Whether you’re lucky enough to have a summer home and are returning to your standard property for the colder months, or you’re waiting to find a tenant for your empty house, there are plenty of problems that could be lurking in the shadows that you need to be aware of.
Knowing what to expect when entering your empty property will mean you can equip yourself with the things you need to fix any issues that arise.
For those that have left the house vacant for several months, without heating, fresh air, or a dehumidifier, you could get home to a foisty-smelling house.
Damp is common in properties left vacant, as the cold, wet conditions are perfect for organisms to grow and thrive. Without proper ventilation, your house will be less than homely when you first enter.
If the plan is to offer viewings – either to rent or sell the property – you should try to visit the house a few weeks before to open up the windows, put the heating on for a bit and bring the house back to a livable temperature. Creating a throughflow of air will help get rid of the smell of damp and keep things fresh for potential tenants.
If the house is often left empty, installing an automatic dehumidifier that switches on when moisture levels reach a certain point might be worth investing in. This will ensure damp stays at bay.
As for getting rid of any visible damp, check out these solutions.
While the world has focused on the coronavirus, empty properties – both private and business – have had another bacteria ready to attack.
Legionella is a common problem in pipework that has been left dormant for quite some time. If you’ve been elsewhere for the summer for more than a few weeks, you may have given legionella just enough time to develop in your waterworks, and the consequences can be fatal.
For any property that’s been empty for a while, you should call in the experts for a legionella risk assessment. For businesses, there will be a safety officer on site that will be required by law to have these risk assessments in place.
For treatment, ensure you flush out all taps before use. Keep windows open while doing this and try to stay out of the way of any splashback, as legionnaires disease is certainly not something you want to experience.
Without living in a property, it’s hard to identify leaks before they’ve become detrimental.
People often notice leaks when they’ve already started to damage the interior of the house, either by leaving brown rings on the ceiling or soddening the carpets.
It’s difficult to detect anything when you’re not there every day. However, you should regularly check in with your empty property to ensure everything is safe and leak-free. This might include filling in any cracks in the walls and checking roof tiles aren’t damaged or dislodged.
Leaks from the roof are particularly difficult to notice until they’ve gone too far. Normally, people don’t notice these leaks until the water has made its way into the lower floors of the house.
Make sure to regularly check the roof and the attic to try to prevent potential risks before they become a problem.