It may be the height of Summer right now, but it’s understandable that we have our minds considering the colder months ahead. Sure, there is a lot to look forward to with the festive season at the end of the year, Halloween, autumn delights and fun in the snow, but winter poses a lot of threats to our home. Harsh weather and darker days mean that we are more susceptible to problems within our home.
There is no denying that in many circumstances in our lives, preparation can be the key thing that is on your side. Your home may need to have certain repairs, it may need you to think about having certain things installed or upgraded, or it could mean that you just need to put in some hard graft to better prepare. We need to take time out to put things in place to protect our homes. With that in mind, here are some of the best ways and your complete guide to “Winter Proofing” your home.
Drainage can become a huge problem during the winter months ahead. The excessive rain can cause your gutters and drains to work harder. But during the previous winter, and with autumn ahead, leaves and debris are likely to fall and cause your gutters to block. By doing so, it can cause potential problems with blockages when excessive rain begins and needs to be drained effectively. This is why it is important to ensure you clear out your gutters and drains regularly.
Summer is the ideal time to do it. Everything in your gutters and drains will have likely dried up, so it should be an easy job to complete. Doing this allows the water to drain away quickly and effectively. If you are unsure on how to do this then enlisting the help of a local service could be your answer. Or if you do want to tackle the job yourself, there is likely to be plenty of online guides with step by step instructions.
The winter poses a lot of problems when it comes to harsher weather. Most specifically the increase of wind speed. This is when your garden can take the brunt of it. Trees that have grown well over the summer, may now need to be considered. It could be essential to ensure you cut back any overgrown trees and bushes to avoid them being targets in the wind. You might also want to consider putting away or covering up any outside furniture you may have. Investing in these things in summer is great, but you don’t want the wet weather to cause issues to the paint work or materials they are made out of. BBQ’s are likely to rust in the winter. A new shed or storage option could be the key, and help you protect these things from the cold and wet weather. You may also want to think about cutting the lawns and downing what you can to tidy up the garden ahead of the winter months. Keeping on top of things during Autumn means that you will have less to deal with come Spring next year.
Many modern heating systems have thermostats that will allow you to program your heating. Not only does this save you money on your energy bills, but it can ensure that your house remains warm as and when you need it to be. Many people tend to have their heating come on early morning to ensure a warm house and hot water. Having the temperature at a consistent level should allow you to regulate the heat in your home. Keeping it nice and toasty throughout the time it is occupied.
However, the main issue with this is that some people are unsure how to even work their thermostats and heating system. It might be a good idea to get reacquainted with it. You can also book a boiler service to check over your heating system ahead of winter. This means that any repairs or parts that need replacing will get sorted so that you can be assured the heating will be working when the cold weather hits.
Heat can escape through older windows and doors; much like cold drafts can get in. This is why it might be time to consider upgrading your windows and doors to a more energy efficient alternative. Double glazing can help keep the cold out and the warmth inside. It might be worth looking into contacting UPVC Window installers in your local area to see how much the job would cost and when they could complete the work. The chances are, at this time of year, they will have some space to complete jobs like this, as many people won’t have it on their minds. Also, this could have a big impact on your energy bills as you may find you use less heating throughout the colder months ahead. Which in the long term can only be a good thing.
The one area that we don’t tend to think about when it comes to winter is exterior pipework. We all have a habit of taking things for granted such as water being available through our taps, and waste being removed every time we flush the toilet. However, these pipes go outside of our home and beyond and if anything in the weather was likely to change such as a freezing temperature, then these pipes may also freeze and cause problems. It might be worth keeping this thought at the back of your mind and buying some pipe insulation tubing. This can be added to the exterior pipes and enable you to keep the temperature a few degrees warmer, which could make the difference between a pipe that works and a pipe that freezes. A small change that can have a big impact in winter.
You may not give it another thought in summer, with the weather being warmer, but there could be holes and cracks in your home that may need repair. As the temperature drops and the wind picks up, you may start to notice cold drafts in your home, or perhaps even evidence of damp due to water and rain outside. This could be caused by a simple hole or crack in the exterior of your home. Getting these things repaired and sealed up ahead of winter means that you are better protected. You are also less likely to attract unwanted pests into your home, as the weather gets colder mice, rats and such as looking for warmer places to be and your home may be the ideal place if they can gain access through a hole or crack.
Insulation in the roof is another way to ensure that heat stays in your home. Heat has a habit of rising and could escape through uninsulated areas of your home. Avoid this by making sure you are covered. Insulation is one job that can be easily fixed in your home, and it can be a great way to keep the heat inside your home. There are professional insulation fitters, but you could also try and do this yourself. Many DIY stores sell rolls of insulation and it can be as simple as laying it down in the loft and attic areas. Your walls may also need some extra insulation, so could be worth looking into that as well.
Let’s hope this has provided you with some essential advice for making sure your home is ready for the winter months ahead.