you know the location of your fuse box. If an electical itme, sockets, or lights stop working suddenly it is usually due to a tripped switch on the fusebox. Check this first and reset the switch. You might also consider leaving a torch in an obvious location (for example the kitchen) in order to make sure you can find it in the event that a fuse is blown or a switch tripped.
6. Avoid the dreaded condensation
Condensation can damage paintwork and fixtures and fittings, and can be a problem during the colder winter months. This can be seen as black mould on cold surfaces which are poorly ventilated, and is often confused with damp. Make sure that you keep rooms properly ventilated, and that an even heated temperature is maintained throughout the property, in order to reduce condensation.
7. Stay covered
Make sure your contents insurance policy is up to date and it hasn't expired. This policy should cover you should the worst happen - fire, theft, loss, or accidental damage, In addition, under the terms of your tenancy agreement, you are required to advise us if you are leaving the property for more than 14 days. Please send us an email to let us know if you are going away for 2 weeks or more. This often affects the terms of your landlords insurance policy and may also affect your contents insurance policy. If you need a contents insurance quote, contact us here and we'll get you a great quote.
Thank you for your assistance in looking after your home this Christmas!
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2018!
The Team at Dwell Leeds