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Posted on: 1st November 2016

Don't let cold callers give you the chills!

WINTER is knocking at the door – and as the elements take a toll on your home – so do the rogue traders. 

At this time of year, we can expect gusty winds and heavy rain to play havoc with our home and garden when it comes to guttering, roof tiles, fences and even trees.

Then there’s the frozen pipes and radiators that won’t work after spending the summer months idle, to name a couple of household niggles.

The effects of the elements, if and when they do their damage, are like magnets to the cowboy traders whose aim is to make even more winter misery while lining their own pockets.

Our advice is to never accept an offer of work from cold callers who ‘happen to be in your area’. They will ask for cash up front, and more often than not, it will be for work which is totally  unnecessary.

Don’t be fooled by business cards with websites and telephone numbers which look genuine. Politely take the card – if you begin to feel vulnerable or intimidated - and say you will contact them at your convenience should you need their services.

You can then check their contact details, or ask a family member of friend to do so on your behalf.

So, for all those winter maintenance jobs that still need planning in before the festive season, should be your first port of call. We have a range of professional, recommended and reliable trades from chimney sweeps, boiler maintenance, electricians, roofing specialists, plumbers, tree surgeons – and just about anyone who can provide a service for your seasonal maintenance needs.

However, there are some simple but effective ways you take steps to winter proof your home and garden, and avoid a November nightmare or December disaster:

  • Check all external pipes for breaks, leaks, and blockages. Blocked or leaking pipes can freeze during the cold months, then expand and burst – causing potentially expensive water damage.
  • Think about insulation. A properly insulated property is an absolute must. Make sure that you check the basics, starting with obvious draft points. Invest in some draft excluder to keep doors and windows secure. Check the cladding around your boiler and pipes, and make sure that taps and faucets don’t leak.
  • Bleed your radiators. A great way to warm up your property is to bleed the radiators. This releases any trapped air, allowing hot water to fill every part of your radiator and warm the property more efficiently.
  • Get a boiler service. Arrange for a professional to service your boiler each year. As everyone starts to switch on or boost their central heating, the surge in gas consumption can lead to a big increase in boiler breakdowns.
  • Clear out your gutters. In autumn, leaves can collect in gutters and drains, leading to blocks and overflows - so it’s best to clean them regularly. Consider investing in gutter leaf guards to help prevent your gutters becoming blocked in future.
  • Sweep your chimney. If your chimneys are in use, make sure that they get swept every year. This will remove the build-up of dirt and grime from your chimney walls.

To source reputable traders, for any of the above jobs, click on the Home button and use the Search options.

More about Safe Local Trades

Safe Local Trades 0800 014 1832 Allia Future Business Centre, Peterborough United Football Club, Peterborough, Cambs, PE2 8AN