The slightly milder temperatures of Autumn make it the ideal season to conduct a thorough review of your building systems. A few basic steps can help you in avoiding costly repairs costs that can become more significant problems during extreme weather during the winter months. It’s so easy to get caught out with this, just because you haven’t experienced a problem yet - doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be one. You want to be prepared for any eventuality and there are a few extremely practical ways that you can go about doing this - not to mention the fact that you will certainly thank yourself for it later down the line if an issue with your building was to arise.
Depending on your budget, it can also be useful to identify system repairs and replacement needs that have significant budget impacts too, it’s certainly better to be aware of these things so you can deal with them appropriately, as and when. So with that in mind, here is some useful guidance for winterproofing your building.
Get up to your gutters
First things first, take a look at your guttering, sounds obvious but it does often get overlooked. Later in the year, the chances are your guttering is going to take a bit of a battering. your gutters certainly withstand a great deal throughout the year. The downpours in spring, the falling leaves of autumn and winter snows keep the humble plastic tubes working at maximum capacity all through the year.
Unfortunately, it’s often the case that your guttering will require some attention from you to keep them working well. If you ignore them, they’ll end up chock full of leaves, moss and another garden debris, leaving not very much room for all the rainwater pouring down for the rest of the time.
When your guttering gets blocked up, the rainwater overflows onto your walls and back into your roofing itself. That can trigger all kinds of damp and rot issues that no one wants to tend to. So, book yourself a professional scaffolder in to allow you to get this first job done safely. This will ensure maximum safety and they will be able to clear out all the obstructions for you. It can be pretty hard going so remember a pair of gloves if you are doing it yourself! Once you’re done, run some water through the pipes to make sure it’s draining properly.
Seal up any gaps in the floor and skirting boards
According to the National Energy Foundation, floors are responsible for up to 10 per cent of heating loss in homes where there is no flooring insulation. Check your floors for gaps and cracks and seal them up with a silicone-based filler. If you require wooden floorboards without carpets, consider covering them up, at least when the weather is chilly, to save more heat. Use rugs or even blankets for added warmth.
This is a highly simple maintenance task that it is so often overlooked, yet it's the first line of defence in keeping water outside of our buildings. While professionally applied caulking materials are expected to last from a decade up to 20 years, caulking still needs to be checked at all junctures and installed or replaced where it's deteriorated or missing. Key locations are joints between coping stones on top of parapet walls, around through-wall window air-conditioner sleeves, and around windows and doors. Caulking is the first line of defence in keeping water outside.
No part of a building receives as much significant exposure to the elements than the roof does. Taking this into consideration, a general roof inspection is advised every autumn and spring. Potential issues areas are all penetrations through the roof, such as stack vent pipes, ladders, and drains; open seams on the roofing membranes; blistering or cracking; ponding; base flashing that has slipped or peeled away from parapet or bulkhead walls; deteriorated counterflashing; and broken glass, nails, screws, or other debris that could break the roofing membrane. Pitch pans surrounding roof penetrations need to be filled to the brim with an appropriate sealant. Various roofing systems may have a reflective coating, and if it is worn in spots, the exposed areas of the roofing membrane are exposed to ultraviolet light, accelerating deterioration.
Check your drains
Another simple but often neglected item on the roofing is the drainage systems, these need to be monitored for clogs, and debris built up around the drains should be cleaned as and when necessary. For roof decks with pavers, the pavers around the drains may need to be taken off to see that there are no leaves, paper, sand, or other items blocking them. If there is loads of debris which has found its way under the pavers, large sections of pavers must be removed by a contractor and the underlying roof surface cleared out. Gutters, leaders, and scuppers should also be looked at to make sure they are not loose and are cleared of leaves and other debris so water can properly drain.
Monitor the facade of your building
Any significant issues with the exterior should be dealt with promptly. At the bare minimum, a visual exterior inspection needs to be conducted using binoculars to check for loose, spalling, or missing bricks, stones, mortar, masonry, terra cotta elements, cornices, windowsills, balconies, railings and so forth. Of particular importance are the sections that stay damp after a rainstorm, which may mean cracks, deterioration or other defects that may be allowing water to infiltrate.
If a draft is felt around the windows or the panes are cold to the touch, the windows may need to be replaced with better-fitting thermally insulated double-pane units. As a stopgap measure, removable foam insulation can be installed around the window frames and a plastic film applied to the panes.
Rodells - Scaffolding Experts Based in Hertfordshire trading since 1898
If you are planning on winterproofing your building - you’ll need some additional assistance in order to get this done and this is where Rodells comes in. Our talented, reliable and safe scaffolding workforce has a history of providing excellent quality, quality scaffolding in the commercial and industrial sectors. Whatever your specific needs are, our team of trained scaffolders can help. As an accredited member of NASC, our workforce is highly trained, has a great code of conduct and adhere to the regulations set out in the industry such as the TG20/SG410.
We have a long history of providing excellent quality, reliable scaffolding in the commercial and industrial sectors. Whatever your needs are, our team of trained scaffolders can help you. Rodells continues its tradition of investing in both staff training and equipment. Drop us a line, explore our website or get in touch today to see if we can fulfil your scaffolding needs. You can call us on 01727 82101. We’d be delighted to help! Whatever your needs are, our team of trained scaffolders will be able to assist you.