RICS winter weather audit


Winter scene

Superb advice from the experts at RICS Scotland. Even if you’re not experiencing Scottish weather, this checklist should be standard advice for property owners. Many of the points will seem obvious to property professionals but a quick refresher never hurts – we’ve sent this out to all our clients just in case.

The RICS recommends that householders carry out a winter property audit once the weather improves and if at all concerned to ask a chartered surveyor for advice and use professional trade people to carry out repairs. Areas that need to be covered are:

Roof – this can be inspected safely from ground level using binoculars

  • Inspect the roof and replace any cracked tiles
  • If chimney pots are in place but not in-use consider protecting them, by fitting ventilated cowls
  • Inspect the flashings around chimney stacks and at abutments – replace defective ones and re-fix any that are loose


  • Check the insulation is in good condition and that there are no areas where insulation is missing
  • Avoid over insulating as it is important that the tanks and pipes in the loft do not freeze, so do not insulate below the tank and make sure the lid is on the cold-water tank 


  • Clear of any left over twigs/leaves and debris – take particular care that the gulleys are clear as overflowing gutters can drench walls and cause damage
  • Check for signs of leaking gutters and rainwater pipes


  • 33 percent of heat lost in the home is through the walls – cavity wall insulation is a good option
  • Check the pointing – frost can play havoc with poorly maintained walls
  • Make sure water can run off the property; fill gaps to cement angle fillets at wall junctions


  • Check perimeters of all windows to make sure water flows away from glass and doesn’t collect on the sill, or drain behind it
  • It is important to minimize drafts – if double-glazing is not in place (it cuts heat loss through windows by 50 percent), consider fitting cheaper options such as secondary glazing or put polythene across the window frames
  • Curtains can make a big difference to heat loss


  • Stop draughts through letterboxes by fitting a cover and put a sealant around the door frames

Floor boards

  • If there are stripped floors in place consider putting down rugs in the winter to reduce drafts up between the boards

Heating systems

  • Check your heating system is in order; service boilers, insulate hot water tanks, bleed radiators
  • Make sure that climbing plants, shrubs and bushes do not object boiler flues – if this is the case the boiler should be inspected immediately by a specialist

Wyoming winter

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