How often do you carry out property visits? Heavy snowfall can be a real issue to your investment property if you do not carry out the basic checks during your regular property visits. That way you can put in place a plan of action to protect against damage in the future.
I am so surprised when landlords tell me that property visits are just about ‘checking on my tenant’. Personally I find that rather negative. A landlord tenant relationship is a mutually beneficial one (you provide the house they call home).
When we carry out property inspections (we call them home visits), yes we are looking out for potential damage like condensation and mould, but in the main we are looking for future problems which would cost you dearly if left.
Which brings me to snow!
A damaged roof can be a very expensive fix and excessive snowfall left on a roof can place undue stress on the structure, which could collapse in extreme circumstances. If you are carrying out your own inspections, I would suggest looking out for these below elements which will protect your investment:
What to look out for in property visits
These can get clogged with snow and ice and could lead to damage if they overflow or burst. We would normally look out for this in late autumn, when the leaves have dropped. A visual inspection of the gutters, particularly if it’s raining, will highlight any overflow issue. This will then give you a guide to the area that needs sorting .
Sagging ceiling boards
A ceiling sagging under the pressure of weight above is a sure sign your roof is carrying more than it can handle. If the boards, beams, or any other part of your ceiling appear to be drooping, it’s a warning that something is wrong. Outside of heavy snow fall, this could indicate the beams are old and need replacing, or that they’re suffering from rot.
If you hear strange noises coming from above, particularly creaking, this could mean that the beams and rafters in your roof space are under excessive pressure, and may be starting to get damaged. If these areas of your roof are visible in the loft, it’s absolutely vital to check their condition. Pay close attention and look out for cracks or other obvious signs of wear.
Cracks in the walls and roof
A roof doesn’t collapse all at once, and many of the warning signs won’t just be apparent in your roof space. If you begin to see cracks and crevices appearing in your walls, then the structure above is suffering under excess weight, and it may be time to act and remove snow from your roof
Another clear sign that you need to take action is a leaking roof. A roof covered with too much snow will become warped and cracked, allowing snow to drift into interior components of your roof space. As the snow melts, it can leak into the spaces below.
Doors and windows
Are your doors and windows not shutting into their frames properly, or are you perhaps struggling to open them? Whilst this is more commonly due to the cold weather, it could be a sign that the frames have become warped- strained by the weight on snow on the roof above.
It is preventable!
If you are concerned about anything I have mentioned above just give us a call. All of the damage mentioned is preventable but it does need you to look out for issues which could cause a problem going forward.
Find out more about average maintenance costs here