Winter Is Coming… Is Your Home Ready?

by - November 07, 2018

Now that the cold months are rolling in, it could be time to make a few changes to your home to ensure that it’s kept cosy and clean. Here are just a few ways to prepare your home for the winter

Make use of rugs and doormats

As the rain and snow start to arrive, you may find that more people are walking muddy shoes through your home. Whilst you can always encourage a no shoes rules, adding doormats and rugs could further help to prevent dirt being trudged through the floors. This may be particularly important if you have light carpets which will get quickly ruined if people keep walking over them with wet or muddy footwear.

Repair your roof

It’s worth checking for cracks in your roof or missing tiles before the heavy rain and snow set in. You can check for damage by hiring a professional roofing expert to take a look. Clear signs that you already have a leaky roof could be mould on the attic walls or mysterious dripping noises. Tiled roofs tend to be cheaper to repair than flat roofs – this is because you can easily replace a single tile, whilst a crack in a flat roof could require an entire replacement.

Clean your gutters

Gutters can often block up with leaves in the autumn leading to problems in the winter. A common problem is frozen guttering as the result of blockages freezing up. Such guttering can become brittle and could even fall off – this could be dangerous is the guttering is full of ice. There are plenty of professional services out there that can unblock your guttering for you.

Caulk up cracks

There could be cracks in walls that need taking care of. Some of these cracks could let in cold drafts, making your home colder. Most cracks can easily be sorted out by filling them with caulk, however bigger cracks may need more professional intervention to put right.

Reverse your ceiling fans

If your home has ceiling fans, make sure that these are set to clockwise rather than anticlockwise. When set to the clockwise position, ceiling fans will push hot air rising up to the ceiling back down to the floor. This could help to warm up your home without relying on the heating as much.

Switch your curtains

It could be time to hang up some winter curtains too. These curtains are generally thicker and hang all the way down to the ground – when drawn, they will prevent hot air escaping through the windows, whilst blocking out cold drafts coming in through the window. All in all, they’re a cheap form of insulation if you haven’t got double glazing.

Upgrade your bedding

Now that the nights are getting colder, you may also want to reassess your bedding. Now is the time to pull out the thick duvets and flannel bed sheets to keep you warmer. You could also consider buying a thermal mattress protector – these sit under your bed sheet and have a layer of fur to keep you warmer. Of course the ultimate mod con is a heated mattress protector, however these aren’t cheap to buy. You can compare heated mattress protectors at this site.  

Service your boiler

Winter is the one time you don’t want your boiler to break and yet it’s the most common time due to being the period when it’s most often in use. If you’ve got an old boiler, consider hiring someone to take a look. It doesn’t hurt to get your boiler inspected annually just to check that it’s in full working order.

Bleed your radiators

On top of turning up the temperature on your radiators, you may want to consider bleeding them. Radiators can often suffer from build ups of trapped air which prevent them from heating up as effectively. If your radiator is cold at the top and warm at the bottom, it’s usually a good sign that it needs bleeding. Gurgling sounds coming from your radiators are also a tell-tale sign.  

Consider investing in extra insulation

To help trap heat in your home longer and reduce your heating bills, you could also consider investing in extra insulation. This could include cavity wall insulation, loft insulation or double glazing. These can be expensive projects – it’s sometimes better to wait out until the summer when the demand is low and contractor prices are cheaper. Of course, you may be able to DIY your home’s insulation to save costs. It’s possible to insulate your own loft by buying insulating wool or insulating boards. As for your windows, rather than attempting double glazing yourself, you could try adding window insulating film (this is great for rented properties, where you may not have the permission to install double glazing).

Fertilise your lawn

Your lawn is likely to take a battering over the winter due to the frost and heavy wind. Before the first frost arrives, it could be worth laying down some fertiliser to your grass to help them stay strong through the winter. This article offers some great information on fertilising your lawn in preparation for winter. Fertiliser can also be used on other plants to aid their growth.

Shelter delicate plants

Some plants may be killed off by the frost unless sheltered. Some people cover plants in burlaps the night before a frost, whilst others may build temporary makeshift greenhouses. Such shelter is common when growing vegetables over the winter.

Invest in some outdoor heating

Patio heaters and chimineas can be useful for providing heat in the winter allowing you to sit outdoor to eat and socialise even when it’s cold. Chimineas rely on old-fashioned wood and fire whilst patio heaters run off gas or electricity. Both can be fairly expensive to buy so make sure you’re likely to get the use out of these appliances.

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