We’ve got just less than a week before winter is officially with us, which gives us even less time to prepare for the colder months that are rapidly approaching. We’ll be sharing some key tips and ideas to keep your home warm, how to avoid the damp and how to minimise damage to your home.
Preparing Your Heating
With colder weather you’re absolutely going to be using your central heating systems much more over the winter months. With this in mind be sure to check your boiler is working properly and is up for the job. By no means try and fix or service your boiler yourself, just before winter it may be a good idea to get its annual service booked in. Insulating pipes and bleeding radiators will also put you in good stead for the colder months.
Burst or frozen pipes are a huge issue throughout the UK during the winter months and an easy way to minimise this risk is to insulate them using lagging, which also reduces heat loss. Lagging can be picked up from most DIY shops.
Keep the Heat In
Now we’ve got our heating appliances in top condition, we need to ensure that we allow the warm air inside to stay and stop that cold air from coming in. Windows and doors are the key culprits for letting in cold air, be sure to check existing seals and in-tact and if not ensure you close up any gaps. Underneath doors and any doors containing a letterbox can also be modified to reduce heat, use draught excluders for a quick fix, if you’ve got a little extra time on your hands try and make yourself one!
If you decide to turn your radiators on this winter something else to consider is the layout of your room. If your sofa is against a radiator you won’t benefit from as much heat in the home. To maximise heat from radiators also consider reflectors. A radiator reflector is a thin sheet of foil placed behind a radiator which reduces heat loss by reflecting heat away from the wall.
Keep The Damp Away
Condensation is one of the most common types of damp problems in the home and is caused by excess water vapour in the air that cannot escape. A simple task you can do to avoid this is clearing your gutters. A pair of gloves and an extension ladder is all you need to carry out this task. Whilst clearing your gutters check cracks and damages to the pipes and replace should they need replacing. Heavy rain and leaves can cause blockages and also can cause internal damp from external walls being soaked by leaking gutters.
Other smaller tasks you can do to avoid dampness is move furniture very slightly away from walls to allow circulation, use a tumble dryer to dry your clothes if possible and use extractor fans in the kitchen and bathrooms.
Exterior Security & Maintenance
Unfortunately, with darker nights burglaries tend to be on the increase, in the UK it’s believed a burglary happens every 40 seconds. Check the security on your doors, windows and outhouses, replacing any flimsy locks. Double check all doors and windows are locked, another interesting fact is that the majority of burglaries are done without prior planning and it’s likely the burglar won’t be carrying any tools to help them, so don’t give them the tools or the opportunity, lock away all possessions and garden tools.
High winds and heavy rain can cause problems for fences, gates and wheelie bins. If you can it may be a good idea to keep wheelie bins inside a shed or garage or it may be the perfect time to purchase a storage bin, to keep it safe from the wind, the last thing we want is bins ripping through our gardens causing damage and leaving rubbish everywhere.
Fixing broken gates and fences is also important during harsh weather conditions. Remove any debris from your fences or gates, check for damages and remove any weak or low hanging branches if it’s near trees or other plants.
As we’ve mentioned there are so many tasks to get started with in preparation for a cosy, warm and stress-free winter and we’ve not got long. Time to get cracking and once you’ve done, curl up in front of the television with your favourite hot drink and watch the snow fall!