Dark days, early nights and extreme winter weather mean extra responsibility for property guardians over the colder months. We caught up with the two newest members of DEX’s Property Management Team, Kate and Jason, and asked them a series of questions, specifically related to securing Property Guardian buildings during winter….
Q: Our property has a big garden, what do I need to do to maintain it over the winter months?
A: Generally, gardens look after themselves in the colder months as plants don’t grow as rapidly, but there are a number of things Guardians should do to make sure the garden is ‘winter ready’. Trees surrounding property should really be cut back as they could damage the property in bad weather and I would encourage Guardians to call the Property Management team if there are any around their property. Fences can fall over in strong winds, so we recommend making sure everything is secure and sturdy and that smaller items, such as garden furniture, are safely stored away too.
Q: Last year we noticed water on the inside of our windows and the place smelt a little damp. What can we do to stop it this year?
A: Interior condensation occurs on the inside of windows and it happens in the winter when the warm air inside the house condenses on the cold windows. It’s a common issue, but there are many small changes Property Guardian to reduce the problem;
- Ensure the house is ventilated
- If it isn’t too cold, open the windows for short periods
- Move houseplants away from the window, as they can produce moisture
- Use extractor fans if available
- Keep bathroom and kitchen doors closed
If a Guardian notices condensation, it’s important to try and take these precautionary steps, as if the problem goes untreated it could lead to mould forming. If the problem continues, DEX can provide moisture eliminators or dehumidifiers.
Q: The property we live is pretty old, are there any extra measures we should be taking when the temperature drops?
A: Make sure the property is wind and watertight by checking the exterior of the property. Guardians should look for broken or missing tiles, overflowing guttering or cracks in the walls. These can all lead to water getting into the property, older properties are more susceptible to leaks and they can result in more serious or structure issues. If leaks are identified the property management team should be notified immediately. Keep an eye out for damp, again older properties can be more susceptible. Making sure the property is well ventilated and that the heating is in regularly use can help reduce the problem.
Q: I heard that property related crime levels tend to increase over the winter, what extra security measures we should be taking?
A: Darker evenings and shorter days mean properties are more susceptible to crime in the winter months, than at any other time of the year. As a Guardian there are a few simple steps that can be made to improve security levels. Put lights are on in the property during the evening, to ensure the property looks visibility lived in. Having Property Guardians living in the property is the biggest deterrent to criminals, especially if the building has been empty previously. Ideally a Property Guardian would be in the property throughout the day and evening and obviously have all doors and windows locked and secure at all times.