So, you’re probably wondering what the best way is to make sure that your home is prepared for autumn and winter. Let me set the scene, you wake up on a cold winter day, getting out of your bed, you notice that you can see your breath. Rushing over to the thermostat to see that your boiler has stopped working.
What a nightmare and now you’re stuck in a cold home!
Now we’ve all had a burst pipe, windows that are causing a draft or any unwanted bugs coming in to escape the cold. That’s why it is essential that you are prepared before the autumn and winter months kick in. Leaving it until the last minute will result in a number of headaches during this time period.
So make sure you tackle your autumn and winter checklist for maintenance now, to make sure you are one step ahead! Giving a single day to ensure that you can successfully run down this checklist will make sure you can reduce the chance of a winter emergency.
Clean Out Those Debris Filled Gutters
Ensuring that you remove all the leaves and other debris from your gutters is extremely important when coming into autumn and winter. It shouldn’t take long as it will only require a ladder and 2 sets of hands, this means it shouldn’t take hours to complete. Make sure you go around the entire perimeter of the house and ensure that all the gutters are clear and clog free. Make sure to check around trees for nests and other “friends” who may be living within your roof.
Watch for any places where your gutters are coming away from the house, these will need refitting back to the house ASAP. Look for any small cracks and breaks before any ice or heavy snow comes as it will cause these to get worse and eventually break the entire gutter system.
Got caps on your gutters? Double check each one to ensure that it is fully fitted onto the end. It may be a good idea to run water through your guttering using your hose pipe to ensure that there is a good flow and nothing is clogged up.
Got A Cellar? Check For Any Signs Of Mould Or Trapped Moisture
Take a look at the foundation of your home, going all the way around the perimeter. Taking the time to inspect your cellar and cellar walls to ensure that there isn’t any cracks, mildew or areas that need attention. Any leaks or moisture entering your cellar will appear as bubbling if you have painted your walls or you will see grey/dark areas on your walls. As these walls become worse they will begin to turn a green or black, which will mean that you may begin to see cracks within the foundation. ( definitely time to get someone in who knows exactly how to fix it!)
If you do find potential foundational issues, don’t stress. These are sometimes easily fixed by simply patching a crack with plaster or simply painting on some mildew paint to protect your walls. Some foundational issues occur due to the gradient your house is placed upon. It may not be an expensive issue, but it is definitely something that should be addressed straight away, as it could cause further damage leading to bigger costs.
Check Windows, Doors & Roofs
Whilst you have your ladder out checking your gutters, it is a good idea to inspect your windows. Making sure that you take a good look at your roof too, looking for any tiles that may look raised or even loose. This will only take a few minutes to complete and it will mean that you shouldn’t have any large problems when winter comes.
Check all the way around the window seals to ensure that there are no leaks. If you think there may be a leak then you should take you investigation to the inside of your window. The best and simplest method to use to test, is using the “wet hand” test. Wet your hand and hold it a few centimeters away from the edge of the window. If there is a leak, then you will feel the air which will be blowing onto your wet hand. You can also check your blinds and see if they are damp, this can help show signs of moisture coming in. Using some decorators caulk to repair this will ensure that you window is kept tightly sealed.
Another great idea is to check your doors kick plate and seal on both sides. With the sun from summer and moisture coming in, these can become rotten as well as being weakened over time. Having these gaps, cracks and leaks will allow cold air to come through, which is something you don’t want happening. Especially in winter. Taking care of these issues now will help save you money on your heating bill come winter time.
Ensure Your Heat Sources Work & Are Ready For Use In The Winter
Getting a boiler specialist out in early autumn should be relatively straightforward and you can help to beat the rush. They will give your boiler a full run down and ensure that each part is functioning as it should be. You can change any filters yourself if you feel confident in doing so, as well as bleeding your central heating system to ensure that it is running at maximum efficiency.
If you have a fireplace inside your home, then you will need to have this serviced too and ensure that you have your chimney/flue cleaned thoroughly. This will help to ensure that the air in your home is circulated evenly. With a Gas fireplace you should really have it checked each year, as many of the ceramic logs can become worn and will become potential fire hazards.
About The Author
Blinds By Post is an online retailer, backed by over 25 years’ experience in the Window Blind manufacturing trade. They are a family run business based in Baildon, West Yorkshire.