Now that the temperature has taken a dip and Jack Frost has begun to appear while we are sleeping, it is time for us all to think about making sure that our homes are nice and snug for winter. Here are a few jobs that will keep your home in good shape over the next few chilly months.
Now that most of the autumn leaves have fallen, we must make sure that our gutters are cleared and cleaned. By November,our gutters are full of leaves, moss, birds nests, weeds and lots of bird poo…yuk! Blocked gutters are one of the easiest things to avoid with a low cost clear and clean, but if debris is left it can lead to water entering your home and causing expensive damp problems and structural issues.
The last thing we want in winter is no water supply or even worse a burst pipe. To avoid pipes freezing up and bursting during winter, we must fit them with insulation called lagging. This should be applied to pipes in outbuildings, garages, the garden or to pipes and tanks in our loft. A simple process to avoid the cost and worry of an insurance claim, and keeping pipes warm also conserves heat in your pipes making your heating more efficient.
Check around windows, doors and loft hatches for draughts. Draught proofing can make your home warmer and save on heating costs. You will save more on your heating bills than the cost of the draught excluders. Win-win..
There are always more power cuts in the winter mainly due to bad weather. Be prepared for a power cut by gathering a few essential items together and making a kit. Include things like torch, spare batteries, thick blankets, maybe even a few treats to pass the time. If everything is in one place it will be much easier to find if the need arises.
There are around 7000 chimney fires each year in England but most of them would not have happened if homeowners had kept chimneys well maintained and taken a few precautions. With the rise in popularity of log burners, it is important to remember:
• Have chimney swept regularly by a trained professional chimney sweep
• Put out fires before going to bed
• Put a guard around the fire at all times to avoid sparks setting fire to carpets and furniture
• Check your smoke alarms every week
• Don’t burn unseasoned damp wood