As we approach the winter months, the changing weather conditions can cause damage to your home. Doing some basic home maintenance before the cold weather really sets in will remove the need to do larger repairs or maintenance come spring time. As you know, the colder weather means your home needs to be up to scratch, so take a look at these helpful tips on how you can prepare your home for the winter.
Have your boiler serviced
You’ll want to have your heating ticking over constantly during the winter months, and there’s nothing worse than a broken boiler when you need it the most. Having it serviced now rather than waiting until it breaks to call someone out will help prolong the life of your boiler, and save you money in the long run.
It’s important not to try and service the boiler yourself or for a cheaper price. Boiler maintenance requires the knowledge of how a boiler works, and how to work safely around gas. It’s best to leave it to the professionals for your health, and your wallet in the long run. Your gas provider may offer boiler maintenance as part of your tariff, so it’s worth checking!
Check the sewer drain
Not the most pleasant of jobs, we know. However, blocked pipes can be a nightmare to fix, not to mention the cost! Check the sewer drain for any blockages, and have them seen as soon as possible. Signs that your drains might be blocking include:
- Your toilet, shower or sinks around your home are taking longer than usual to drain
- Drains and manhole covers in your garden are seeping water suddenly
- A blocked drain will often smell foul. This should be immediately obvious when it happens.
- You hear unusual gurgling sounds from the plug hole or toilet.
It’s also worth checking the drains around your home for faults too, as the sewage pipes are all connected and could lead to a problem for you. You’ll be looking for amercast catch basin grates and frames looking full or overflowing. Remember to take notes of any unusual sounds you hear coming from the sewage system too, as this can be a sign there might be a problem brewing. Call your water supplier for advice on who is responsible for the repairs of drains in your area.
Sweep your chimney
It’s a good idea to have your chimney swept before the colder months set in, especially if you’re likely to be using your fire often. While hiring someone is less effort, and considerably less sooty, it might work out cheaper in the long run to buy your own chimney sweeping set. You may only need to use it once or twice a year, but you’d be saving money each year paying someone else to do it! You can find tutorials online that will show you a step by step process!
Clear your gutters and pipes
Over the course of a year, lots of debris and leaves will have accumulated in your homes guttering and pipes. Blocked pipes can lead to rainfall not draining well off your roof. Water collecting in places it shouldn’t, and even leaks inside of your home!
If you’re not keen on the idea of going up a ladder to clear out your gutters and pipes, you could hire someone to come and do it for you. Alternatively, if you can get your hands on some scaffolding, it’s a much more stable option to help clear your pipes.
Check the roof tiles
While you’re on the roof (or near it) be sure to check for any slipped or broken tiles that could lead to a problem during the winter. Replace any broken or missing tiles to help keep the rainwater out. If only a few are missing, you should be able to make the repairs yourself. However, if there are a bulk of tiles missing, it’s best to call in a professional, as repairs done incorrectly could lead to the underfoot beginning to sag. If this is the case, your roof would need to be stripped, replaced and rebated.
Insulate your loft
It’s also a good idea to head up to your loft to check the insulation. Did you know that insulating your loft properly could save you hundreds each year on heating bills? If your home is well insulated, the heat won’t escape as easily, meaning you won’t have to spend as much on heating it up.
If you live in an older building, be sure to look out for asbestos, as this could be very dangerous in your home. Did you know that asbestos is only dangerous when it begins to deteriorate? The fiberglass particles can get into your lungs when unknowingly inhaled and cause some serious damage. If you suspect your home may have asbestos, call a professional in immediately to assess and sort the problem out. Don’t try and remove it yourself!
Trim your hedges and bushes
It’s no secret that trees and bushes grow at a much slower rate in the colder weather. Give your garden one final tidy up before winter sets in by trimming your hedges and bushes, mowing the lawn, picking weeds and sweeping leaves. While this isn’t a necessity, your home will look great over the winter period and save you a job come spring time when everything begins to blossom again!
Sand your decking
If you’ve got decking in your garden, you’ll be very aware how slippery it can become in the winter. If your decking is regularly used to enter or leave your home, consider putting some sand on your desking to help add extra grip as you’re walking over it.
Another great tip for decking maintenance is to have your decking jet washed every now and then to remove any grime that’s made its way into the wood which in turn, makes it slippery in the winter months. Plus, it brings your decking up a treat!
Buy a draught excluder
Over time, doors can become misshapen leaving gaps in your frames and allowing cool breeze into your home. In the summer, this will probably be a welcome effect. However, in the winter when you’re trying to keep your home warm, it’s definitely not welcome. Buying draught excluders can help eliminate this problem quickly and cost effectively! If your doors let the draught in all around the frame, installing a curtain rail above the door and hanging a thick curtain can help eliminate that problem. Plus, it will add more style to your home!
Stock up on fuel
You should begin stocking up on fuel if you have an open fire in your home. Especially during the pandemic, it’s best to get it now so you’re not stuck when the weather gets really cold!
Break out the winter furnishings
Did you know that there are ways you can keep your home warm and save a bit of money on your heating bills? Using different furnishings will help retain the heat in your home!
Hang some heavier and thicker curtains in each room of your home. While you may have to invest in new curtains for each room now, you’ll be saving money over the coming years by hanging them to help retain the heat. Opting for double lined curtains will make it more difficult for the heat to escape your home.
Throws and cushions
Throws and cushions on your couch, bedding, and even dining table will also help retain the heat in your home!
Adding a rug to the rooms with cold hard floors will help keep your feet warm and yep, you guessed it, help retain the heat!
Hanging blinds as well as curtains will help prevent the heat from escaping out of gaps in your windows too! It will also help prevent any draughts from entering the room, making you feel cold.
When you think of tinted windows, your mind probably goes straight to car windows. However, there are such things as tinted windows for your home too. They help with an array of things, such as:
- Keeping the cold out
- In the summer months, keeping your home cooler
- Prevents your furniture from becoming bleached by the sun
- Adds privacy to your home, preventing burglars from peering in at your possessions
Consider adding a tint to your windows to help keep your home nice and toasty this winter!
Block an unused fireplace
If you’ve got central heating and don’t plan on using your open fire this winter, it’s a good idea to block it or cover it during the colder months as warm air can escape through your chimney. A draught excluder may do the job, but it’s best to ask a professional for their opinions!
Preparing your home for the winter months doesn’t have to be tedious, especially if you do it regularly throughout the year too! Get ahead of the game and prepare your home ready for the colder months!