Get your home ready for winter
11th Oct, 2016
The mornings have a nip in the air and the heating is firing up, which means only one thing; autumn is here! Now is the perfect time to get your home ready for winter and stay one step ahead of the seasons.
Winter is a harsh time of year for your home and often there are some really easy steps to take to make sure that everything stays working as it should so that your family can stay nice and cosy between your four walls.
We take a look at some of the things you can take care of outside and inside your home over the coming weeks to make sure your home is winter-ready, believe us, it’ll be worth it!
Outside the home
Ice, snow and wind often associated with winter weather can play havoc with loose tiles. Loose tiles not only let in water but can also be blown off the roof in high winds so it is a good idea to periodically check (or get a professional to do so) the appearance of your roof tiles and make good any damage that you find.
After the heavy leaf-fall of the autumn months, it is very easy for gutters to become blocked. Once gutters become blocked they can no longer serve their purpose of channelling water away from the structure of your home. If snow falls as well as heavy rain, you could easily see gutters collapsing under the weight and causing costly damage to your home. Have gutters cleaned regularly or look at installing anti-leaf blockers for your gutter which stops blockages all-year-round.
It is a good idea to check the integrity of your home’s facias. Similarly, to your roof tiles, if there are any cracks or gaps these will need repairing ahead of the winter weather to prevent further damage.
- Doors & windows
Shutting the doors and windows is the best way to keep the cold out and warm in, but if seals have gone or there is loose beading then your windows may not be doing the job as well as they could. Check all windows for signs of damage and make any necessary repairs. Draughty windows and doors will lead to higher fuel bills and therefore cost you more money in the long run.
- External pipework
In times of harsh frost, your external pipework is at risk of fracturing. This could mean no water to your home which could exacerbate an already bad situation if it means it affects your heating too. Check all external pipework for signs of wear and tear and be prepared to insulate any exposed water pipes when the temperature really drops.
Keep drains clear of mulch as if water cannot run freely it may pool around drains and freeze causing a dangerous slip-trip hazard around your home’s perimeter and/ or damage driveways and paths.
- Brickwork and paving
Water ingress can cause severe damage to brickwork and paving and driveways so it’s a good idea to check for any signs of visible damage and get some repairs done before the harsh weather sets in.
- The Garden
Now is the time to start protecting delicate plants. Temperatures are now beginning to drop to close to freezing during the night so moving your flowerpots indoors will protect them.
Plant bulbs ready for spring if you haven’t already done so, fertilise your lawn and check all overhanging trees for branches that may crack and fall during periods of high winds or frost.
Bring in all garden furniture and things like trampolines to protect them against the winter weather.
Winter-proof the inside of your home
The last thing anyone wants is to be stuck without hot water on a cold and frosty morning whilst trying to get ready for work or school, ensure your boiler is up to date with its service and if not contact a local Gas Safe engineer to run a service check.
- Smart thermostats and radiators
It has never been easier to control the heating (and many other devices) throughout your home. Remotely programme your thermostat to ensure that radiators come on at the desired times and set it to frost mode when you are away to protect against pipes freezing. Using a smart thermostat can also dramatically save you money as you are always in control.
- Internal pipework
It makes sense to check your internal visible pipework at the same time as you check your external pipework. If you spot any defects, contact a professional to have it checked to avoid any potential problems.
- Fires & chimneys
It may be 8 months or more since you last fired up your fire. Check everything is working as it should, before you really need it, and if you have a chimney get it swept regularly. Depending on what type of fuel you burn and how long you use your fire, the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps recommend different sweeping frequencies.
As well as chunky knit around your neck, make sure your roof, floors and walls are thoroughly insulated, this will save you money and keep your home toasty. Take a look at the energy credentials of a Lovell new home.
Nothing says ‘Winter’s Here’ like a few choice soft furnishings and autumnal hues around the home, take a peek at our Pinterest boards for some seasonal inspiration.
Preparing your home for winter will not only ensure that you have a stress-free winter but it will also potentially add value to your home and eliminate costly emergency remedial action.