Now that the warmer weather is finally coming it is definitely time to spring into maintenance and cleaning action in your holiday home. After the winter we have just endured in the UK it will be a good idea to make structural checks throughout the inside and outside of the property and carry out any necessary repairs or replacements.
Check your roof and chimneys. The very high winds experienced by large areas of the country may have caused tiles and or flashing to work loose, chimney pots, aerials or dishes to shift, gutters and down pipes to have been damaged (by falling branches, or simply by the force of the winds themselves).
Check all soak-aways and drains, given the vast amounts of rain we have had not only leaves but also large quantities of mud and even stones may have been washed into these and they may need a thorough clearing. If you realise that there has been a build up of water anywhere on your property, not only clear all drains, but also check the walls for water damage in that area, inside and out.
At the same time check your paintwork, doors, window frames and the windows themselves. Has anything been damaged in the harsh weather? At the very least windows will need cleaning after all the winter rain and paintwork will need washing too it is remarkable how dirty the outside of a house gets particularly if high winds have been moving lots of dust and debris around.
Inside the house, now is a good time to get the boiler and central heating system looked over. The system may need draining and rebalancing after months of going off and on. The radiators should all be checked. Connections can work loose as pipes and nuts expand and contract and such movement could cause leaks, so it would be a good idea to tighten everything. Any air that has got trapped in the system can be removed by bleeding all the radiators.
Now is the time to give the place a lick of paint or certainly a good wash. The warmer air means that such works should dry out quickly. All curtains and soft furnishings should be checked (by touch and smell) for any damp or fusty smell. Wash such items and replace them if you cannot get rid of any damp odour. A good vacuum of the upper areas of rooms and curtain pelmets, plus under and behind furnishings should get rid of any cobwebs and unwelcome creepy crawly visitors who have made their home indoors (and perhaps died there) during the winter months. Spiders come into our homes during the cooler nights of autumn so also ensure you remove any spiders’ nests you may find. These are quite sticky but a very strong vacuum nozzle or scrubbing brush should remove them.
Ensure that all plumbing and electrical services in the home are working properly, make sure that any fridges or freezers are free of smells and run the washing machine and dishwasher to freshen them and ensure that they are functioning properly and not leaking. While we have had a pretty mild winter this year in most parts of the UK, a normal Spring check would also be to ensure that there are no burst pipes anywhere in the property. Be particularly mindful of those pipes you cannot actually see. It would be a good idea to be able to gain access to all pipework joints so that you can do this each year.
Now is the time to talk to your holiday home management company about arrangements for the summer and other matters. You may wish to review your electrical and gas suppliers at this time of year too to make sure you are getting the best deals available for your holiday home. Similarly your telephone and broadband package if you have these facilities at your property.