You are here: HomeNews & VideosHints and TipsPrepare your home for the winter.

 

Now is the time to start preparing your property for the coming winter months. The following article provides some useful hints and tips to ensure your home will be safe this winter.

 1. Keeping out the rain and damp:

  • Check the roof for damaged or missing slates / tiles.
  • Check the lead flashing around chimneys, extensions, look for raised lead which could allow water ingress.
  • Check chimneys for damaged brick work. rendering and loose chimney pots.
  • Check flat roofs for damage.
  • Check outbuilding roofs for damage, loose or torn felt etc.

Conduct a visual roof check from ground level, using a binoculars to get a really close look, if you need to use a ladder for further inspection then read my simple ladder safety article to reduce the risk of accident. Check in the loft for damp patches or water ingress. If in doubt why not give me a call for advice or help with your above ground checks. 

  • Clean out gutters and down-pipes, check foul water drains for blockages.
  • Check rendering and door / window reveals for cracks or damage, repair and re-seal as necessary.

 2. Keep warm, prevent draught and reduce heating costs.

  • Ensure you have sufficient loft insulation, you can always add more and remember there are loft insulation grants available.
  • If you have a hot water tank make sure its well insulated to reduce heat loss, fit a new water tank jacket if necessary.

  For grant information try https://www.government-grants.co.uk        http://www.direct.gov.uk

  • Make sure your windows and doors shut and seal correctly, double glazing will certainly reduce heating costs. You can also fit secondary glazing as a fixed system or there are diy secondary glazing kits on the market .

  For secondary glazing ideas try the following sites - http://www.gare.co.uk/secondary_glazing.htm   http://www.allplas.co.uk   http://www.diysecondaryglazingkit.co.uk/ . 

  For draught excluder ideas take a look at the following sites - http://www.nigelsecostore.com     http://www.ironmongerydirect.co.uk

  • Ensure all water pipes are well insulated, you can buy foam insulation tubes for all sizes of water pipe.
  • Get your central heating boiler serviced to ensure maximum efficiency.
  • Clean your flue / chimney.

 3. Reduce the risk of burst pipes 

The damage from bust pipes can be horrendous and costly to put right, typically property owners will  find damaged ceilings, electrics and electrical appliances, damaged carpets, decoration and flooring. A few simple steps can greatly reduce the risk of frozen pipes.

  • With high levels of loft insulation commonplace your loft space can get very cold in sub zero temperature, ensure all pipes, water tanks etc are well lagged / insulated. When really low temperatures are forecast you can crack open the lot access trap door to allow warm to enter the loft space. Turning your boiler down or off in freezing temperatures may conserve fuel but could easily result in frozen pipes.
  • If pipes do freeze open a tap to allow melting water to escape, allowing pressure relief at the frozen area.
  • If you plan to be away for a short period during the winter months or if you own a vacant property , holiday home / caravan you should ensure the water is turned off at the stop tap and that your system is fully drained at its lowest point.
  • Check the small print on your house insurance to ensure you are fully covered when the property is vacant.

  Information regarding unoccupied property and insurance  http://comparehouseinsurancex.com       http://www.moneysupermarket.com  

 4. General pre-winter property maintenance tips.

  • Fix leaking taps and ball valves to reduce the risk of frozen drains / overflow pipes.
  • Clear drains to ensure water flows away before freezing.
  • Clean paths to avoid slips and trips.
  • Cut back tree branches and shrubs to reduce the risk of property damage.

 5. Planning for emergencies.

Winter can be unpredictable to why not prepare for the unpredictable.

  • Buy some path / drive gritting salt.
  • Keep a snow shovel and hard bristle brush to hand.
  • Ensure you have a torch and spare batteries in the home.
  • Keep a pack of candles and matches ready for possible power disruption.
  • Ensure your car has been serviced and that the battery is in good working order.
  • Check your vehicle anti freeze levels and ensure your windscreen washer has a winter wash solution.
  • Buy a windscreen scraper or invest in a windscreen protector sheet.

  6. If you do have to travel in sub zero temperatures or snowy condition-

  • Take appropriate foot-ware.
  • Ensure you have warm water proof clothing.
  • Carry a snow shovel.
  • Take a warm flask, food and sleeping bag just in case you get stuck in snow for a long period of time.
  • Take a fully charged mobile phone with you.
  • Inform friends or relatives of your movements.
  • If you live in an area that is prone to snow etc think about investing in a set of snow chains.
  • Check with the met office or your local radio station for advice on winter travel.


 

Enjoy a trouble free winter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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