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As temperatures dip and the dark nights set in the region’s fastest-growing property management company is offering top tips on how to prepare west country homes for the winter months.

From clearing gutters and checking roofs to ensuring homes are energy efficient, property managers at Downend-based BNS Management say that small checks and minor lifestyle changes can save homeowners money and prevent anything going wrong.

Chris King, head of maintenance at BNS Property Management, said: “The winter can take its toll on a property but by carrying out a thorough pre-winter check and making sure work is done you can save thousands of pounds in costs.

“Top of the agenda is a boiler service; poorly maintained boilers prove less efficient and therefore cost more money to run. They can also potentially leak carbon monoxide into homes if not properly looked after.

“Insulating pipes with foam will also help to reduce heat loss and stop them from freezing, which often leads to burst pipes and major damage for homes.

“You can also preserve heat and be energy efficient by bleeding your radiators and ensuring all draughts are sealed. These are really simple tips but can really make a difference.

“Outside of your property it’s always a good idea to clear your gutters in order to avoid blocking them up and causing excess rainwater to leak into your roof and home. Trimming the trees around your home will also help keep gutters clear.

“It’s also worth checking your stop taps, putting down rock salt on slippery areas and checking that your energy tariff is as good as it can be as well making sure you only use the electricity that you need.”

Apartment blocks, flats, modern housing estates and large houses converted for multiple occupation in Bristol, Bath, North Somerset and Gloucestershire under the control of BNS Property Management will all have visits from the winter protection squad over the next few weeks.

The property experts have stock-piled five tonnes of rock salt already in preparation for icy weather and every property under their management will be checked over both internally and externally.

Chris continued: “There is a whole raft of work being done by our teams at the moment. We are inspecting lighting to ensure it is all properly maintained and in good working order ready for the darker nights and we are reviewing electricity contracts.

“Tarmac, paving slabs and other surfaces are also being checked to ensure they will withstand the rigours of winter, which is when most trips and falls occur because of frost damage, slippery surfaces, poor maintenance or bad lighting.

“Inside we are checking heating systems, windows and doors in communal areas and recommending that, where appropriate, our clients check their boilers to ensure that they don’t fail when everyone fires them up again.”