Freezing weather and snowy conditions have come to the UK this week, with a cold front from the Arctic causing temperatures to plummet to -10C in some areas.

Icy conditions can be very dangerous, so preventative measures should be taken to protect your properties from damage and your occupiers from harm.


Salt, grit and antifreeze

The easiest way to prevent icy conditions around your properties is correct gritting and salting. The right proportion of grit is essential to keeping an area safe—too little salt will fail to prevent ice and could lead to dangerous black ice, whereas too much salt creates waste. 

Around 10 to 15 grams of salt should be used for every square metre of ground to prevent frost and ice, but this should be upped to between 20 and 40 grams if snow is forecast. We recommend using a salt calculator app to help you work out how much you’ll need.

Areas that need particular attention when gritting include stairs, elevated walkways and ramps, which can pose the most danger if someone falls traversing them. If certain areas have been known to cause injury in icy conditions, you could put up a sign or a cone to warn pedestrians, or simply tape them off.

 

Stop the cold from causing damage

The formation of ice can cause damage to your property due to water expanding. Tiles can become loose if water freezes in any cracks, and heavy snowfall could cause tiles to come off altogether. Prevent these problems by undertaking a complete survey of the roof before the weather turns.

Pipe lagging should be checked to reduce the likelihood of pipes freezing. Cracks in boilers should also be fixed, as the coldest times of year are when boilers see the most use.

If the property has decorative items that could be damaged by frost or snow, such as plants, see if these can be brought inside for the duration of the cold spell.

You should have a contractor near your property who you can communicate with quickly to carry out any urgent repairs should they arise. Proximity to the property is essential as snowy conditions may slow down or completely prevent vehicles from travelling.

 

Getting your residents involved

When snow and ice are forecast, it is worthwhile letting your residents know what measures you are taking to mitigate dangers. This puts their minds at ease about staying in their property during poor weather conditions, and gives them the opportunity to suggest steps you can take to make their properties even safer.

Get ready for the cold with Fixflo’s fast and easy resident communication, and resolve repairs and maintenance issues in a snap.

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Jonty Shepheard

Jonty Shepheard

On the rare occasion Jonty isn't at her keyboard, she can be found making coffee, reading fantasy or road-tripping – ideally some combination of all three.

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This article is intended for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions related to issues in this article, we strongly advise contacting a legal professional.

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Jonty Shepheard
By Jonty Shepheard