Winter weather can cause issues for all our homes, and it’s natural to have questions about what can be done to fix common problems.
Here at MyBuilder, anyone can ask the experienced tradespeople on the site for their advice, so we’ve put together some of the frequently asked questions about winter issues, and the top answers from our tradespeople.
Q: Is it a good idea to start building an extension in winter? I would love to start on an extension build ASAP but have heard from some people that it is not a good idea.
A: All of the tradespeople answering this question are unanimous on the answer - that building work can take place all year round, no matter the season, but some elements may be slowed down by very cold temperatures.
Cleverly Associated Limited said: “All building work is fine all year round. I would complete this type of work all year round, but as a customer you should be aware that the build may take a little longer - due to weather. The only factor to consider is the temperature - you should not be working with cement-based products below 5 degrees celsius.
Ambux Ltd added: “There is not really a good time to start an extension. They are always inconvenient to the customer, however a good builder should be able to minimise your inconvenience and make it as comfortable as possible for you during the project. Winter weather can be an obstacle for some extensions and may cause delays due to rainfall or freezing conditions as certain jobs are not permissible due sub zero temperatures as it affects the quality. We have undertaken several projects and we have never let the month determine whether we start. We just ensure we alert the customer of the potential delays and try to work around them as much as we can. As soon as an extension has a roof, then there are no reasons why weather, month, or time should effect works.”
Q: How can I stop black mould developing on a ceiling during winter months? We have added roof vents and used anti-mould paint, but the problem persists.
A: Tradespeople agreed that the key factor was dealing with black mould during cold weather is ventilation.
Trident Damp said: “Venting the roof is great for the roof space but has no bearing on the condensation internally. You need better ventilation in these rooms using better extractor fans and also checking that you have sufficient insulation above these ceilings. It can be worth using double insulation to keep the ceilings warmer, as they must be getting cold which is a major cause of condensation forming.”
AL Plastering agreed: “The warm air hits the cold areas like walls / ceilings causing condensation. I often use insulated plaster boards (depending on requirements) with vapour barriers. This makes the areas warmer and much less susceptible to mould. Ventilation is also a factor, especially in areas where airflow is restricted. Bathrooms, kitchens and drying washing on radiators releases water into the air which has to go somewhere.”
Q: In winter, I find my water temperature is not hot enough. In summer it is fine, but during cold weather, the water in the shower never gets above lukewarm, no matter how high I turn the settings.”
A: The heating and plumbing experts who tackled this one suggested two solutions - lowering the water pressure to raise the temperature, or, if necessary, replacing the boiler.
Eaton Heating and Plumbing said: “I presume the boiler is fairly old and can’t keep up with raising the temperature from very cold. One simple option is to reduce the water pressure going into the boiler, allowing it to heat it up to the right temperature. Other than that, you would be looking at a new condensing boiler.”
Roy Morgan Plumbing & Heating concurred: “One option would be to replace the blending valve and seeing if that does the trick. Turning down the pressure could also make a difference.”
If you have any questions about how to protect your home in winter, or need advice on any other aspect of home improvement, you can also ask our tradespeople for help.