The end of November always signals the end of autumn and the beginning of the cold months ahead. Nobody wants to get caught out by freezing temperatures, burst pipes or broken-down boilers when the icy fingers of winter set in. That’s why this year’s Maintenance Week is ideally timed to take place from 19th-26th November 2021, with the equally important National Gutters Day taking place on Friday 26th November.
Run by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), Maintenance Week is a for anyone who looks after a building - regardless of its age, type or purpose – to raise awareness of the simple, achievable steps they can take to prepare for the winter ahead. It’s time to get those maintenance jobs done – no matter how large or small they may be. SPAB is reminding everyone that carrying out simple, regular maintenance tasks will save money on expensive repairs further down the line, and allow us to live more sustainably.
Gutters Day (Friday 26 November) is SPAB’s light-hearted reminder to look out for potential problems and take action where necessary. If it is safe to do so, take a few minutes on Friday 26 November to check on the performance of your property’s gutters and down pipes. Look out for cracks, breakages, and blockages from debris including earth, twigs, leaves and bird’s nests.
The CIPHE is keen to get behind SPAB’s maintenance message. Did you know that checking and maintaining plumbing and heating systems will not only help to keep you safe and warm during our harshest months, it can also save you a substantial amount of money too? Not only will systems work more effectively and efficiently, but regular servicing also reduces the risk of a plumbing emergency. The damage caused by a burst pipe alone can run into thousands of pounds.
The CIPHE recommends all households:
- Have their plumbing systems serviced once a year by a qualified plumbing professional.
- Have any boilers or heat sources serviced annually by an appropriately registered professional – Gas Safe for gas, OFTEC for oil or HETAS for solid fuel. For extra peace of mind make sure they are CIPHE registered too.
- If you have a log burning stove or other solid fuel appliance using a chimney, now is a great time to employ a chimney sweep.
- If you have a cold-water storage cistern (normally located in the roof space) it’s really important to check it regularly and, if it is metal, make sure it is not corroding.
- Ensure that all exposed pipes and water storage systems are properly insulated, particularly in the roof space or attic, where there is little heat from the house.
- It is also essential you find out where your stop valve is located on the incoming water supply main and label it. Check occasionally that it is working – you never know when you may need to turn off the water supply to your home.
- Check your guttering, downpipes and any drainage grilles to make sure they are clear of debris. Call in a professional to work at heights on guttering.
So, if you have been ignoring that dripping tap or continuously running overflow pipe, now is the best time to get it all sorted. Find a local professional plumbing or heating engineer via our online find a plumber tool.
Find out more about Maintenance Week via the SPAB website.