Enjoying the weather, right?
Spare a thought for the people of Buffalo, New York who woke up last week to find two feet of snow had fallen overnight. Weather experts predict that the snowy weather will be headed our way in the next few days. They expect temperatures of -3C and frost by Monday morning. Are we in for a white Christmas? Maybe. A chilly November? Definitely.
With this cold weather front, houses all over England are changing.
Some of these changes are easily seen, others require detection by specialists. These effects can signify an underlying problem with the building, so keep your eyes peeled.
Call an expert if you notice any of these signs that your home isn’t ready for winter:
- In the summer, some homes experience doors that seem to stick all the time.
In the winter, the slight expansion and contraction (depending on the side of the door) of the materials leads to the lock not engaging properly. It doesn’t sit flush with the strike plate, therefore doesn’t engage with it. This occurs when you try to shut the door but it really doesn’t. The recommended remedies are tightening the hinge plates or finely shaving the part of the door that is in contact with the frame.
- The cold can cause caulking to shrink.
Since caulking is used to fill gaps in buildings, its shrinkage will result in spaces forming in places where it was used. Inspection and possible re-caulking should be part of your annual home inspection, but many home-owners don’t know that re-caulking is required. Sometimes all-in-one caulk simply cannot cut it, you may have to use speciality caulk. There are caulks that can fight mildew, those that hold up under extreme heat, speak to your builder. If you are in a region prone to extremes of temperature, caulking can be done with special caulk that resists expansion or contraction and can even block fire.
- Damp is another common effect of cooler, wetter weather.
This can be difficult to address as there are three distinct forms. There is Rising Damp, where the ground water rises up through a wall. This manifests itself through damaged skirting boards and wallpaper that is around it. To counter this, a damp-proof course, a horizontal plastic strip, is placed in the wall to prevent the creep. This may prove ineffective if the ground level around the area is higher than your damp-proof course.
- Penetrating damp is caused by water leaking through the walls.
It is caused by leaky or faulty guttering or piping. Most common in older buildings, this damp shows up as damp patches on the walls, ceilings and floors. Fixing this entails a thorough inspection of guttering and piping to eliminate leakages.
- Condensation is caused by moist air coming in contact with warmer walls.
A common winter occurrence, due to the temperature difference between internal walls and cold air outside. It can be worsened by poor ventilation. Some of its characteristics include pooling of water droplets on windows or walls, constant fogging up of windows and dark mould growth. Homeowners must ensure that the glazing fitted for doors and windows comply with Building Regulations specifications for thermal performance. They must keep more heat INSIDE the house than outside.
Condensation can sometimes be the symptom of a bigger problem.
If your home is really humid and poorly ventilated, it can lead to problems like peeling paint, rotting frames, mildew and even insulation deterioration.
These warnings signs can help you spot issues you may need to address to ensure your home is cosy and safe this winter. The more you poke around your house, the more prepared you will be for addressing any issues that arise.
Visit SRL Limited to see our range of professionally fabricated doors and windows with industry standard glazing.