Solar Feed-in-Tariffs cut drastically in Government review

As of 31st October 2011, the Government has announced that they will be slashing Feed-in-Tariffs for domestic solar installations. Government Ministers have emphasised the need to stay within the allotted budget in the face of falling solar costs, but critics are foreseeing a sharp contraction of demand and an end to free solar financing schemes and social housing projects.

Read more here.

Japanese Knotweed – Your guide to identifying and dealing with this silent invader

A recent outbreak that led to the demolition of a £300,000 house has highlighted the damaging effects of Japanese Knotweed, Britain’s most invasive non-native plant. Most people don’t even know it exists until it appears in their living room, but with growth rates of up to 4inches a day and paying little attention to the small matter of walls, this plant can be deadly to properties all over Britain.

To read more about this threat and how you can avoid disaster, click here.

How the snow can help you keep your house warm

It can seem a contradiction but the snow can help you keep your house warm.  This can happen in two ways.

Firstly, a covering of snow can help reduce the wind chill factor from extracting the heat from surfaces that are covered with snow.  For instance if your roof is covered with 4 inches of snow and say that the temperature is -3 degrees and there is a 20 mile an hour wind.  The wind chill factor will make the temperature have a cooling affect of about -13 degrees.  Your roof though thinks that it is only -3 and therefore the level of heat loss is reduced because the differential is reduced. 

Secondly, when the temperature rises above freezing, go and have a look at your roof covered with snow.  See where the snow melts first.  Compare this with any neighbours nearby and see which parts of the roofs lose their snow covering first.  (You have to consider exposure, aspect and other factors too.)  These weak points may be due to thermal weak points and show which parts of which roofs need insulating most urgently.  

To read other interesting articles on property matters go to the propertysurveying.co.uk website and click on the link to the Article Archive and Newsletter