Getting your house ready for Winter
As we get ready to turn the clocks back and the nights start closing in, there are lots of jobs on the house that needs sorting before winter really comes a-knocking. But what are the main ones that you should add to your to-do list? Here are our top eight.
Service your boiler
Remember how hard it is to get a plumber? Well as winter draws ever closer, the only thing that becomes harder is trying to get a gas engineer! Don’t leave it until it is really freezing to check that your boiler is in working order. By being proactive about this, hopefully you’ll stay toasty warm and you won’t need to call them out on an emergency and take out a second mortgage to pay the bill.
Check your gutters
Don’t wait for a recurring drip to remind you to sort the gutter. It’s about now that leaves, moss and twigs start falling and it doesn’t take much to block the gutters. Don’t wait too long to get them cleared. Either book someone to come and flush water through them to clear them, or if you’re feeling gung-ho, get a ladder and do the ones you can reach. It seems a pain, but a blocked gutter can do massive damage to your masonry and brickwork, so it is worth getting it sorted before any damage is done and the rot sets in.
Free your drains and air vents
While you have your gloves on and you know the reward of coffee and cake is coming, take some time to check your drains and air vents around the house. Clear fallen leaves, grass cuttings, litter or any other garden debris that has started collecting there. Again, this will stop rainwater collecting and causing damage, and in the case of the air vents will let the air circulate as it is supposed to.
Check your seals
As the wind starts howling outside, the last thing you need is to feel it. Before the weather gets really bad, it is worth taking a look and checking all your seals on doors and windows. Apart from saving you a fortune in heating bills by keeping the heat in, by blocking drafts, you are also checking to make sure there are no spaces where animals looking for a warmer pad can get in. Check around windows and doors but also around holes where pipes come into the house. It is also worth taking a look at your fascia boards too.
Get your chimney swept
An open fire isn’t quite as lovely if you are sitting in a lounge full of smoke, never mind the health risks. Get your chimney swept annually to make sure there isn’t anything nesting in it and to make sure that you aren’t putting yourself in any danger by stopping the dangerous gases escaping.
Store your garden equipment and furniture
Unless you are an absolute die-hard, the summer is over, and you won’t be doing any more barbecues. Rather than watching your Weber rust over the winter season, pack up your barbecue and garden furniture and put it away to store until the bright evenings return. If you can’t move furniture, invest in some covers as, in the long run, this could save you a lot of money. If you can, wash your garden furniture cushions but make sure they are properly dry before you put them away. The last thing you need is to find a cupboard of fusty cushions come the Spring.
Check your roof
Make pals with the neighbours and drop round to see if you can take a look at your roof from their house. Slipped tiles can cause a lot of damage if not dealt with early, as well as being a hazard if they are not in place properly when the winds get stronger. The phrase ‘batten down the hatches’ is a good reminder but so is ‘wine with the neighbours.’
Check your loft
Apart from getting up to take the Christmas decorations down, it’s a good idea to check your loft before winter sets in. You can make sure that no animals have got in to roost over the winter and that there are no leaks from the roof. Although it’s never a nice job, doing it when it is still a bit warmer is a little less unpleasant.