Winter Proofing Your Home
As winter closes in, the dark and cold nights are already here. Sadly these can’t be avoided but preparing correctly and winter-proofing your home in advance can give you a real advantage this winter – keeping you and your home warm and protected.
Follow these steps and not only will you be comfortable, but it might save you a bit of money too; so hopefully you’ll not be feeling the cost of this winter, next summer.
Clear the Pathways
Accidents involving slips and trips increase over winter. As leaves can both obscure trip hazards beneath them and can become slippery when wet, they are one of the biggest culprits. Clearing and maintaining your path will reduce the chance of you or any visitors experiencing a trip or fall this winter.
If the snow decides to fall, having a shovel and a bag of grit (salt can be used in a pinch) handy can help create a slip-proof path. Beware of using hot water to clear the snow as it can create black ice.
Additionally, undertaking routine maintenance of exterior lighting or installing new lights in dark spots can make the journey from your home to the street safer as the dark mornings and evenings begin to close in.
Unblock the Guttering
Cleaning your gutters of dead leaves and debris will avoid any blockages. The added weight and mass of frozen water on top of already blocked gutters can lead to damaged guttering and can cause further water to cascade onto your outer walls creating damp. Water is the largest cause of property damage over these months and something as simple as a blocked gutter can also lead to damaged interior pipes and flooding.
Cleaning guttering is a simple job if you are able but if it is a daunting prospect, contact one of the a local company or handyman offering gutter clearing services.
Installing new insulation can be expensive but as up to 60% of your home’s heat can be lost through un-insulated walls, it’s essential for keeping your home warm and reducing your energy bills.
However some smaller scale measures can also be taken. Installing draught excluders, letterbox covers, door frame tape or brushes and heavy curtains can make a huge difference to your home’s warmth without costing you a fortune.
Check your pipes
As water freezes it expands which can put a huge strain on your pipes, leading to them to crack and at the worst burst. Checking your pipes for any evidence of damage is essential, especially in the colder areas of your house, i.e. your attic, basement and bathroom. Lagging your pipes in foam tubing can protect them from the elements and reduce the chance of damage.
Also in case disaster does strike, be aware of where your water stop tap is, so that you can quickly put an end to flooding.
You’ll come to rely on your boiler over the winter months and maintenance is essential before the cold nights draw in. Not only will a fully working boiler keep your house warm and comfortable but you’ll reduce the chance of your pipes freezing and avoid more expensive repair costs.
After you know your boiler is in top condition be sure you know how to program the thermostat. Utilising a pre-set schedule will not only keep you warm when you need it, but will also save you money in the long run.
Bleed the Radiators
Radiators are the way heat is delivered into your home and it is essential that they are working at their full capacity. Bleeding your radiators will make sure you get the most out of the boiler and heating system, as any trapped air will reduce their effectiveness.
Additionally, make sure your radiators are not covered. Moving your furniture to free up space around the radiators will insure that they heat your home thoroughly.
Do you have any tips on how to winter-proof your home?
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
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