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  • Marc Tate

Cold Weather Damage

Although we don’t get the very cold winter weather here in the UK that we see in other parts of the world, the cold temperatures and snow we do get can cause issues with your property so it is worth being aware that these things happen. Most people know that water can seep in as snow and ice thaw but there are some forms of damage that aren’t as obvious but can still cause problems in the short or long term.


Snow and Ice are Heavy


It’s safe to say that we don’t do snow well in this country. Because we get heavy snow so rarely, especially here in the south, it causes terrible disruption when it comes. This also means that we don’t think of things like the fact frozen water of any type is actually quite heavy when it accumulates. Heavy snow and ice can break things like tree branches, guttering and damage conservatories, greenhouses, etc. It is worth checking to see if there are any cracks or signs of damage before they become big problems (especially with tree branches falling on things or, god forbid, people).


Too Cold to Do Work


Dry cold days are quite nice to use to do outside work like decorating but when you paint during cold weather, the paint takes longer to dry and can sometimes be liable to peeling off at a later date. Similarly, with any material that needs time to dry – grouting, mortar etc. – if you use it in very cold weather it struggles to dry quickly and can give you problems later on.


Cold Cracks


Water freezing and unfreezing can cause issues when it works its way into materials either in the home or garden and cause them to crack. Any material getting damp, freezing, thawing or just naturally contracting and expanding through changing temperatures can cause damage. Chimneys are particularly vulnerable to this sort of damage but there can even be issues with some buildings’ foundations when it gets very cold. We seem to get a lot of very quickly changing weather here in Britain so it is worth keeping your eye out for cracks. This can also cause problems with outside steps and pathways so look out for loose paving stones etc. that can become nasty trip hazards.


Warm Inside Verses Cold Outside


We all know what cold surfaces and warm air equals – condensation. If your walls are cold, particularly if the property isn’t terribly well insulated, you may find condensation forming on them and this can lead to issues with mould. Condensation may be an indication that you need better insulation or more effective ventilation. When mould does grow and you want to get rid of it quickly though, you can give it a wipe with a very diluted solution of bleach. The warmth (and food) in your house can also attract critters which can chew plaster, wiring and insulation so it is a good idea to be on the lookout for signs of small furry animals living in your house that aren’t pets.


If you have any concerns about damage to your property caused by the cold weather or anything at all really and would like the opinion of an experienced and qualified surveyor, please get in touch on 01273 281624 or email info@tatesurveyingservices.co.uk.

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